I have a love/hate relationship with cycling. When I was younger, the promises from my parents that “this is the last hill” became emptier and emptier. As time went by, I became more self-conscious of my appearance and felt that perching on a metal pedestal wasn’t helping me. In Brussels, the few good experiences I had on bikes were offset by horror stories of terrible accidents as a result of Belgian drivers. Nevertheless, I remain proud of the time that I borrowed Jane’s (very high) bike and cycled to McDonalds one rough Sunday morning and returned with two burgers, three fries, nuggets and two milkshakes, all intact and still at the correct temperatures.
I bring this up because my love back in Brussels has recently purchased a bike and is looking forward to cycling with me when I return. With that in mind, today I borrowed a bike and took off along the Pacific Rim Highway.
I won’t lie, it was absolutely lovely. The wind and sun conspired to leave me red-faced, but I cycled 30km without too much hassle. I found myself adopting a smug look when I passed pedestrians, thinking “Yesterday, I was two-legged, just like you, but today! Today I have wheels!”
On the way, I made a list of pros and cons.
Romantic cycles in the forest
Cheaper than public transport and having a car
Faster than walking
Healthy and good use of my sturdy legs
Confidence to perch myself up on a metal pedestal
A quick getaway from bears (only applies in Canada)
The ability to go further afield, such as today’s visit to Cox Bay and Schooner Cove.
The trade-off between having a sore bottom and wearing padded shorts
The dangers of cycling in Brussels
Cycling in the rain
Trying to find secure places to park it, only to come back and find it stolen or vandalised
I would miss walking.
The pros are currently beating the cons, because it’s something I can do with my love.
On my way home, I got a portion of poutine, so that should stave off the need for padded shorts a while longer.