Stylocycle’s Blog

I *enjoy* public transit
January 13, 2009, 12:18 am
Filed under: Hop on the bus Gus

I wrote the following today in response to Miss Sarah’s post over at Girls on Bicycles. Sarah was writing about how people feel sorry for her when they find out she rides the bus around town, and how her mum frets about her riding a bike hither and yon. Miss Sarah has some interesting observations, and to those, I added my own. It seemed appropriately timed, as the road conditions today were too dangerous for cycling in to work so I took the bus instead. What follows was my response to Sarah’s post.

I *like* riding public transit! On my bus ride home today I watched a sleepy little girl nodding off in her father’s lap while he whispered sweetnesses into her ear — these made her smile sleepily, and it was a very dear thing to see. I like to say hello to the bus drivers, and I like to be picked up and dropped off only steps from where I need to be.

I feel sorry for all the cranky people in their little motorized living-rooms.

I also firmly believe that we make nothing that is wrong with our urban planning any better by encouraging every last one of our teenagers to get a license as soon as possible. And with the rate of teen death by motor vehicle accident (2nd only to suicide), I think there’s an argument to be made that giving a teenager a car is an act of hostility, not love.

We have a car, yes. It spends most of its days parked in the driveway. It gets used about once a week, even in winter. It is indispensable for getting to our little shack in the woods (over 300 km away), and for our once-a-month visits to the St. Lawrence market in Toronto, but we use it so infrequently that we are considering moving to a rent-as-needed arrangement.


Images from the snowy North
January 7, 2009, 1:37 am
Filed under: Get outta town!
warming the x-country ski boots by the fire

warming the x-country ski boots by the fire

Winter Contrasts

Winter Contrasts

Beloved ahead of me.

Who needs groomed trails when there are plenty of unused country roads?

New Year: One Photo.
January 6, 2009, 4:40 pm
Filed under: commute by bike, winter riding

I’m as pleased as punch to say that I started the first day of term without getting lazy, and instead stuck to my established routine. I rode into work on the Blue Beauty yesterday and it was really grand. The bike lanes are pretty much covered in the snow, but I can get right out into the main lanes with the BB, knowing that I’m really visible to the other cars, and that my saddle-bags encourage cars to give me a wider margin when they pass me (if they pass me). Interestingly, I always catch up to the cars at the lights. Really, everyone should just drive a lot more slowly in the city — we’d all get there in about the same amount of time anyway. We’d just spend *less* time stopped at the lights.
Anyway, riding temperatures this week range from minus 14 to minus 1, plus whatever windchill is out there.
Therefore, my riding gear of choice is definitely as follows:
Layers on top that include: a tank top, my icebreaker marino wool ‘under shirt’ and my Irish wool sweater. My Utex winter/rain coat does a good job over that for providing windbreak and waterproofing.

My face is generally covered by a neck warmer pulled up to my Scott ski goggles, and I wear my ski helmet (as in the photo below) because it has lots of padding, is super warm, and has vents that allow sound in at the ears. The goggles protect not only against cold, but against anything that might get chucked up from car tires.

Yesterday’s footwear was a pair of high-heeled Fluevogs with bootwarmers inserted in them. I wore dress pants to lecture in and they are cut too long to wear my usual flat boots with the grippy rubber soles.

When I arrive at the office, I just change out of the sweaters and into a dress shirt. I expect that I will function pretty much like so through to March.

And hey, as an added bonus: I weigh no more now *after Christmas binges* than I did before. The cycling continues to keep back-pain at bay, and is likely to get more comfortable when I purchase my new seat in the next month or so.

as for skiing, also for biking.

Bundled: as for skiing, also for biking.