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9 Reasons Urban Cycling Makes You an Overall Hardcore Person
By Claire McFarlane, Illustration by Ian Sullivan Cant
When I first moved to Toronto, my dear sister (an already city-savvy cyclist) gave me her old bike, a helmet and a lock and a few words of wisdom about cycling in Toronto. Advice such as, “Always cross streetcar tracks at a 90 degree angle to avoid getting stuck in them,” have come in extremely handy since. Now, almost a year later, I am more in love than ever with cycling and rely on my bike as my primary form of transportation. Over the past year I’ve realized that cycling has allowed me to evolve into perhaps an overall better, tougher and more hardcore person, and I figure it likely helps others accomplish the same. (Please be advised that the following reasons cycling helps you become an overall hardcore person are solely the representation of my personal opinions and may not reflect the views of all or other cyclists.)
- You are the epitome of efficiency. You have the power to combine your workout and your commute while enjoying an amazing urban adventure.
- You develop a kind of courage that you might not normally have, the kind that allows you to yell at asshole drives that park in the bike lane and who don’t leave you enough space on the road. *
- You, on occasion, may wipe out, but you pick yourself up and keep riding; a little road rash isn’t enough to kill your cycling spirit.
- You develop a bit of an ego after the first few times you pass the same fancy car stuck in traffic on your commute.
- You are completely independent; you never need to rely on a second party to get where you need to go.
- You have successfully debunked the old tale that being out in the rain causes illness because you have biked through countless downpours and never missed a beat.
- You are always on time for everything because almost no amount of traffic or TTC outages can slow you down.
- Your pants start to get worn out in the crotch but you can use the 5 minutes (or more) you saved not sitting in traffic to change out of your ‘bike pants’ and into your ‘work pants’.
- Your coworkers may make fun of your helmet but you brush it off because you know just how hardcore you really are (and that your hair looks great).
I strongly believe that cycling helped me to not only survive my first year living in the city but helped me to thrive and to thoroughly enjoy the past 12 months.
*Not all motorists who park in the bike lane or who are not willing to share the road are necessarily assholes, they may have a good reason for doing so (but they really shouldn’t be).
Claire McFarlane has been the dandy managing editor for the last six months and is returning to Ryerson’s journalism school in the fall.
Coming Soon: Ryerson journalism student – and brand new city cyclist – Jenna Campbell will join the dandy team and share with readers her perspective on cycling for the first time in Toronto.
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End of the Road for Ride For A Dream
City Cyclist: Toronto construction and bad bike lanes
dandyARCHIVE: Heels on Wheels with Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon
A new Torontonian’s first bike (coming soon)
A new Torontonian’s first bike ride (coming soon)