Monday, September 19, 2011
Beyond Reconciliation ..
Sometimes things happen and relationships fail. Sometimes one party in the relationship completely screws up and the other in unable to forgive. Sometimes vibes change and it is necessary to move on given that you're no longer on the same path seeking similar outcomes. Sometimes issues in relationships are simply beyond reconciliation.
I have travelled many miles with my car and we've had some fantastic times. But, in the last year, something has happened and our vibe has changed. He used to take care of me in a way: warning me when there was a radar gun around the corner, reminding me to keep my sticker valid, encouraging me to stop for entirely 3 seconds before proceeding through a stop sign. But now, well now, it's like he doesn't even care!
A month ago I was awarded $500 worth of motor vehicle infraction fines in six days. This may seem alarming to you. What may be even more alarming is that none of the $500 were due to speeding or reckless driving. Even MORE alarming is that this is not abnormal for me. I typically get pulled over every few months .. costing me, to date this year, a few thousand dollars. The August validating evidence of my bad car karma was the last straw for me. Shortly after the last ticket was handed over, I walked to my insurance broker's office and requested that they put a hold on my insurance (I mean, I was leaving for Europe 3 days later anyway). My decision may have been a little reactionary. However, after spending 3 weeks in Europe riding my bike and considering my options, I have decided that this may be the best decision I have made in a while! I DO have legs and I have a fleet of bicycles and, well, if the weather is really horrible, there is always public transit.
I am committing to this endeavour for one year, of which I am a week in. After getting two flats in two days on my race bike from hitting glass on my commute, getting a wet, rooster tail on my back from cycling through water, in addition to pulling a muscle from carrying a backpack while cycling, I decided to invest in a proper Dutch commuter (see photo above). The Dutch have been doing this for a while: they must know SOMETHING about the sit up geometry, the wider tires, the fenders and waterproof panniers!
I have noticed that my new bike gets quite a few looks and smiles from both walkers AND people in cars (especially in Markham where bikes are less common)! I have also noticed that riding in the rain isn't so bad when you have rain-friendly equipment and that police cars no longer induce a state of panic in me! And I've noticed how peaceful it is to ride a bike home from work at 9pm when the streets are quiet, the full moon is out and the crickets are chirping. Maybe this new relationship will work out just fine after all!