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5 Bike-Related Things You May Not Know About Me

Here’s a play on the “5 Things You May Not Know About Me” thing that you may have seen on some blogs. Essentially the concept is that someone lists the 5 things, and then “tags” 5 other people to do the same thing.

I’ve kept my list to bike-related stuff. I’ll tag people at the bottom.

1. I know squat about bike maintenance. I can clean the grime off my bike, and de-grease and re-lube my chain… and fiddle around with my brakes a bit, but other than that, I know nothing about bikes. I’m kind of an anti-“gearhead”. I know in theory how to change a flat, but have never done it – but I don’t mind giving the business to my favourite bikeshop – and at $10 a pop, it’s about the only fairly regular expense my bike incurs, which is loads cheaper than car ownership and year-round TTC reliance. Don’t even mention derailleurs to me… they’re mysteries wrapped in enigmas to me.

2. I’m generally lazy about everything regarding my bike. It takes me weeks to go from thinking “I should clean my chain” to actually doing it. When I think I should go and buy some more lights for my bike at MEC.ca, it takes me a while to do it although MEC isn’t really out of my way on my bike-commute home from work.

3. I’m a slow cyclist. I don’t pretend to be racing in the Tour de France like some cyclists seem to. I generally bike along at a comfortable pace, according to how much energy my legs have and the traffic conditions around me. I coast when I can. I yield to stopping streetcars, and pedestrians in general.

4. I’m impulsive. I’ll go on a long ride through the ravines and trails of Toronto with very little preparation. In fact, I’m more likely to do something like this if the thought comes to me at the last second. A good example is from last March when I biked the waterfront, the Humber valley, over to Eglinton & the Allen, down the Beltline, through Mount Pleasant Cemetary, the Moore Park Ravine, the Brickworks and the Lower Don Valley in a big circuit, just to see if I could do it. It’s by far the longest ride I’ve done (51 km) and it took me 4 hours (see point #3), and it was something I thought of and started on with zero preparation. I did take my camera and one water bottle though.

5. I’m a calm cyclist… until I snap. Most of the time, in my cruising and slow cycling through Toronto, I do it with a Zen-like attitude… life is good… biking is fun… la-de-da. I can even shrug off minor transgressions against me… the car passing a bit too close, the FedEx truck parked in the bikelane. However, sometimes, all drivers start commiting major transgressions against me, all at once, and I do not let them get away with it. I use my middle-finger quite liberally on those days… I pull up on the left side of cars who have nearly hit my handlebars when passing me and proceed to berate them loudly and for all to hear, using the most colourful language I can… I have punched the windows of taxis who have almost killed me by not paying attention… I’ve hit them so hard that I’ve feared that I’ve broken my hand… and have been amazed that the window did not break.

I realize that point #5 is not good for driver-cyclist relations, but there comes a point for all of us when not sticking up for one’s self is akin to being led to the slaughterhouse. Thank drivers who drive courteously around you. Punish those who don’t.

Toronto “Bike-Bloggers” I’d like to see write about 5 bike-related things about themselves we may not know about:

Martino of BikeLaneDiary
Darren of BikeRefugee
Chris of TucoRides
Andrew of MonkeyMartian
Tanya of CrazyBikerChick

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