Choosing The Right Bicycle

What is your lifestyle radius?

A couple years ago I brought a mountain bike back from Whistler Canada. For three months I treated the Toronto terrain like the Rocky Mountains. Each morning I’d get up for work, stuff my power suit in a knapsack and jet down Mt. Pleasant at a ridiculous speed. It was so insane I nearly cried, but sort of liked the near death experience.

Once locked outside work, I’d skip across to the neighbouring café and strip down in the washroom, do my make-up and exit in a somewhat crumpled skirt with beads of sweat still cooling on my brow. Occasionally I would purchase a tea to diminish my guilt for treating the café lou as my makeshift change room. Sometimes work people would see me in my short shorts before I made it to the café…which was always somewhat humiliating. That said, my hardcore biking gained me cred with the mail room dudes and they invited me to hit steep slopes with them for Saturday dirt biking. I pretended to have a prior engagement “ah..sorrry, baby shower”. Reality was I was scared shitless and realized that my persona as ‘downtown dirt biker’ was somewhat of a façade. Oh well, the shtick was short lived as a few weeks later my poor bike got stolen. That was the end of that adventure.

The next summer I decided to buy a shitty bike from a questionable dealer..i.e cash only. I had fun tinkering around Kensington but week by week something would fail miserably; my brakes, the chain, it squeaked and had zero strength to pull me up a hill. I started to resent my jalopy of a bike but then two weeks later it got stolen. I blame Igor.

My frustrations of bike theft eventually subsided and I recently found myself craving a smooth ride around town. A couple years older and perhaps wiser, I decided to chase an investment that would last longer than one season, a bicycle that would properly fit me through and through. Like dating, it takes a few dirty and broken down rides to figure out the best fit.

Off to Curbside Cycle I went and within seconds of waltzing in the door I began a sort of twenty questions to determine what type of bicyclist I am.

The first thing Curbside Cycle wanted to know was my ‘lifestyle radius’. (Sounds very technical but essentially this means ‘where and how do you bike’.)
“Are you east-west or north-south?”
“East-west, most North I’ll typically go is St. Clair” (what a downtown snob)
“What will you be using the bike for?”
”Brunch, work, groceries, long and slow evening rides” (so hardcore)

My low-key everyday bike habits were best suited for a three-speed Batavus – which could easily accommodate my multi-tasking and high heels.

I test drove it on a warm and breezy jaunt in the Annex – circling around the parking lot at Royal St. Georges…which brought back haunting memories of lying drunk in a coat room. Anyhow – I was sold instantly.

Tonight after a perogie pit stop at Future’s, I will ride my beautiful Old Dutch home. Oh the adventures we will have this summer!
Stay tuned as each week we will update you on our sweet summer rides, bike fashion, etiquette, love-making to our bike etc…

1 Comment

  1. laurenvalentine
    April 16, 2009

    Fantastic column! I bike everywhere and LOVE IT, except when the leg of my adorable brand new pants gets caught in the spoke and mangled (I’m very bitter). Lesson learned though — tuck pants into socks while on bicycle, even though I look like a dofus.

    Can’t wait to read more Bike Diaries!

  2. rlissner
    April 17, 2009

    I want this job. It is ideal.

    Have fun biking around TO! I sure do. And I hope you remember to get your bell, lights, and reflective tape. 🙂

    P.S. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/16/fashion/16CODES.html

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