I’m pretty dang hardcore.

Ok, maybe I’m not. Today, after staying a little late at work again, I took off on my trusty bike to Petsmart so Thaddeus could eat tonight. Thaddeus is my oldest kitty, though he’s still pretty active and likes to express his dominance around the place. However, he’s stubbornly refusing to join the canned kitty food contingent of Niko and Aya. So, yesterday I ran out of the kibble and attempted to feed him some Whiska’s pouched tuna. He took a few nibbles and decided he wasn’t that into it. No doubt, Niko ate the rest.

Anyway.. i wasn’t able to get to Petsmart yesterday because I was at work until about 10pm. Today, I was determined to get there, because no one likes to see their kitty go hungry, and Petsmart is the only place close to me that has the crap that Thaddeus will eat. It was raining when I got in that morning, so I was wise enough to bring an extra change of clothes and wear my brand new Mark’s Work Warehouse rubber rain boots, which also look stylin’ might I add. The boots were an awesome idea. My pants and jacket were soaked, my socks were not.

When I left work, it was also snowing. Big, fat, damp chunks of snow. And biking north on Lake St. was pretty much riding into rain, snow and wind, so that’s always fun. This is where I’m really reminded that i’m riding around on a clunky mountain bike with offroad tires and probably going maybe 10km/h. Did I mention it was also raining? The part about Lake St. I dread, as an amateur cyclist, is the overpass over the QEW. First, I’m in constant awareness of motorists around me. I had a few of them pass way too close to me tonight too… way to go dickheads. Second, it was snowing and raining. Not great for motorist visibility, so obviously I’m putting my faith in good driving skills tonight. And I’m not used to cycling in this weather at all. I have no idea how my bike will handle on cold and very wet asphalt. I worry when I get to the peak of the overpass and start descending that drivers won’t see me as they go over the hill. I worry constantly on that overpass that i’m going to be smushed into the cement guardrail or knocked completely off the bridge onto highway traffic below. Other cyclists think nothing of this but I’m not as brave as I think I am sometimes. This is one of the reason I got blinky lights. The strobing red light in the back and the bright white light in front do make me feel safer, more so than my helmet.

My fears are unfounded, I make it safely over and down the overpass. Again, I’m reminded that I’m riding a mountain bike with offroad tires, however this time in a good way. The road on the way down was cracked, potholed and full of sand and other crap. This is where a few cars decide to get too close for my personal comfort and I find myself swearing loudly at one of them. I’m soaking by the time I get to Petsmart, lock my bike up at a no-parking sign post (no bike rack here, thanks Petsmart!). I buy the bag of kitty food, and a few plastic toys and I’m out of there again.

The ride back home is relatively uneventful. I go through the mall, and loop back up south and this time go through an underpass of the QEW, which is, in my opinion, one of the worst pedestrian zones ever. I suspect they have two street light intersections on either side of the underpass to slow traffic down, but even so I suspect people still speed, and are careless in their impatience. I once had someone honk at me as a pedestrian carrying 3 overstuffed cloth bags of groceries in the rain (or was it snow?) because I was crossing on a green light and this fucktwat in their pickup truck really needed to make that right turn RIGHT THEN AND THERE. Are you kidding me?

Cyclists use the sidewalk on the west sidewalk all the time, regardless of whether they’re going with traffic or against it. If you’re trying to get to Fairview Mall, it makes more sense than crossing the road to just cross back again to get to the mall which is also on the west side. I mean, sure, they can dismount and walk through; I do… no really, I do… but that would make it inconvenient. :p Still, I maintain, trying to walk to Fairview mall if you’re north of the QEW just outright sucks. During the worst of the snow days last week those same sidewalks were just buried in at least 4 feet of snowbanks. People either had to walk on the road or maneuover those snow banks like mountain goats. It was quite an adventure. This went on for days.

In any case, i biked through the underpass unscathed. Only having a few more blocks to work, I decided to just ride the sidewalk two blocks home. There are too many potholes near the edge of the road and these roads were too narrow and busy even for 9pm. So I got home damp, got into comfy pajamas and just propped myself in front of the laptop for the rest of the night.

Thaddeus was fed, along with Niko and Aya. He nearly finished his bowl tonight. Either he was really hungry or he really liked it. Though I like to think he knew that I risked my neck (yeah i know, lulz!) to bring him dinner.

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