Last week was 16 degrees celsius
This week it was minus 26 with the wind chill.
Considering I live in Toronto, and it is the middle of February, this week’s temperature is much more in line with how things should be.
When people ask me if I’m cold, I say no. Which is normally the truth. Generally I’m very warm. It’s my fingers and toes that make a liar out of me.
Yet I cycle to work. Every day.
I cycle because I work in a location that is not easily accessible by public transit, the TTC. You would think that working in an office on a major street would prove to be easy to get to, but it’s not.
Should I want to take public transit, the trip goes something like this.
I walk 5 mins to get to the nearest transit stop. Then wait another 5 mins or more for the streetcar to arrive. When I board the streetcar it takes about 20 mins to where I need to get off. That is already more than the length of time it takes me to ride my bike to work.
And once I am off the street car, I have to walk another 20 mins!
The other route involves one street car and one subway and takes a little longer, but the walk at the end is only 10 mins. Total time for both, on average is about 45-50 mins.
According to Google maps, walking will take me 1 hour and 5 mins. Transit will take 41 mins. Cycling will take 26 mins. and if I drove it will take 23 mins! Numbers don’t lie, but sometimes GPS mapping can lead people in the wrong direction. http://tinyurl.com/jqh9gjb
In this cold weather, when I see other cyclists on the streets we wave to each other.
There is something of a comradery of cyclists in the city. Like we are all in this together.
Which is a lot more than the riders on public transit.
Most people, myself included, never pay much attention to other people on the subway, streetcar or bus. Instead we are absorbed in books, podcasts or music while we pass the time. Cyclists are a part of a solo community. It is in many ways a shared experience, but also a very solitary one. As a cycling commuter, there are few others to speak with. People don’t bike pool. We use our own pedal power. It is something that says we are doing something by ourselves yet for everyone else. We are getting out of the cars and feeling the minus 25 wind on our face. We are not afraid of the elements. We are at one with them.
I don’t just cycle to and from work. I cycle everywhere. Every day. It is by far the fastest and most convenient way to get from one point to another in Toronto. It is refreshing when it is minus 25 and more so when it is plus 25!