Joining the Ranks of the Two-Wheeled

When my children were small, and I was seriously embracing my inner hippie, I dreamt of owning a bicycle. I wanted one of those three-wheeled cargo bikes. I had visions of riding it to the library and the farmers’ market, my children securely strapped in, the basket overflowing with local produce and library books and fresh baked goods.

I’d had a bike in high school, which I rode a lot. Or, at least, I rode it a lot until I got my driver’s license. Then I moved away to go to university, and my mother moved from her townhouse into a condo, and the bicycle got sold or donated along the way. When I was in university and without a car I used transit pretty much exclusively. At the time, that worked for me. Then I graduated and bought my own car and had two kids and lived the suburban dream.

But I coveted a bicycle. Oh, how I coveted a bicycle.

With babies in tow, however, I saw the many impracticalities of cycling around my very rainy, very hilly, community. Our financial circumstances at the time also presented a challenge. While cycling is undoubtedly cheaper than driving, when faced with the reality that I mostly drive, the bike seemed like an unnecessary expense. And so for years and years my dreams went unrealized.

And then, a few weeks ago, I turned 42. This isn’t a milestone birthday, by any means. But in the past year my life has changed. I went from being a first year teacher, working exclusively as a substitute, to having a part-time contract and health benefits and all that jazz. I’ve managed to pay off the (thankfully modest) line of credit that supplemented our family’s income while I was a full-time student teacher. Our sacrifices to send me back to school have paid off. I could afford a bike.

Bike shopping was, initially, quite frustrating. I visited six different stores, all of which seemed to have very similar bikes at very similar price points. Read: more than I actually wanted to spend. And on top of that all of the salespeople insisted I needed something slightly different. I’m not a shopper at the best of times, and I very quickly became highly frustrated.

In the end, I decided to buy the bike that made me happy. I settled on the Opus Zermatt. I had a bond of affection with the bicycle because I had the pleasure of enjoying a loaner bike from Opus a number of years ago. It gave me the warm fuzzies, and it was pretty, and it came with fenders and reflectors and fancy leather handles on the handlebars. It’s designed as a commuter bike, and for someone like me who’s not racing or riding over roots and rocks it’s perfectly lovely. I splurged on an extra-comfy seat and a bell with an ice cream cone on it. I brought it home and rode it to the library.

bicycle opus zermatt

bike bell bicycle ice cream cone

My dreams have been realized, people. And the best part is that now my kids are old enough to ride with me. Bring on the summer!

Thoughts on a Rainy Sunday


I woke up this morning angry at my alarm clock. It was dark and rainy and extremely Novemberish and on top of that it was Sunday. Who sets an alarm on a Sunday? But I wanted to make it to church today so I heeded its warning cry and pried myself out … [Read more ...]

The Burning Man Recap

burning man art

It's been a little more than two weeks since I repacked my minivan and drove away from Burning Man. It's been a little less than two weeks since I finally pulled back into my driveway, and was thrust back into the mayhem of a new school year as both … [Read more ...]

In Which I Admit to Being Totally Shallow

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Burning Man Preparations – Not Packing Light

shiftpod burning man

Confession: I do not pack light. Ever. Maybe it's all those years of Girl Guides and learning to be prepared. Maybe it's all those times as a mom when I was burned because I only packed two extra outfits for my toddler, or didn't think to bring along … [Read more ...]

The Soccer Mom Goes to Burning Man

Burning Man

I've gone through some big changes in my life in the past few years. Going back to school. Applying to, and completing, teacher training. Getting my minor in environmental education, and re-discovering my love for the outdoors and the good … [Read more ...]

My Name is Not Megan

Strocel Family Portrait

I am not really much of a blogger anymore, but I still get a lot of unsolicited email. I usually ignore it. When people get in touch asking me to cover stories I understand why they're doing it, and to some extent I'm flattered, but I just really … [Read more ...]