I have been living in Toronto now for four years and I have never had a bike since moving here. Well, no, I HAVE had an old bike with me this whole time and although I have lugged it around to two apartments, I have never fixed it up and have never actually tried riding in this city.
Frankly, I am scared.
But I also totally see the convenience aspect as well as the money-saving opportunities of having a bike. Last fall I bought one off a friend of mine and it has since been sitting first at my friends’ place and now takes up residence in my living room. It could probably use a little bit of TLC before I hit the streets, but overall it is in great shape.
I guess my anxiety comes over the fact that I have known a few people who have been in serious enough bike accidents that result in fairly serious and permanent damage to their bodies, and I also know of a few “friends of friends” who have lost their lives while on bikes in the city. And I know that so much of it is circumstantial and who knows how the people on their bikes were behaving, but it still kind of freaks me out.
My plan is to start small and bike around my hood and then branch out more and more and see how I feel. Maybe this makes me sound like a sissy to the people who bike around all the time and don’t mind it one bit, but I’d rather be safe than sorry!
And don’t even get me started on the cab drivers in this city…eeeeep!