A Summer Fling: My best ride yet

Each summer I choose a new activity or perhaps not new but something I haven’t done in a long time. One summer it was golf, the next it was rollerblading (I suck) and this year it is cycling. It isn’t that I’m cheating on my golf clubs (my game also sucks) or my rollerblades. But there are some things I get from my bike that I don’t from my golf game: adrenalin, the sweaty satisfaction of a good workout and the thought of my thighs toning up at every rotation of my  pedal (and what woman wouldn’t be turned on by this).

Why haven’t I given my rollerblades a loving caress? They sit in the trunk  of my car just in case I should be spontaneously inspired: it’s the middle of August and it hasn’t happened has yet.  I’m very afraid. That is because the second or third time I attempted to blade, I ended up rolling down a small hill, towards a big old tree and the only way to stop myself before heading front first was by landing on my butt! It’s a good thing that I was at the front of the line when the Lord was handing out ample booty!   Needless to say, my blades and I have a very shaky relationship. Who wants to continue a relationship without trust! My bike, has been good to me so far, no falling, it goes as fast or as slow as I want and need, it follows my lead. I’m always in control!

My current crush is an inexpensive hybrid bicycle, by far the decision to ride has been one of the best I’ve made in a long time. I’ve discovered areas of Toronto that I didn’t know existed. But largely I’ve seen places through different eyes. The things one doesn’t normally see while driving. Mind you, walking is one of my favourite activities: it allows me to smell the roses, and to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors while keeping me sane one-step at a time. Even so, you can only go so far on legs, wheels allow you a little more distance and adventure.

One of my beloved routes has to be the bike path on the Lakeshore, where I’ve ridden from Parklawn to the Beach (I pat myself on the back for that one!) It is euphoric: riding in the cool crisp morning air while viewing the lake.  There is nothing like it! And if you are lucky enough you may come up on a dragon boat race, gaggles of geese or other friendly runners, cyclists and rollerbladers. Actually, for a little while there was the exception of the stink that came from the makeshift garbage dumps in the parking lots along the Lakeshore.

My rides have taken me on amazing bike trails that weave through beautiful parks (High Park) and residential areas. I’ve seen families – mother, father with 2. 5 children in tow, enjoying family time on bikes. I’ve also noticed (especially downtown) women riding in their designer business wear, heels (yes, little short heels) and coach bags (or the like) oh so stylishly draped across their chests. Obviously, their bike ride is more about getting from A to B and less about recreation.  I recommend that everyone re-experience this childhood activity. I know the summer is almost over…but now is a good time to get a bike and accessories on sale! At the very least, you will be ready for summer 2010. There are many bike trails throughout the city.  Check out, for info and a cycling map.

Perhaps next summer my main activity will change…my bike maybe relegated to the same, “been there, done that” along with my clubs and blades. But I doubt that…distraction is highly unlikely when you are truly satisfied.

Reposted from lisaliving magazine.

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