Biking for Beginners

A Strange Story From a Stranger person: How I lost my bike pedals downtown Toronto.

I should have probably invested in a better bike, but when my sister’s boyfriend advised me that they were disposing of their old wheels, I jumped at the opportunity to save some cash. I had my father put air in the tires and send me the approval that it would not suddenly fall apart, but this is one of the few occasions where he was very wrong.

I was travelling home from a hot yoga class in 30-degree weather wearing thrifted workout gear that had far too many stitches from semi-repaired tears. My hot pink yoga mat, which I strapped onto my back using a roll of duct tape, was stained with blueish-black patches from water damage that occurred during my move. My wet hair peeking out the bottom of my larger-than-necessary blue helmet only added to this look of prosperity.

Toronto is notorious for the number of bikers on the road. As this was prime traffic hour, I found myself surrounded by approximately ten bikers at all time. While the others constantly rang their bells to advise their nearby presence, my bike rather announced its own presence with screeching tires and a ticking frame.

When the cracking noises grew louder, I should have taken this as a warning sign, but I was far too eager to get home in order to clean up. As I am approaching a major intersection, I suddenly feel the pedals beneath my feet vanish, and look back to find the pedals had entirely fallen off the bike.

How was this even possible? I have never heard of pedals suddenly fall off a bike but because I was at an intersection, and with so many other people on the road, I quickly picked up my pedals. Out of sheer panic and lack of a better spot to place them, I stuck them down my shirt and instead of dismounting my bike, I scootered it to the other side of the road as quickly as possible.

At this point, I can hear the laughter of fellow bikers above my screeching tires as they pass me, which somehow motivated me to act more confidently and continue to scooter my bike with a smug attitude. Imagine the kind of look you’d see on a three-year-old after he thinks he just outsmarted you. I gave each and every passerby a look that said: “these bike pedals in my shirt are a new fashion trend, how come you’re not doing it?”

I was a little too proud.

When I got home, I found the culprit to be a missing screw and used my excellent mechanical skills to stick the pedals back in place. It’s always exciting to live life on the edge, never knowing when my bike pedals will finally give again.

I should probably go to a shop.

Coffee Date: Forget Me Not

I stopped by a small café near my home to compose a post for the series On Being Ill titled ‘A Canary in a Coal Mine’. Hidden at the Adelaide and Portland amongst a majority of residential condos and homes, this lovely little space offers plenty of coffees, tea and pastries, as well as homemade soups and sandwiches. The rustic space has beautiful farmhouse prints on the walls and dried flowers above the tables. The walls are lined with little gifts from local merchants for purchase.

I ordered a flat white made with almond milk which was so tasty that I returned to refill my cup. There are plenty of comfortable seating and outlets to charge laptops as you work, and a variety of den-like spaces to work in silent areas. The WIFI is fast and efficient and the service is lovely. My only difficulty was that I found the café to be quite chilly, and while I am always cold, I would recommend that those looking to enjoy a coffee or a conversation bring an extra sweater.

I will absolutely begin attending this little spot regularly.