I have fond memories of getting my first ten speed when I was a kid. The beautiful navy frame that sparkled in the sunlight, the freedom. I could go anywhere (like, all the way to school). It was very exciting.
After I moved out of my parents house, I forgot about bikes for a while, and didn't own one, walking or driving everywhere instead. Brett got me back into riding again, with a hand-me-down bike from an old girlfriend of his, but even then. It was functional riding, not fun.
When we moved back to Ottawa, I knew I really wanted to start riding again, even though I wasn't sure what "riding" really meant to me. But it was something I wanted to figure out.
So, given my newly minted solo status (as a freelancer working out of my house in my jammies, with the occasional client site visit), I invested in an adorable, putt-putt dutch bike from Linus. Beautiful and green (you can't miss it in a crowd!), it became my preferred mode of getting around in no time flat, taking me from on-site meetings to the grocery store, and eventually to some of the gentle (and less gentle) hills of Gatineau park.
I started tracking my rides with Strava, rejoicing when I beat my own personal records and loving the data that tracking rides gave me. Average speed! Kms this month! And so on. By the time last winter rolled around, I was sad to tuck my lime green partner in crime into our basement.
After spending February wandering through Europe's cycling cities, spring in Ottawa couldn't come soon enough for me. I was, for the first time, looking forward to getting out my bike and racking up some kilometres. And that's when I realized I was really bitten by the bug. Instead of needing to get on my bike to get from A to B, I wanted to get on it. I stopped caring about helmet head (ok I still care!) and confessed to owning bike shorts.
Which led me to this: my new bike.
I had been looking for a new bike for a while, and hadn't stumbled upon quite the right thing yet. Until a couple of weeks ago. With a new job that is a substantial bike commute away (40km round trip, and a very cruel hill), and some ambitious late summer plans, this was exactly what I needed to upgrade my cycling into "I'm getting a little more serious about this" territory. It's light, where the dutch bike is not, and it's going to be perfect for a 200km trek I'm doing next week with a friend.
If you had asked me a few years ago if I would care about derailleurs, or owning spare tubes, or even the difference between a Presta and a Schraeder valve, I may have laughed at you a little. And now, well, I own fancy padded bike shorts, I rack up kms by the dozen, having two water bottle cages on my bike is a perk, not a nuisance, and I'm packing everything I need for four days into two teeny panniers. I'm so so so looking forward to hitting the trails on le petit train du nord (even if I am totally freaked out by the idea of cycling 75km in a single day). It'll be an adventure! Stay tuned for photos, obviously.