I’ve broken; I like exercise? 😕

Three weeks ago today, the LTC started collecting fares again (since the pandemic started, they had to stop collecting fares because they had to make riders board from the read door to avoid infecting the drivers). Since then, I’ve avoided using the bus because they were awful (late, early, unreliable, etc.) before the pandemic, let alone during the pandemic, and while it was tolerable while it was free, I’m definitely not inclined to pay for terrible service.

I haven’t had to go out in the past three weeks, but I did take my bike acorss town to get a 4L tub of ice-milk (ice-cream with less fat) that was on sale at No Frills. It was a 20-30 minute ride there and again back, and yes, it was uphill both ways (there’s a hill, so I have to go up in each direction). I wasn’t sure I’d make it, but I did, and after that, I was so excited, that I biked down to FreshCo to get a couple of bottles of laundry detergent that were on sale, which turned out to be bigger and heavier than I expected, yet I still made it.

I was really getting excited and pumped about being able to ride my bike long distances and actually go grocery-shopping with it (I don’t have a basket; I put stuff in a backpack and if necessary, a “frontpack”).

This morning, the weirdest thing happened. I was getting ready to go to FreshCo to get some produce, and had the thought that instead of crossing the road and then going down towards FreshCo like I did the last few times, I could go down the road first and then cross the road and see this side of the road. Suddenly, I got an surprising and strong urge to hurry up and get going.

After I got home, showered, ate lunch, sat and unwound while watching YouTube videos, getting drowsy and recovering from the hard ride, I was looking at the online flyers and map and figuring out what’s on sale where next week to decide where I can/should go. It turned out that next week’s shopping is (thankfully) relatively light (both in quantity and weight). I need to go to No Frills and Giant Tiger to get a few vegetables, so that’s a light, if long trip. Likewise, I need to get apples and a couple of vegetables from FreshCo, so that’s barely anything at this point.

The big boy is getting a 10lb bag of onions from Food Basics. It’s the lowest price I’ve seen for onions in a long time, so I have to get it (and in fact, feel tempted to get two). In addition, they’ve got those large cans of Chunky soups and stews on sale at the lowest price I’ve seen those, so I want to get a lot of those (at least two of each kind—except for the seafood ones 🤢).

The problem is that Food Basics happens to be the farthest of all of the stores I frequent. It’s pretty darn far. It’s a 30 minute bike ride, and has at least a couple of hills on the way which I have to go up in each direction. Returning with 10-30 pounds of extra weight is a very daunting thought. That said, I remembered that the first time I biked to No Frills, I missed the turn at Cheapside st. and ended up going all the way to Oxford and then back up to No Frills. Food Basics at Oxford and Highbury and I passed it on my way to No Frills. Moreover, when I went yesterday, I almost missed the turn to Cheapside and could see Oxford down the road and realized it wasn’t as far as I thought. Thinking of this, as well as how close Highbury felt yesterday, I realized that Food Basics now feels closer than before, so I was suddenly excited to go.

I then decided to look up thrift stores in town to see if I can thrift for old video-games and found that there were four places on the way of a round-trip that hits FreshCo, Food Basics, and No Frills, so I definitely intend to check them the next time I go out. And then boom! I felt a strong compulsion to get dressed and jump on my bike and go. I didn’t (there’s no rush; I have a full week to get to get to them all), but I definitely felt the urge to go and even felt impatience around dinner time when the sun was starting get lower because tomorrow was still too far. 😕

What the heck is happening? Why am I so eager to ride hard and long distance on my bike? Am I turning into someone who likes exercise? 🤨

(For the record, no, it’s just that this still feels novel, like when I set up the elliptical in my room or brought the weights up. I was just as eager to do cardio and lift weights for a while, until the novelty eventually wore off. I’m sure I’ll eventually lose interest in riding my bike too. Then again, I’ve been riding my bike now and then in the summer for the past few years, but now I’m exceptionally eager, especially for going shopping and the extra weight of the groceries. 🤔 I think it’s mostly due to the feeling of freedom. Driving makes me uncomfortable because of the cost of gas, worrying about police, worrying about car problems, worrying about other drivers, etc., and the bus is just awful for many reasons, so maybe feeling free to come and go whenever I want without any concerns just feels liberating, and that’s what feels so good. 🤷 Also, I’m probably hoping that riding hard will help me lose weight and get in shape faster, which feels good because the extensive dieting and exercising I’ve been doing for the past several months haven’t been helping too much. :-|)

3 thoughts to “I’ve broken; I like exercise? 😕”

  1. It’s gotten pretty bad. I had to go on four grocery trips last week, including two to Food Basics which is eight kilometers away. I went there once, then the next day, I figured I’d go to FreshCo because it’s the closest and save NoFrills and a return trip to FoodBasics for later, but I ended up going back to FoodBasics instead. Then after a couple of hours of impatient resting, I went to NoFrills. On the way home, I thought I’d take a different route but ended up riding through a park that just kept on going and even turn south, away from home. Eventually I came out of the park to a very steep hill that led to a main road (closer to home than I expected). II got the FreshCo run done after another 90 minutes of impatient rest. Finally, I went for a 30 minute ride after dark just because. I ended up riding about 30 kilometers over 3.5 hours in one day. What‽ 😲

    The next day was Saturday and I was done and had nowhere to go, and yet, I ended up going for another ride for over an hour to check if FoodBasics got in the Chunky’s that they were sold out of since the start of the sale (they didn’t), and stopped in at a GoodWill thrift store but they didn’t have any video-games. I almost went out again on Sunday, but I was too wiped and didn’t (which is a shame because I wanted to ride out to the airport to see the jets at the airshow). 😕

    I went out again on Monday to get peanut-butter but they were sold out, so the trip was only exercise. I returned the next day and managed to get 3kg of PB and two 2L bottles of soda that were half price. I also went down to FreshCo to get sriracha sauce but they were sold out. I went back on Wednesday and got 4kg of PB and two more bottles of soda, and again, FreshCo was still sold out of hot-sauce (which isn’t a surprise, the shelf was small, so they probably only had 6-8 to begin with; some sale 🙄).

    I was going to go to do this weeks runs on Thursday and get them done with (and hopefully change my mind on most the items), but I didn’t go. Hopefully I’ll get them done today.

    I find that the rides are easier when my mind is distracted and I’m not focusing on how far it is. Oddly enough, the farther destinations are the ones that feel close and feel appealing while the closer ones feel boring and tedious. That’s probably because the farther ones are novel while the closer roads are repetitive and dull.

    I’m actually hoping that I can free up some time and go for free, unencumbered non-grocery rides purely for “fun” and exploration of streets and parks. WHAT’S HAPPENING TO ME‽‽‽ 😕

  2. (I think the reason I’m getting hooked on biking is partly because of the novelty, but I’ve ridden before, and even rode a lot one or two years ago. I think the main reason I’m so hooked this year is mostly because of the sense of freedom. I hate the bus because they’re terrible—they were getting worse and worse for the past few years, let alone after the pandemic—and they’re incredibly unreliable, so I’m not inclined to waste money just so that I can waste my time and get frustrated and angry. And the car isn’t any better because I have to worry about everything from the cost of gas, to ALPR screwing me over, to car problems and everything. But with the bike, there’s almost nothing to worry about, just freedom. I have the freedom to go (theoretically/almost) anywhere I want, whenever I want, and for free. The only issues with it are that it’s limited to before it gets too cold, and my carrying capacity is limited—and it’s very squeaky now and needs to be lubricated. That freedom is very alluring.)

  3. Unfortunately, my bike had some issues. It started creaking pretty badly, so I lubricated it, then immediately afterward (the very first ride after lubricating it), the left crank-arm got loose and fell off. I had to get a 14mm socket to put it back on, but it kept coming off after less than 1km of riding, so I got used to just carrying a large socket-wrench in my pocket whenever I went out. 😐 The timing seemed suspicious, so I figured it must be the lubrication, so I thoroughly washed the lubricant off and put a little toothed washer in it and it didn’t come loose again despite riding well over 250km (including several two-hour rides over 30km). Eventually it did come loose again a couple of times, but that’s just because it’s probably worn out from all the riding I did this year (at least 500km 🤯). It still creaks, but I’m careful to lubricate the pedal, not the crank-arm, but the pedal itself is loose and needs to be (eventually) replaced, which is much cheaper than replacing the crank-arm.

    Since one month ago (November 1), there have been several times where it snowed for a day or two, then warmed up and melted. It’s been over a month that I keep saying “this will be the last ride of the year”, but then I end up going again. Unfortunately, despite it being sunny today, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be warm again for the current snow to melt, so I probably won’t be biking again this year, so I may as well begin giving it a tune-up.

    I imagine I’m going to yearn to jump on my bike and hit the road a lot this winter… 😕

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