A Different Way...
(photo: Pat McGrath, The Ottawa Citizen)
I have hinted, and written at somewhat more length, about some of the attractions of cycling - the adventure, the competition, the simplicity, the camaraderie. Those sort of reasons. I have to admit, for me, there is another reason - one I rarely mention, or have spoken of. That reason is the simple fact that it is different. It may not rank up there as high as such reasons as adventure, fun, health, convenience, or any others I can't come up with off the top of my head, but it is there on the list, and has been for some time. I have long been aware of its lurking presence. Its existence has always been confined to the shadows and other hidden areas of the psyche, and while it is a sort of "look at me" reason, it should not be confused with the egotistical, attention-seeking "look at ME."
Occasionally, attention of a more personal nature might come my way, as when, years ago, I rode up to a local Wiennerschnitzel (any place with a walk-up window has a distinct advantage in the eyes of a cyclist) where a group of girls were waiting. To the embarrassment of the others, one, a little more bold, informed me that I had nice legs. Hmm, maybe there is more to this different activity than I give credit. In reality though, things like that have always been far less than the norm and anyway, as I said, that is not the sort of different I am referring to. That different is, of course, the clear (clr) effect of being seen getting around by non-motorized means, encouraging by example in other words. In a city were 9 of 10 people believe cars are a necessity, getting around by bicycle, even part of the time, is indeed different. Perhaps it is just age speaking, but in the grand scheme of things it turns out that "look at me" different is the more satisfying. Of course if someone feels the need to compliment some portion of my anatomy, the "look at ME" different would not feel offended.