1. The community
Just this week, I got absorbed into a pack of bikes joy riding on Bayview Avenue late at night. It was the coolest experience I’ve ever had riding around Toronto. I pulled up behind them at a light just before the long stretch of open road after Lawrence Ave and they waved me up in to their midst. We shot down the street in tandem and dominated the road all the way to the Rosedale Valley juncture. They were all riding in from out of town, so I took the lead and showed them the beautiful valley before splitting off to head home.
Bikes and scoots don’t always play nice together – there is a lot of elitism amongst bike riders and all kinds of snooty segregation along the type of bike you ride, the manufacturer, mods and so forth. I see a lot of it on motorcycle forums where people will endlessly debate or outright fight over what the superior make and model is. On that road, none of that noise matters; I get waves from Harleys and Vespas all the same. People who ride understand the joy of the experience and there’s a sense of camaraderie that no car driver will ever experience. It’s not the destination that matters, it’s the ride there.
2. Read it and weep!
My work is about 20km away from home. One gas tank will take me there and back for three days before I have to refill – so that’s 120km. Total damage? 5 bucks. Every time. I cackle at the gas station next to other drivers who grow bored waiting for their gigantic tanks to fill. After riding on my M2 for just over a year, my insurance bills is just over $600 a year which is totally worth it considering I can usually milk 7-8 months out of the riding season.
3. She hauls
Oh boy, does she ever haul. All those hours spent on Tetris finally payed off. I’ve even managed an extra large pizza box with just a bungee cord on the back. I can pack a week’s worth of grocery under her seat and that’s without even considering top boxes, fork bags or any other cargo implements.
4. Park anywhere free
Street parking is free anywhere in Toronto for bikes. I can cram Spright in the narrowest wedge of street and not have to worry about the duration of my stop. There’s also something to be said about pulling in next to a bike swarm and neatly angling your bike next to five others – which still take up less space than your average car.
5. She’s all kinds of fashion friendly
Call it vanity, that was a legitimate consideration when I bought my bike: can I ride this thing in the myriad of ridiculous shoes I own? I’m actually very firm on safety when riding, and for any trip of considerable length I gear up accordingly. That being said, on a short ride to the park for an afternoon of quiet reading and soaking rays, being able to climb on her in strappy heels and a sun dress is pretty awesome.