Driving to work

This blog is going to issue mainly from my bike, but it begins in a car. I’m driving a rented car to my office, down the route I usually ride every day, once in the morning, once in the evening. Half an hour each way, 25 minutes if I’m in a hurry. I never cease to be amazed at how different this route seems in a car. The invisible shell I always feel surrounding me when I’m on my bike is no longer invisible, it’s real, made of metal. The bikes whizz past me, or I past them, but the rhythm they move to is so different to mine, it’s like we live on different worlds, or at least according to different laws of physics. I’m burning all that fossil fuel, and they still get off at the lights faster than I do, and (it’s 9 in the morning) they are going to get to wherever they are going a lot faster than I am. But I hardly have to do anything to make this thing go. I just lean back, listen to the radio, and I’m on my way. And staying pretty warm.
Sometimes when I’m cycling I try to remember this other parallel world, where if you’re following the speed limit on Harbord Street, the time it would take you to push the rear end of a bike flat with the front tire into a brick wall is only about 1/6 second.

One response to “Driving to work

  • expatlogue

    Hi John, I’ll be interested to see how this blog takes shape. My family and I moved to Canada from just outside London, UK about 15 months ago. We lived here, in Whitby, without a car for the first 12months. That is when we realised Car is King in Canada! Everything is tailored for the driver, without much thought for the cyclist or pedestrian. There are commercial properties here that are unreachable without a car – and I don’t mean in terms of distance, I’m talking accessibility, no footpaths.
    My husband cycled to his office down by the lake all throughout the winter, and we walked to where we needed to get to (public transport is S**t). Transporting the weekly shop for a family of five was a challenge (think big boxes of nappies, watermelons, etc.).
    The aggravation between cyclists and drivers here is unbelievable. Drivers do think they OWN the road, potentially at the cost of a cyclists life!! I guess things are a little different in Tdot but still stuck in the Dark ages when compared to what we were used to in the UK!
    Good Luck with the blog…

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