Wheels

1 06 2008

So I finally bought a bicycle yesterday. It’s the first time I’ve had two wheels since 1995: I used to have knee problems, so I couldn’t ride for many years. But either my knees have gotten better, or the rest of my body is now equally creaky – I’m not sure which – and I actually have a little bit of disposable income now, so I decided to go for it. I didn’t want to go the rest of my life without ever bicycling again.

Bicycling technology has changed since the mid-1990s. Bicycles are now lighter, and the gear-shifting has improved: I now just have to flick one switch to shift down, or another switch to shift up. And, instead of 10 speeds, I now have 24 to choose from.

One thing I discovered when I got my new bike was that I had to relearn how to get on and off a bicycle again. My old bike was smaller and I was more flexible back then, so I could just hop on and off my bike. Now, I can’t do that: I have to tilt my bike towards me, step over it, and then gingerly rise to full elevation. Getting on and off my new wheels is now, by far, the most stressful part of cycling.

But I learned that the old saying is true: once you learn to ride a bicycle, you never forget. All I have to do now is make sure I don’t do too much right away and rupture something. But I’ve now got a copy of the City of Toronto bicycling map, and I can’t wait to ride all over everywhere on my new wheels.

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