Bike riding: see the smells

Getting out my gel seat, tire pump and grease this weekend was good foreplay to the first bike ride of the season. Flipping my bike on its rear, I cranked the pedals until the chain’s rust of a cold winter were moistened away. Taking her for a little test spin around the block, we were ready to take off on our first bike promenade of 2010.

Choose your path (photo by Roger Kenner)

Riding along quiet and busy avenues, I indulged in feelings of eco-superiority as I turned a passive 15 minute car ride into a fossil fuel free forty-five minute hustle. I had the opportunity to smell the exhaust AND the roses, as well as see the bright neon colors of crocuses, all missed in the television-like flashes of a car window.

The visual appeals were not ones prompting me to consume a Pepsi-May West Eaton’s sandwich, but were inviting me to breathe air; hills challenging my out-of-shape self to reach the top and the other-side-of hills, letting gravity and inclinations reach speeds of 30 km/hr.

Clad in jogging pants, t-shirt and beat-up hiking shoes, we were momentarily in stride with groups of aerodynamically spandex covered biking pros. Without disbelief, we were soon left in the dust, but for a few seconds, before they passed us, we were in the lead. Life is all about these momentary spurts of victory.

Reaching my first destination disabled my stair descending abilities and I eagerly flopped down on a sofa for a time while reading a newspaper article on why Nickleback is the world’s most hated band (“I’d ask for a full refund, not just a nickelback” said one critic).

After inhaling a much desired lunch and glass of wine, we were back on the scenic route back home. At that point, it wouldn’t matter if my gel seat were made out of the fluffiest pillows. It was sore riding from here out.

Riding into the sunset, watching people play street hockey, walking dogs, hating Quebec roads on a whole new level, smelling the water along Lakeshore road. Yes, it was a great bike ride.

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