Sunday, May 30, 2010

Veronica and Me and our Bicycling Adventure

Today marks day 1 of 'Bike Week Halifax' which is super convenient because now I am 'le ready'.

Let two weeks go by and the difference a few 'safety' videos make! I am now officially a City Bicyclist Extraordinaire. From country mouse to city slicker, oh yeah! How did this happen, you ask? Well...

Veronica and me all ready for Yoga in the Park! Please disregard crooked helmet...
The biggest revelation was this ridiculously awesome bike safety videos (Part 1, Part 2) over at An Adventure Called Bicycling (a must site with awesome tips and photos). Best tip ever: I am a vehicle on the road. OHHHHh....! So don't hug the curb eh? I can do that.

Also, Veronica has officially been 'pimped' and is now sporting a beautiful bell and basket, which I heart very much.
 I love my new DringDring Bell, it is very loud and beautiful!
The bell is from 'dringdring', a Canadian (Montréalais) company that hand paints with non-toxic paint and glaze metal bells. This one is a limited edition Art Deco style that you can't order online (I assume, since I emailed the owner- in FRENCH I might add, but she just never emailed me back... lame), which I was ecstatic to find in a local bike store on Friday. I was so excited in fact, that I marched up to the cashier dude and announced: 'I found my bell!' (he didn't quite understand my level of Joy...).

The basket was a gift from awesome friends Heather and Kevin, who found the perfect metal basket from the Superstore for 7$. It is perfect.

 This Saturday Andrew, Kevin and I biked down to the park to practice yoga (and were joined by four others). I was able to bring my water, snacks AND a yoga block in my basket. Pedaling down the busy streets, I confidently used my three feet of road, going in the left or through lanes in intersections and even used the correct hand signals! 

Riding back from the park, however was a different story altogether. I have found out that the ride from our apartment to Point Pleasant Park is just slightly downhill, which is perfect. Unfortunately, after an hour of practicing in the hot sun, the ride back against crazy maritime wind and slightly uphill is NOT fun. 

By the time we reached about 10 blocks away I made Andrew get off his bike and we walked the remainder. My legs felt like jelly. Hah. Mental note: strong yoga-walking legs do not equal strong biking legs. Also, eco-sunscreen is a new must.

I am no longer afraid of biking in the city. Now if only I can swallow the whole '45 minutes to get anywhere on a bike' and 'paranoia that someone will steal my beautiful Veronica and her Bell' issues....

  Our 'Yoga in the Park' bikes and Kevin! We actually had one more join the crew afterwards! Four Bicycling Yogis
View of the sailboats from my mat
Andrew skipping rocks pre-yoga
How goes your bicycling adventure?
(ps- Happy Long Weekend my American Eco-Yogi-nis!)

Article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at 


  1. excellent! congrats! i love the bell! by the way, you will LOVE the fact that you are yogini, as after significant biking it will shorten your muscles and the yoga will stretch them back out (they even have a 'yoga for cyclists' class here).

  2. I am completely in love with your bike. And so excited for your adventure! I am jealous that you are fearlessly turning left at intersections. I'm still scared to do that, for reasons I will explain in my biking update post (coming next week). Way to GOOOOOOOO!!!

    Did I mention I love your bike and all its extras?!

    I know what you mean about yoga legs don't equal bike legs, too - it is amazing what different activities demand from our bodies! And I think the passage of time on a bike will change as we keep going. In the future, we'll be faster, for one thing! ;) Plus, we may even start thinking about it differently - I'm already at the point where I WANT to walk or bike everywhere. It feels like an extra bit of "downtime" in my day. I love it.

  3. the bell is beautiful and the website told me which store you bought it at which is in my neighbourhood. My only concern is that it is so pretty that I would worry about it getting stolen.

  4. I was looking at your first pic, going "where's this Veronica person?" Then I realized she's your bike! haha. I would like to get a hybrid bike. Is that was you have?

  5. Oh how cool!
    What an excellent and fun post to read! Yay for you!!! and your bike rocks!
    That bell is sooooooo cool. Keep on pedaling girlfriend!

  6. @EcoGrrl: yes oh my goodness, the yoga is so necessary on my tight hammies!! :)

    @A Green Spell: awww- thank you! Can't wait to hear about your biking adventure. you might be envious that I turn left, but I am so NOT at the level of actually preferring my bike for errands....

    @Susanna Eve: your neighbourhood in Halifax or Qc? I think I bought the last Art Deco bell at Cyclesmith... but there must be a TON in Qc. :)
    Yep- I worry about it getting stolen, but then I worry about my bike getting stolen. it's a roadblock on the whole "using the bike" thing....

    @Grace: haha, yes Veronica is my bike :) She's a vintage 1970's roadbike... i'm pretty sure before they even made hybrids. She was previously loved (very well I might add, not ONE bit of rust, all original stuff- brakes, seat pad, gears etc).
    needless to say, the whole second hand no worries about being stolen thing is totally out the window. cuz she's a beautiful vintage...
    she lives in our apartment actually cuz i'm too paranoid to keep her outside. hah.

    @BohoMom: thank you!!! :)

  7. It's been a holiday weekend here too!

    Yup, bike muscles are completely different to walking muscles. You'll get used to it within two weeks I promise. In the meantime do a LOT of quad and hip stretches or you will seize up xx

  8. Awe, congrats on your new found city biking confidence! I am jealous. :)
    I'll have to check out those videos. For now I'm sticking to the sidewalks and trails.

  9. Be safe my friend. A car ran into a bicyclist at lunch time today right beside my work. The car ran completely over the bike at an intersection! The biker was standing up but it looked like he hurt his leg. He was flinging his hands, so he was in pain. Ambulance came. Be safe, be safe, be safe! Getting hurt isn't worth it. You can't save the world if you are in the hospital! :) Seeing that made my heart cry. Canada needs bike lanes like they have in Europe!

  10. That bell looks awesome! Glad you're enjoying it and feeling more confident in getting out there. Bicycle legs are definitely acquired, but with practice you'll do awesome and that hill will be no competition. :)

  11. I just took five days off from biking, which my legs needed...though they've been walking in sand every one of those five days, which, in terms of tightening up the hamstrings, makes biking look like nothin'...just another reason to be grateful for yoga (which definitely saves knees, even if it doesn't make your bike muscles stronger--but yeah, I've had times where I've been biking a lot, and then did a lot of hiking, and found that, on the one hand, my legs felt good & strong and had me chugging along, but then I ended up with shin splints, because certain muscles that are essential for hiking aren't engaged at all in biking)...

  12. Your bike and new bell are lovely! I find it's such a joy to get on the bike, so I'm glad you're getting braver on the roads with the appropriate safety support.

    I find that if you keep at the cycling, muscles tend to respond pretty quickly and within a few weeks you'll be racing along faster than before and you won't notice those extra 10 blocks at all :)

  13. yes - good road saftey makes one a lot more confident on the bike. When I started commuting across London (UK) the transport for london people ran 121 sessions - 2 x 2 hrs and all for £20. Bargain.

    It made me a much more confident and happy cyclist - owning your bit of road is important.

    Now I am not in London it isn't so easy to get by without a car, but I do manage to do some of my errands by walking instead.

    The rest are a car ride away and public transport here SUCKS



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