Thursday, October 25, 2012

Commuting continued

I’m continuing to cycle to work despite daily 10-15 centimeter forecasts of snow in the B.C. Peace.  It’s not pleasant, enjoyable, pleasurable or any other synonym of the aforementioned three kilometer commute.  Chilly; slippery; scary-mask wearing; uphill; dodging pickups spinning out and confused motorists; winter cycling is turning into an extreme sport. 

Would I love to remote start a vehicle and hop into its waiting warmth instead of layering up and taking to two wheels?  A loud YES! But I choose to be car free this summer and am unwilling to pay for the convenience, ahem silliness, of owning a car in a small town.  Pedestrian and bike friendly it is not – there’s an overwhelming lack of sidewalks, never mind bike lanes in Chetwynd – but I maintain it’s better, or at least less bad, than owning a vehicle. 

As the handful of trails paralleling creeks that link schools and subdivisions are better suited for dog walking, nature strolls and midnight meanders than commuting I’m relegated to the road.  A road which, throughout much of the province is a bustling highway that briefly slows to 50 km/h, carries transports, log and coal trucks and motorists baffled at sharing a lane with cyclists.  Add in some concealed-by-the-snow ice and equally hidden holes and it truly is a recipe for a deadly spill. 

Sure, I’ve been offered rides but some lingering sense of pride, stubbornness, or a desire not to be an inconvenience prevents me from accepting.  No longer employed in the vicious, demanding and ultimately unforgiving forest industry, I still feel there’s something to prove and a toughness that can only be cultivated in the boreal to maintain.  I recognize it’s absolutely ridiculous to jump onto an exposed bicycle and slip around alongside one-ton pickups yet I continue to do it – at least twice a day.  

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