It was about one year ago that I signed up for a year’s worth of bixi!
I remember when I first heard about the bicycle sharing system last spring. I was a little hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. After all, I owned a bike, a bike I like very much. And I didn’t want to feel constrained by the 30 minute free period. Would it catch on? Would I use it?
Well it didn’t take all that long for me to warm up to the idea. After all, at the time I was living at the top of a very steep hill, in an apartment building that did not allow bicycles in the apartments, the stairs or the elevators. They did not have enough bike locking stations in their garage, so where did they expect me to leave my bike, in the garage unlocked so someone could steal it, or out on the street where anyone with the right tools could snatch it up? Dave signed up and it made his life 10x better. Then we started to apartment hunt to move in together, and I realized that while living a 10 minute walk away from work was great, if I wanted to have a good “after work” life, I was going to have to move a bit farther away. And taking the bus and metro during the summer months just wasn’t going to cut it. There was no way I was going to be stuffed in like a sardine with everyone hot and sweaty. Just not happening.
So I signed up for a year under the idea that even if I didn’t really like it, I was only down $78, which is practically the cost of a monthly bus pass, so not a huge amount in the big scheme of things. And I feel like that small amount has paid off big time. Unless it’s pouring of rain, I bike to and from work everyday. Anywhere I’ve got to go within a couple of km of the apartment, I go by bike. It’s so nice not to have to rely on bus schedules or bus routes. Living in Plateau-Mile End, there are lots of places I go to on a regular basis that are just a tiny bit too far to walk (at least unless I’ve got tons of time to spare), but no bus or metro will bring me there directly. In most cases, it takes less time to walk than to take transit. But with bixi, I hop on a bike and I’m there in minutes. I get exercise without even really thinking about it.
I’ve adapted too. I now have lots of tights to wear under dresses and skirts when I don’t want to have to worry about flashing everyone. I’m no longer afraid of biking in downtown traffic. As Dave puts it: assume all the cars want to kill you, and remember that if you’re in an accident with a pedestrian or another cyclist, you’ll probably survive. I just go about my way, watching out for others and that’s it. I’ve pared down my purse from a huge hulking thing to a more manageable bag that fits in the front basket.
Yay for bixi!