Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cycling is Hard!

And I haven't even gotten started yet! I've spent the last week doing research. Yes, research. On bike riding. Gone are the days where you just hop on a bicycle and ride to your hearts content. No my friend. There are rules. Rules aplenty! One thing I did know was that here in BC it is a requirement by law to wear a helmet while cycling. After doing a little reading on the topic, I was led to one law after another after another. It's almost become overwhelming, and I can honestly see why so many people don't bother to park their car and hop on a bicycle. That, and the requirements seem downright scary. For example, cyclists are considered vehicles and are therefore required to ride on the road with traffic. It is illegal to ride on the sidewalk. Period. I get why this law was put into place, and it would make sense if there weren't so many flaws with it. One major flaw is the serious lack of separate bike lanes which I feel is very very important. The way our roads are designed here are for the most part ridiculous on their own, and adding a cyclist to the mix I think is crazy. Another thing is not all cyclists are hardcore cyclists. For many, the idea of riding a bike on a major roadway next to crazy, road raging monsters is just too much. I am one of those people. Yes, it has a lot to do with the fact that I haven't been on a bike since I was 13 years old. When I rode a bike there were no helmet laws and nobody gave a you-know-what if you rode on the sidewalk. That was where EVERYBODY rode. Well, except for those hard-core-er's. So coming into this is, well, a bit daunting to say the least. The other thing I have an issue with, is that my children are required by law to do the same thing, ride in traffic. Gabe will be in a trailer but even that scares me. He would be down near the ground with a front row seat of huge tires rolling right by him. Ummmmm. Yeah. Scary. Then there is Vaeh. My little 7 year old, dainty little flower girl, is required to ride her bike alongside traffic. NO. WAY. I'm sorry but law or no law, I'm not allowing my babies to be that close to cars whipping by. I keep getting these images flashing through my head of her hitting a bump or just losing control and falling off her bike. Bam. No more Vaeh. So if it comes down to me getting a ticket because my daughter, or all 3 of us are on the sidewalk, so be it. I'm sorry to anyone who is reading this that is an avid rider but the safety of my children are way more important than any law out there, especially when that law is actually putting them in harms way. Until there are more cyclists on the road, and until there is more infrastructure in place keeping a solid barrier between a cyclist and a car, you will find me and my family ever so carefully, respectfully and politely making our way past pedestrians on the sidewalk. Now, all of that said, I do plan on planning our routes ahead of time every time we go out so we aren't taking major roadways and instead finding paths through parks, down "dead-end" (to cars) roads and on traffic calmed streets to get to our destination. I just think it really sucks that there isn't much carefreeness (yes, it's a word) to our society, and we are all bogged down with so many rules. I know there are people who are pro-alltherules but I'm not. Sorry. But, I'm going to make the most of things because at least I am able to bike ride where I live, and do it for free. Who knows how long that will last.

On a very positive note, I bought a bike!!! I don't have any pictures yet
but I will share some soon, I promise. I'm waiting for a nice sunny day to take it outside and snap some pictures. It's been raining here for 752 days. Okay maybe not that many. It feels like it though. I found my bike on Craigslist for half the price it would be new, and my bike is only 6 months old. I think I totally lucked out finding it. My bike new in the store would be $800 including tax. No thank you. Factor in the fact that I am boycotting the HST as much as I possibly can, as it is already in effect on certain items, and I am one of many who are against it. So by buying my bike used I managed to avoid it. Yay me! Next thing I need to get is a trailer for Gabe. I've been browsing Craigslist and saw a few on there that I would like, and after doing my research on the best trailer to buy, I settled on a Croozer 535. Ideally I would LOVE to have a Chariot trailer (*drool*) but those puppies require one to take out a second mortgage on their house. Given that Gabe is already 2.5, he's only got a couple more years before he's out of a trailer and on to a bike of his own, or a trail-a-bike. The investment in a Chariot just isn't worth it to me, even for a used one. A Croozer is a close second to a Chariot, in my opinion, and about half the price. For the trailer I really wanted to buy a used one, again to avoid tax and to save money, but after seeing how old some of the trailers are that people are trying to sell, and after going to look at one in person and seeing how beat up it was, I decided I should go new in this area. Gabe's safety is the most important thing, and I don't want him riding around on bent wheels, and attachment wheels that no longer function. Both of those were problems with the one I looked at. And I don't know if the person I'm buying from put it together properly either! The Croozers are great because they come with all of the different attachments included, Chariots and other models you have to purchase each kit separately (ie: jogging stroller kit, stroller kit, etc.). That equals more money on top of an already expensive item. We're all about saving money here people. So I'm saving my pennies and hope to purchase this trailer in the next couple of weeks, just in time for the Teddy Bear Picnic that is coming up! I can't wait for summer. Mostly I can't wait for the rain to stop.


  1. I am stopping by to say that I love your blog and am now following!

    I am still new at this blogging thing and am need of new followers, so please follow me as well. You can find me at:

    -Jessica a.k.a Nya's mom

  2. I'm with you, it is scary to ride so close to traffic. We don't use our bikes very much, especially here in town.

    Thanks for choosing to follow my blog about float cabin living in Coastal BC. I see you are from BC too. It's the greatest place to live! If you ever have a question just leave a comment or use the link in my profile to send an e-mail. - Margy



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