Almost a year ago, I spent some time here setting out the fears and hesitations that have kept me from setting out on my own, in the city, on my bike. The post was the culmination in a short series in which I thought about Travel and Independence as I moved into retirement. Forty-some years into a happy and sustaining marriage, I worried sometimes about comfortable dependencies that have settled into place. In the post about biking, I fretted that as much as I was enjoying a newly adopted activity, riding through the city's many bike routes, I hadn't done so solo but always waited for my husband to accompany me.
And I promised that I would get the bike off the apartment balcony, wrestle it through the livingroom and out the heavy door, down the hallway to the elevator, through those doors that always, always, always shut too quickly, and then wrangle the bike through the last two doors to the basement exit, one of which requires propping the first door open with hand or foot, holding the bike steady with another limb, and extending the key fob forward to the second door until the "click" releases said door to then be dragged open along a path just millimeters from the bike's front tire. Not even in the lane yet, and I'm wanting a rest. . . .
No, it wasn't my anxieties anymore that kept me from biking solo after last summer's end. Rather, circumstances seemed to keep me consistently away or busy anytime we had cycling weather. By the time we were moving back into more clement times again this spring, we were in the midst of our big move. Many reasonable excuses, I think you will agree. (And I worked on my independence via a solo trip to visit my daughter's family in Rome in January
Pedalling to the bike route so early in the morning meant little traffic, and I was cycling confidently around the Stanley Park Seawall before 7 to greet the morning sun. Thinking, "Woman, What took you so long?!" I can't say that I also thought, "Wow! You are so badass!" But perhaps this would be my version of earning that adjective. . . The lame version of badass? Is that an oxymoron? (See what I tend to mistrust binaries?)