My trusty, two-wheeled steed carried me through parts of east-end Mississauga and into Toronto, as far as Roncesvalles. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the looks of disbelief I got from various people I saw in my travels today, when they discovered I had biked in such weather. Though I will also confess that my smugness with that did little to warm my chilled bones (I was good for about two thirds of my journey, but by evening, my knees were aching, and even my warm, winter boots were starting to betray me, and my toes were getting chilled).
There were some challenges to overcome with the bike itself, too: Although I had tried to pump up my tires before I left "home" (a colleague's house in Mississauga, this week), by the time I got to Roncesvalles, it was clear that my back tire was badly in need of air. Happily, I found a bike shop which was open, and in which worked a kind fellow who blew me up. With some more air in my tires, my speed improved considerably, though I was tired, and had the additional weight of two full paniers... and yes, I walked the bike up a hill!!! (Oh, the shame!)
I've been a car-owner since I inherited my Mother's Honda Civic when she died 20 years ago. But increasingly, I've become intrigued with the idea -- both financially and from an environmental perspective -- of becoming car-less.
This year, I decided to put my money where my mouth is. I signed the car over to Alex and Simon's dad, and we unscrewed the infamous "drrums" plates (they will live in the music cabin, in PEI, for now...) and replaced them with shiny new generic ones.
Now I have to walk, bike or use public transit. The latter option seemed like an attractive and manageable prospect, after using bus and subway almost exclusively in Buenos Aires for three months. Alas, I had forgotten how utterly incomplete the Toronto and Mississauga public transit systems are. :( Nevertheless, I am determined to make this work for a minimum of one year.
At the very least, I have to make it work for another 36 minutes, in order to get home tonight!!!