Monday, October 27

An Act of Citizenship?

So, I'm taking an Ecological Citizenship class this semester. Today we were talking about public acts of citizenship, specifically biking. So, I made a resolution not to use my car this week, except to travel to my class in Waterloo tomorrow afternoon.
When I got home this afternoon (I even avoided the temptation to do extra errands on the way home - I figured, if I'm gonna do it, might as well go all the way) I headed out for my first bike adventure. I needed to pick up something for Charlie from our vet clinic, which is about 3km away, and that seemed like a good start.
So, I got my jacket and helmet, found the keys for my bike lock, and headed out to the shed. Grabbed my bike, slipped out to the back alley, and off I went. The way there was rather uneventful, although I got pretty warm pretty quick, despite it being a cool windy day. Got to the vet clinic, locked my bike to the railing, slipped in with my reddish face and wind blown hair. Asked for the vial of medication I was there for, which of course came in a box bigger than I was expecting (I hadn't brought a backpack figuring it would be small enough to fit in my pocket). Folded up the 8.5' x 11' receipt, put my helmet back on, and out I walked. Get outside, shove the box in my jacket and hope it won't slip out, jam my mittens in my pockets because I don't seem to need them anymore. As I was trying to unlock my bike, my lock broke. The wire stuff just came out of the plastic lock connector thing as I was trying to remove the end that was SUPPOSED to come out. So, I'm standing there holding the two ends of my lock, trying to decide what to do with them. Can it be fixed? Maybe, but not likely. There's no garbage can around anyway, so, I wrap it up and stuff it in my hood, figuring I'll throw it out when I find a garbage can.
On the road again. Way home was smooth sailing. I finally find a garbage can, slow down, grab the lock from my hood, and plan on cruising by and dropping the lock in, but it turns out the only opening is facing away from the road. So I recoil the lock, and decide to hang it off one of my handle bars (easier than being choked by my jacket). On I cruise, finally found a garbage can that I could toss it in, and then carried on uninhibited.
Got home, bike back in shed, about a half hour later. Works for me, seeing as it probably wouldn't have been much shorter with the car, and I needed some exercise anyway.
So, things I learned today that I would need to do if I am going to make biking a regular thing:
- lighter windbreaker jacket needed - my lined one was way too hot once I got going.
- I need a new lock
- Some sort of storage things would be good. Only so many things will fit inside my jacket (and it's kind of distracting trying to make sure they don't fall out)
- A rear view mirror would be good. It's kind of disconcerting having to cross 4 lanes of one-way traffic to make a left-hand turn looking over your shoulder the whole time.

Perhaps these things could be purchased in lieu of gas money this week. We shall see...

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