Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Biking Victoria

Adam and I bought bikes recently at a used bike shop called Recyclistas. Besides selling bikes, they repair them and offer classes on how to repair your own bike. They're located right by the Galloping Goose Trail (fun name, right?), which is a rail trail that starts in Victoria and goes out west to what I think of as the wild part of the island (I may be wrong, but my impression is that besides Victoria, Vancouver Island all small towns or wilderness). We wandered around looking at the bikes they had outside until someone asked if we needed help, to which we answered, "We know nothing about bikes! Show us some good ones!" The guy looked at us, asked our heights, and then said, "Try that one, that one, and that one," able to tell right away what bikes would fit us even though they all looked pretty much the same to me. We rode different ones around on the trail and each found one we liked, so now we're real bike owners! (I feel like the Walmart mountain bike I got when I was 10 and had until we moved doesn't count.) 

It's easier to bike here than I expected; the streets in our neighborhood aren't busy at all, so most of the time you're not riding with cars, and when you do get to the busier streets they often have bike lanes. Some don't, but I've only had to bike on those a little bit so far; it's normally easy to avoid them and just go a different way. Yesterday I biked to the post office, and today Adam and I dropped our car off at the shop and biked home. That was great--super convenient since we only have one car now--except that it was 8:30am and raining. We were both soaked, freezing, and exhausted (it was mostly uphill) when we got back, but I was still glad we did it--cheaper than paying for the bus, and better exercise!

I'm weirdly excited about getting around by bike; I guess it's just because I've only ever biked for fun before, rather than using my bike to get somewhere I needed to go. Until I moved to Buffalo I lived in the country, so you couldn't just bike to the post office in under 10 minutes (also, my family currently lives on a mountain--biking down is great, but going back up is brutal!), and where I lived in Buffalo it was too scary to bike much; there was always so much traffic and most streets didn't have bike lanes. So it's cool to live somewhere where biking is possible and encouraged.

part of the selection at Recyclistas

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