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Joys of Cycling

Mountaineer Blog Joys of CylcingThe best part of the year has arrived on Saltspring Island. June is often rainy, which is why Saltspringers have nicknamed it “Junuary.” But starting about now, we get eight weeks of glorious summer when the sky is almost always blue and the temperatures are balmy. Right now, the anticipation of beautiful weather has us thinking about the joys of cycling.  

We’re a family of biking enthusiasts. Cycling is our favorite lunch break topic and a sure-fire way to get our co-founder (and my adorable husband) Don in a happy mood. We love to relive past biking trips, dream about future trips, and talk about our daily local ride. We have long discussions of bike models, parts, weights, mechanics, clothing, and anything else related to two-wheeled, muscle-powered transportation.

For us, like many others, having more time to ride a bike was an unexpected positive side of COVID. With gyms closed, and a desire to avoid public transit, many people rediscovered the joys of cycling during this trying time. We can’t think of a better way to ride out this crisis than on a bike. Cycling clears your mind, feeds your soul, and keeps you in shape.

I remember learning to ride a bike as clear as day. The moment I found my balance, pushed on the pedals, and moved forward without falling was truly exhilarating. I fell madly in love with my green banana seat bike. It gave me the freedom to explore and I rode it around our neighbourhood every chance I got. 

Those of us who grew up in the sixties and seventies were lucky to have the freedom to roam. Our parents weren’t overly concerned about our whereabouts so we could ride unsupervised for hours, exploring the world without a care. As we got older and upgraded to bikes with gears we could roam ever further. It was a pure, glorious, wind in your face, joy in your soul, exhilarating kind of indulgence.

One of the best memories of my youth is a European cycling trip I took with my dearest friend Sa Boothroyd in my twenties. Sa was my college roommate, the only person besides my parents, husband, and kids I’ve ever lived with. She’s creative, athletic, adventurous, quirky, original, and just so much fun. I laugh all the time when I am with Sa. She helps me see the lighter side of life. 

I could fill volumes with memories from that trip. I learned the joys of meandering French roads, fresh baguettes with cheese, red wine, delightful scarves, and of course Paris. I discovered the bliss of traveling light, the satisfaction of deep sleep after a long day in the saddle, and the infinitely satisfying feeling of powering your own travel.

Our families now share a love of cycling. Sa’s oldest daughter Lucy, my goddaughter, came in first this year in the World Enduro series in the U21 category for cycling. Follow Lucy Schick on Instagram and be impressed. She’s incredible.

Some of our best family memories were made on bikes. My husband Don and my son Aubrey rode from London to Paris in a charity event to honor the veterans of the Second World War. The finish line was a sprint down the Champs Elysee ending at the Arc de Triomphe. They also completed a Gran Fondo in Majorca, Spain. It was a crazy ride and I was happy to cheer them on from the sidelines.

My daughter Amy says her favorite trip of all time was a family cycling trip in Corsica. Amy is now the mother of two sweet boys, the oldest of which is getting his first gear bike this year. Don and I are anticipating a three-generation family cycling trip. It’s a dream that motivates us to stay fit.

So this week we’re celebrating the anticipation of long warm summer days, and the many joys of cycling by releasing our new Cycling Typewriter Sign. We’d also love you to check out the beautiful tea towels designed and handmade by my good friend Sa, and of course, there is one dedicated to Reasons For Bike.

Affectionately,

Suzanne Zacharias
Co-founder & Tea Drinker

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