Over the years, bike riding was an “on-again, off-again” love affair. My first bike was a gold CCM purchased at a hardware store next to the family restaurant. It came in parts so I had to assemble it myself. My 10-year old brain at that time, had to take guesses as to where everything went. When I took it to the gas station to fill up the tires, the attendant told me I had the back fender on backwards. (An embarrassing moment and I don’t understand why I remember that.) I rode it all throughout my elementary school years.
My second bike was a beautiful brown Raleigh 10-speed. I just graduated from high school and had moved to the big city. I made some cash working as a waitress at the Commodore Cafe on 2nd Avenue. I rode that bike with no fear. I got honked at by a lot of irate drivers at that time. But hey, I was 17 and had no brain. When I moved to Toronto, I had taken my bike with me with the belief that I was going to use it. Toronto city streets is no Saskatoon city streets. The bike stayed in the apartment and eventually got stolen.
Eight years later, I had a bike with a child seat attached to the back. Amber use to fall asleep during these Sunday rides. With great dexterity, I kept one hand protecting her head and one hand on the brake handlebars. In those days, children’s helmets didn’t exist. The family bike riding continued with Amber growing up to be independent on her own pink bike.
Between 1990 to 2005, I don’t remember a bike’s existence. In 2005, we moved to a highrise condo in downtown Saskatoon. I remember we had bikes, because they were locked up in the bike parkade gathering layers of dust. When my husband’s bike was stolen, he took over the use of my bike as he was more intuned into it than I was.
As I got older, I didn’t enjoy the prospect of riding a bike. However, I did go through a couple bikes with determination that this was the year. They never lasted very long. I had a bright orange urban bike with balloon tires that I got because I thought it was really cool looking. However, the rides on a rough terrain became unpredictable and unsteady. My 60-year old body didn’t relish the idea of broken bones. The same dealer was able to sell it on commission. It was an unpleasant loss financially. Then came along a Canadian Tire bike that was a spur of the moment purchase because it was on sale. I rode it two times and sold it for the same price I paid so nothing loss there.
It was an inspiration of a friend, that made me spend loads of money on an ebike. Wanting to support local entrepreneurs, I bought a foldable, step-through Kutty from Biktrix. I knew I had to justify the purchase of this bike so I challenged myself to make good use of it. However, it didn’t end up being a challenge. 34 hours of bike riding spread over 2 months, “Shadow” and I accumulated just over 450 kilometers. Now the challenge is not whether I’ll fall off the bike but how far I can go.