Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Joy of Biking Home From School

Since Linnaeus has started kindergarten, I've been riding more than I was before. Oli bikes him up to school most days & I ride up to get him by three. That means I'm riding eight klicks five days a week, not including the occasional YVR Family Biking Ride, or Costco run, or Active Transportation Policy Council meeting.

The Yuba & the unofficial north exit from Mountainview
It's been really great to have that regular source of exercise--it's definitely helping me lose weight to burn around 1000 calories by just living my life. I really enjoy the time to chat with Linny, or listen to him sing the new songs he's learning in school. We usually take a shortcut through Mountainview Cemetery on our way home.

Linny is curious about the place, since it's new to him, but maybe also because he's at the age where he's starting to understand what death is. He sometimes asks me to stop so we can look at some of the larger headstones. I'll get him to read out the letters & numbers on the stones & we'll talk a little about the people buried there.

Mountainview is quiet, with virtually no cars, only the occasional mourner visiting a grave, with more dog walkers & joggers using the space as a park. There are orderly rows of brightly coloured trees beside the central roads & shrubs delineating different sections of the cemetery but it's a very open, bright space. As you might expect from the name, on a clear day we have a beautiful view of the mountains as we glide through the narrow paved roads that criss cross the graves.

Most of the time I turn left in the middle of the northernmost section of the cemetery, ride past the tall war monument, & pop out of the big hedge that surrounds it all onto the sidewalk. But sometimes I miss the turn, so we sneak out through a gap worn through the hedge on the very north end of Mountainview.

The large triangular hole feels a bit transgressive, a locals' shortcut, that you have to stoop to get through. Linny knows the routine & hops off the bike when we get to it, as do I, then I manoeuvre the bike awkwardly through, trying not to ride or step on the flat headstones next to it & hop back on again once we've gotten off the curb on the other side.

The rest of our ride is through quite quiet streets where we rarely encounter more than a dozen cars. The main hazards we have to watch out for are oblivious high school students walking in our path as we bike through one of the school yards.

Though school pickup is more or less a chore, I find I look forward to this half hour of biking. I enjoy the challenge of the hill all the way there, & nothing beats the feeling of coasting most of the way home downhill. Sometimes Linny leans up against me or we hold hands on the bike as I pedal. I'm excited for Linnaeus to start biking on his own, but I'm sure I will miss those little moments with him on the big bike behind me.

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1 comment:

  1. What a nice way to end the day. Our commute isn't as serene maybe I should choose another route. We go right through the heart of the industrial area of Mt. Pleasant so there's always cars to watch out for. And wow what great exercise. My ride is only 10 to 15 minutes uphill to school and well we have an electric bike so I don't get as much exercise as that. But I best to heart rate up so I think it helps. Anyway. Nice read.


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