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Bring Out Your Bikes. Srsly.

Posted by Robyn / March 11, 2006

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ohmygod omg omg. I went for a bike ride today! No, not a commute, not a 3-layers-of-clothing + scarf-over-face + goggles frenzied sprint to the grocery store, but a long, weekend-warrior style bike ride, replete with MEC insulated leggings and moisture-wicking top and "sport-wool" socks. Yes, I dress for the elements. Yes, I take advantage of new fabric technologies. Yes, I have a practical streak. And because, look, it was JUST winter. Like, the other day. Remember? It snowed. It even blowing snowed. And here we are at March 11 and it's well and truly melting, all the way down to the dog crap (gah). Which is one of the official Signs of Spring.

So while part of my late-morning bike ride involved encounters with the olfactorily offensive, most of it involved total RADNESS. Sunshine that was actually warm, wind that wasn't totally painful. Riding through puddles, looking at all the other people out walking and riding and smiling it up. I rode up to the top of the island and checked out the river: the middle is running strong n' scary but the sides are still quite frozen. I did see squirrels, which is also a Sign. It. was. sweet.

What I'm saying, as if anyone who knows the joy of bikes needs imploring, is: It's time to get the bike out, pump up the tires, put oil on the chain. And if you don't have a bike, it is time to get a bike.

All through winter I'd see bikes locked up and rusting away on the sidewalks of this town, and it saddened me. I wanted to free them and take them into warm homes. Oh, there are people who think there's no place for a bike indoors, and I understand that - they do take up space - but think of what a bike gives! Transportation, speed, entertainment, companionship. You can't just leave it outside all winter and expect it to love you again in the Spring.

So if your poor, neglected bike needs help, if you want to win its love back, you'd better treat it right. Your local bike shop people can help with that. Or you can DIY it:
- Jim Langley's Advice and Info
- Tune ups
- Spring checklist
- Tool list
- Going fixed - it's a thing.

And if you don't have a bike yet? Why not? There's nothing to fear about these mean streets. Just like they tell you with driving: ride defensively, be safe. I'd suggest getting a helmet and a back and front light too please. I've heard too many horror stories in the past couple of years - I don't really want to hear any more.

As to the "Quebec drivers are nuts!" claim: drivers here may be crazy, but they're a predictable kind of crazy. That is, ALWAYS CRAZY in generally the same ways. Seriously, this ain't New York or anything. And if drivers can be nuts, we can be nuts too. But in a, ahem, "calculated risks" way. If you need inspiration, this will help: Lucas Brunelle's video of the NYC DragRace '04. Never before has GnR's "Welcome to the Jungle" been so appropriately used. This is also a bit mad: Monstertrack 6 footage. The extreme side of things always seems to inspire me. And get the ol' heartrate up.

Happy racing around town, you loonatics. And happy racing around the outskirts of town too. aw yeah, THE BEST.

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photos by me!

Discussion

12 Comments

j mac / March 12, 2006 at 10:00 pm
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You know what I hate? Riding my bike to work in coldish weather, so I'm well-insulated and then sorta sweaty by the time I arrive. I tell my co-workers that I biked and that I'm doing my part for the environment and getting exercise, but BO is BO.
rich / March 14, 2006 at 12:49 pm
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Too lazy/busy to read the links but just want to remind y'all:

never pass on the right (crushing death), stay off the sidewalk (death/annoying), shoulder check often.

Also, bike sweat is the smell of the righteous.
rrrobyn, not on bike / March 16, 2006 at 02:00 pm
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I feel like I was a little premature on this one. Still cold out. And now I have a cold. Still love bikes though.
colin / March 24, 2006 at 10:34 am
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you guys are suckers i've been biking all winter - cept it's 30 degrees here
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