Given that I've committed to going car-free for the month of November, I thought I should start biking more, so that I'm ready to go once November rolls around. This has been particularly wonderful because the weather has been really nice for the last few days. I told myself that this weekend I wouldn't drive anywhere, and so instead I biked. This was no small feat, as the majority of my weekends are generally comprised of shopping for groceries and baking. I did all of the grocery shopping this weekend either on foot or on my bike. While it was challenging - particularly due to the fact that I haven't been biking much recently - it was so much fun!
Yesterday morning I got up and ate some breakfast, then got ready to go to Save On Foods on Brooksbank in North Vancouver. This store is about ten minutes by car from my home and I tend to go there occasionally because they have an awesome bulk foods section (a great selection of organic bulk foods), and this weekend I was in particular need of bulk foods because I had planned to do some baking.
The weather was fantastic for biking, not so cold your ears get frostbite and your eyes are tearing the entire time, but not warm enough that you get super sweaty. The ride to Save On Foods was mostly downhill. It took about twenty minutes, I would say. I enjoyed looking around, and appreciating the weather. We are lucky in the Lower Mainland because there are lots of bike lanes so that we don't have to contend with vehicles. I am surprisingly comfortable biking, even when there is quite a bit of traffic.
The way home is mostly uphill, along with a really steep part at Riverside on Mount Seymour Parkway. I made it up without stopping, which was all the more impressive given I had a heavy courier-type bag (my seatbelt bad that I've mentioned before) that I was carrying.
Today I had meant to get up early and go do the Grouse Grind, which Tim and I have been doing on the weekends again after my hiatus of a few weeks. I didn't get up early enough and knew I had to go and do some grocery shopping at the local Safeway, so I walked over there instead. This was to pick up the fruits and vegetables that we plan to use during the week. Then I got changed into bicycling gear and biked from Parkgate in North Vancouver to Commercial Drive in East Vancouver - about 11 km each way! I know this is less impressive for people that bike often, but it was a genuine workout for me, particularly given the fact that I had also gone biking the day before. I met up with my friend Leyna, then went and did the rest of the grocery shopping that we needed at Drive Organics and Sweet Cherubim, which are right near where Leyna lives. The bike ride home was quite a bit of uphill and was also quite long, but I managed. Here is a picture from the middle of the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge:
Something that I must say for biking is that it turns mundane chores and tasks into adventures. I love it. I'm just a little disappointed that I didn't start biking earlier in the season. I've resolved to bike as much as I can from now on, whenever the weather is nice enough for it. Since the weather is going to be nice for the next couple days, I'm going to give my legs a break tomorrow and bike to and from work on Tuesday!