6 Jun

No rain?  Just a little rain?  Yup, that will do.  No jacket needed – going to be a warm day.  Hurray.  Perfect for this, yes?

I head to the basement of my wee building (actually a mansion from 1911! divided into 12 suites) and to the bicycle/boiler room.  Bikes, bikes everywhere, even from people who don’t live here I am convinced.  Surely a fire trap.  No matter.  I wheel mine outside and right in front of my building is a cycling street- cars still allowed on most of it but baby, this is a cycling route.

If I’m working at the downtown school I got fired from (odd how that works) I ride down that road for about 10 minutes and then head on over the bridge.  Burrard Bridge – a beautiful bridge made dangerous by all of the bloody construction.  Car drivers are impatient, everyone’s honking and horning.

In the morning rush hour, the cycle lane has its own rush hour.  Everybody and their grand dog – many wearing the holy grail of the bike outfit.  If you are wearing a cycling costume then no question you are going around me.

Hmmm – 20 minutes – 25? depending on the lights – it is a pretty speedy ride up there to the downtown school that fired me.  (Karen!  What if a manager reads this?!?!?).  My legs are chronically tired and unstretched these days from seeming vast amounts of over cycling but there is nothing better than getting here on my own steam – saving money and time and a bus ride full of stopping and starting.

I get so in shape in the spring summer and start to lose the weight I pack on during the endless rainy days of winter.

Cycling on city streets here is dangerous – no real question about that – I’ve narrowly avoided a few accidents and have been really close to being car doored. Even mentioning it feels like tempting the fates.  Five years ago when I started cycling again (as an adult) riding in traffic scared the non-cycling pants off me.  The theory has to be (and I’ve heard this before) that you have to pretend that all of the cars are out to get you.  Stay alert.

Vancouver is amazing with its cycling lanes though – Hornby Street saves me from the disaster of Burrard Street.

Hills are a thing.  The hills always seems to be going up.  The odd going down makes it all worth it though maybe – maybe not.  Do you ever get used to hills?  I do not think so.  The subtle grades are a thing – easy to walk up but cycling?  Holy smokes that takes some gumption, for me anyway.

I’ve started doing my longer rides again – the North Shore one is full of Lions Gate Bridge and Causeway (up, up, up up and up) and then more up and up. I am looking for new routes to conquer as I take my hybrid bicycle and 50 year old self all around the town.

Vancouver is a cycling city.

Geez- I just berated Oprah’s weight loss obsession in a previous post (that did not, sadly, go viral in any way) but wowza I was packing on the pounds this winter.  I had starred out with a commitment to weight lift and swim and indoor cycle but that died out soon enough. Rotator cuff injury was my excuse.    My 50 year old body wanted weight in the middle and it got it.  We shall see what this summer season shall bring.

Pool’s open and I have a week of not much work. There is some hope next week from TSTFM but who really knows.  Might try a few laps this week – Saturday’s attempt didn’t really work out – the pool was too crowded, it was really windy, and my bathing suit top kept coming off basically (yup).  Hoping for more success this week.

I say, if I can cycle up a hill, so can you.  Used bicycles can be had for not much, and a new hybrid doesn’t have to be that much.  Get a helmet and a bell.  Then go cycle the hell out of the city.

 

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