On my own power

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Still car-less… but now at least not wheel-less. Somewhat of an impulse buy: Dr R himself bikes from home to the hospital/clinic when the weather’s right, and he mentioned a super-friendly bike store in Duncan; I stopped by last week, and walked out with a new Kona Smoke. Never bought a bike before (my last bike was a Norco Mini Mountaineer Dad got me in grade 7; for the past 4 years the only times I’ve been on a bike was with the police auxiliary), so had no clue about it or what to look for, but JR said it’s a good brand at least, and a quick Google shows one or two people much more knowledgeable and hard-core bike commuter than me like it too, so I’m happy.

A pretty basic machine, just my type: no flashy metallic decals or paint-work, just a plain, matte black frame, with fenders for those rainy commutes. Just 24-speed, and no fat, knobby off-roading tyres or stunt-jumping shocks; not too many cliffs or dirt trails around the city or between my place and the hospital, so what would be the point? One thigh-busting hill to conquer on the morning ride, but otherwise perfectly paved and smooth all the way through. The bike feels solid, quality, and what can I say, I love the anonymous starkness of it; the only thing I added was a kickstand and a flashing red LED for the back.

It’s weird… driving or bussing past cyclists in the morning, I always had a sense of awe at them, having the cool nerves to brave the rush-hour traffic, the motivation to pass on the easy/lazy option of driving, the social awareness to go pollution-free, and the fitness and stamina to take the potholes, hills and unpredictable weather day in, day out. And now, I guess I’m becoming one of them… I feel like an impostor, the same way I still feel sometimes going running, or when I’m in front of patients, trying to play doctor. Playing commuter cyclist… weird, but I love it.

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