Biking Montreal: At Night With Kids
Now that darkness is faster upon us, I bike at night with my kids. This happens every Friday after swim class and more often if we play late or run too many errands.
Like most mothers, my willingness to take risks plummeted once I became pregnant and when I decided to exclusively breastfeed, it flatlined. Riding my bike at night through Montreal is frightening – and sometimes exhilarating – but mostly frightening. I am most afraid of tipping over and skidding into traffic. I’m also scared of being “doored” and flipping over my handlebars, same for hitting a pothole. Basically I have separation anxiety – I’m terrified of anything separating my body from my bike which nestles my babies. The darkness amplifies all my fears and sends my hyper-vigilance into overdrive.
One of the first times I rode at night it was very windy and a strong gust set us on tip. I was certain we were going over. (What is that? Physics?) I knew I could call my husband and with more confidence and skill, he would ride that bike home instead of me. But then what? That can’t happen every windy night in Montreal. In winter. I had to pedal through the fear so I just did it. I’m just doing it. It is just another thing I need to get used to, another thing I need to conquer and so I do. And it still scares the hell out of me.
My kids might not remember these days but I know I’m leaving an imprint somewhere in their developing brains about perseverance and dedication. In the meantime, in the here and now, they travel a bit farther and reach a bit higher, fearlessly.