If you had told me three years ago that I would ride my bike in the winter almost daily, I would have called you crazy.
Outside in the winter I'm cold, exposed, and wishing I was inside. Riding my bike was the last thing I wanted to do.
Now, I feel invigorated, capable, and refreshed when I come home from riding my bike.
When I bought my e-bike I fell in love with biking again. I gradually found myself choosing to ride my e-bike instead of drive to most places.
Pulling my kids to play at the park. Seeking the quiet refuge of the library. Exercising on my way to get groceries. Exploring new spaces to meet up with friends. I appreciate how biking changed the pace of my life.
As a mom of 3, my bike gave me a place to think. A place to laugh with my husband as he rode beside me (not ahead of me). To breathe deeply. To move freely.
The best part is I wasn't sore the next day.
I felt strong, capable and physically in tune with my body. When I rode my e-bike I was full of energy, connected to myself, happy. It changed the way I move about daily life.
As the first snow fell that year, I couldn’t give up this new way of life. I couldn't settle for a long, cold sedentary winter.
My desire to continue to live in this new found freedom was greater than my fear of biking in the cold and the snow.
I was nervous, but with a bike built for winter and a pair of studded snow tires, confidence came with every ride.
I discovered some secrets to staying warm, which you can read about here.
Biking in the winter doesn't have to be "all or nothing". I learned my limits by trying, then changing, and adapting. I now know what weather conditions are enjoyable for me to ride in and which ones are not.
Luckily, the majority of Calgary's winter days are sunny and pleasant.
I enjoy the beauty of the snowy season now. I engage with it rather than wish it away. The best version of my myself is one when I get to ride my bike. I'll never let winter take that from me again.
You might be reading this thinking I'm crazy. I don't mind, I'll be out riding my bike :)