So I have two patterns of winter riding.
Some years I ride through. Whee!
Other years I stop at some point, take a break (often for the months of January and February) and start again in early spring. The latter always seems harder. It feels cold. It’s a big deal to get going again. It’s always March.
This year, I took time off in the worst of the winter because of the pandemic. In January we had another work from home thing and there was no need to commute by bike to my dining room table.
I rode my bike to work for the time in 2022 on Friday, March 18th. The roads were clear enough that I didn’t even need my adventure road/gravel bike. I went straight to the Brompton.
My route to work is relatively short and easy. It’s a noodle through my neighbourhood and then I cross one busy street and then I’m on campus, riding past the horses and cows.
But I’m reminded, getting back on my bike, of the safety issues involved in bike commuting because of what happened on my first March bike commute, 11 years ago. I’ve had two bike accidents that have landed me in hospital but this is the first and only one that involved a car.
See Thoughts on my first spring bike commute and why I take the lane for more about that fateful March morning and how it made me a safer, and more assertive, bike commuter.
Here’s the Facebook memories of the day that also remind me about it.
In the scheme of things, it wasn’t a serious accident. I broke no bones, required no stitches, and didn’t even get a concussion. (Thank you helmet!) I was picked up by an ambulance, strapped to a board, and spent the day in hospital getting all of me checked out.
That accident has ever since made getting back on the bike in March feel like a big deal, a momentous decision to ride. I’m aware that I was lucky.
Sarah also shared this TikTok with me about road safety and giving cyclists enough room on road.
After a week or so, it won’t feel like a big deal at all. I know that. But for right now, I’m feeling the weight of my choice to commute on two wheels.
I’m happy to be back on my bike but I’m nervous happy, if you know what I mean.
Update: Today’s memories from Facebook tell more of the story.