Sunday, September 03, 2006

Purolator pickup!

It's really not fun biking if you don't have a destination in mind. So today, Sawitri and I biked to 800 Kipling Ave to pick up an envelope that Purolator kindly asked me to pickup (Yonge and Adelaide location is next door, but no.. it had to be 800 Kipling!). Inshallah, tomorrow it's Thorncliffe (22 km total).
30 km! Our class was supposed to start @ 10:20, so we headed out @ 7:55, Alhamdulillah.

It was a quicker speed ride. We didn't get off and walk @ any of the hills. That's an accomplishment I'm extremely proud of. I'm glad we had water, although I ran out on the way back. We took Bloor all the way. It is pretty hilly crazy! We were also doing great timings. We reached @ 8:50, and waited for their office to open @ 9am.
We left around 9:07am, and I made the decision of biking on Queensway, which forks into Queen St and King St. But what a terrible decision! It was extremely windy on Queensway all the way. We felt the impact of the wind all the way upto Bathurst! It felt like an uphill ride all the way. I was quite breathless and my lungs were just screaming out for air. I continued to peddle hard, and kept telling myself to continue pushing.
Queensway is an okay street. It's location is quite interesting, as it's parallel to the Gardiner. Biking in the right lane meant that we had to get away from all the highway exits as fast as we could! That was something I hadn't thought of!
@ Kingsway, I saw the sign for a bike path, and without thinking, got excited and headed onto it, until Sawitri shouted from the back, 'it's not going to cross the water!' So we retracked a bit. As my bike jolted from the sidewalk onto the road, in attempt to get away from the highway ramp, my seat gave way and came off. How perfect. I wasn't carrying the wrenches either! Subhanallah. It happened because I hadn't tightened the screws tight enough the day before when aligning the seat. Sawitri just gave it a hard punch, and it seemed to settle in place. So, for half the distance back, I had to sit on the edge of my seat and an extremely wierd angle.
I hit home @ 10:08. Just enough time to change, and strap my laptop onto my bike before heading to class.

What is quite pathetic is our speed- 15km/hr. I doubt if I'm up for any more serious training than what I'm upto already! Today in class, as we dispersed, a sister remarked,
"Yea, I bike"
"What? I can give you a ride, seriously, it's raining!"
"Nope, we.. bike a lot. And we live close by"
"In those red heels?"
"Umm..yea.. it's not a problem"
"In a SKIRT???"

Another high school girl, whenever she sees me, "hey, it's the bike girl!" I've had way too many comments on me biking, it's quite interesting. Sawitri was telling me how she biked to Victoria Park, and was passing by Madinah masjid around Maghrib time. 'Honestly Humairah, there were so many uncles, and I felt so wierd as if they were all staring @ me!'. yea, I know..

I was remarking to Sawitri how we've been blowing away a lot of the stereotypes in what we do.

Yes my dear sisters, it's possible to bike. It's also possible to bike in a skirt. And if you wear niqab and abaya, it's still doable, you'll just have to get the right material. I don't wear niqab, but I definitely intend to prove this. And you can go whitewater rafting in an abaya. And you can also train to be a fitness instructor in full clothes or a sports abaya. You absolutely don't need to take off all your clothes for swimming. Just get a stay on hijab.

I work @ Sick Kids, but I'm also the Muslim Chaplain Assistant. When we went to see a 17-yr old suffering with extreme spinal problems and other conditions, as we were leaving, she said..'you know girls, I was expecting some old women who're like big sheikhs, and they're going to tell me to pray and all'. Sawitri and I laughed. She said, 'we do give a lot of parents a bit of an..err, shock.' Alhamdulillah.

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