Around this time last year, I’d almost had enough of the cyclists of this city.
I’m sure a quick Google search will show you that in a previous Metro column, I had compared them to squirrels, the way they weaved in and out of the city’s roadways and trails was annoying, unnecessary and dangerous.
Well, like pretending the Wildrose party had a shot at winning, complaining about biking in this city seems like a fad that fading quickly.
Next week, I’ll be celebrating my 30th birthday. It’s a fact that has quickly caused me to fall into the depths of despair otherwise known as a quarter-life-crisis. (I’m assuming that advances in science will allow us to shift what age actually qualifies as a quarter.)
Yes, in an effort to fix the wrong that’s been caused by all of the city’s new restaurants, bars and Food Trucks, I’ve decided that I should start being healthier. Not as healthy as those weird people who run on their lunch hours, but hopefully healthy enough so that people stop confusing me for a few different alderman.
One of the ways I decided to be healthier was to purchase a commuter bike. Besides the obvious advantages of never getting helmet hair, biking was something that I knew would be easy to pick up, didn’t involve changing in gym locker rooms and, if we happen to suffer another recession, would train me to be the worst paperboy in the city.
In the weeks after buying the bike, cycling around the city has quickly become one of my favourite things to do in Calgary, right after dodging bylaw officers as I float down the Elbow River.
I can hardly believe it myself.
As soon as I strap on that helmet and take to the pathways, I find myself having fun; exploring new neighbourhoods and most importantly, I’ve practically mastered the ability to play the national anthem on my bike’s bell.
I’ve also discovered that the roads of Calgary aren’t exactly bike friendly. While I try to stick to the trails as often possible, biking on the streets of this city is sometimes necessary. I’ve already learned that car doors, pedestrians and dogs have all seemingly created an alliance that aims to take bikers down a notch. Which is completely understandable.
It wasn’t too long ago, that I was frustrated with the two-wheel menaces, but I see now that times have changed. Money is tighter, parking is getting more expensive and quiet frankly, biking is really fun.
I already know that I won’t ever be like Lance Armstrong, but if I can hold off getting older by just a little bit, it’s good to know that Calgary’s many pathways might be able to help me out.