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Cycling in Toronto: That Girl

I have been a grown-up urban cyclist for almost a month (maybe more?). I'm amazed at how easily I've fallen into it, how quickly I've become THAT GIRL.

  • that girl with chain grease on at least one (if not both) shins at all times. How will my wardrobe survive in the fall??
  • that girl ringing her bell loudly as she passes a recently parked car.
  • that girl on the sidewalk going up the big big hills.
  • that girl in the clunky helmet because WHO CARES ABOUT FASHION.
  • that girl occasionally sneaking the wrong way up a one way street.
  • that girl madly peddling to make it through a yellow light.
  • that girl with the pannier full of vegetables from the farmer's market.
  • that girl carrying a bag of groceries precariously over her shoulder.
  • that girl who wears her helmet in the grocery store because I'm not an octopus with enough hands for everything.
  • that girl whose butt is constantly slightly sore, whose quads cramp occasionally from this new repetitive exercise.
  • that girl cycling in a skirt, showing off her thighs and hopefully nothing more.
  • that girl who arrives at work slightly sweaty and with a bad case of helmet-hair.
  • that girl on the sidewalk putting her chain back on, tightening her brakes, covering herself in grease.
  • that girl rapping & laughing with a friend as they cycle through the night-time streets. (no joke. more to come on this story.)
That's me.

When my friend gave me this bike, he also gave me two pieces of advice that I'm doing my best to follow:

"Ride like you belong. And be predictable."

No traffic-weaving for me, no curb-hugging, and no danger-inducing quick moves. Predictable, steady, confident cycling is where it's at.


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