I can't wait to get out on my bike. Either of my bikes, actually. 

My beautiful Giant Revel, a hardtail, is waiting impatiently for me.I can tell, looking at her, that she's missing the crunch of dirt beneath her tires, the trees whipping past her sturdy frame, the wind swirling around our bodies as we tear up the trails. 

My time with my Revel, especially on the trails in Birds Hill Park, is actually what inspired the last two things I've written (both in various stages of editing) - one a post-apocalyptic novel and one a contemporary teen romance/drama. But both pieces feature cycling in a very prominent way. Both reflect the joy of the activity as well, I think.

Anyway, she's a great bike. We had a blast a few summers ago, and I felt bad when I had to shelve her this past summer due to the fact that I was quite pregnant and not at all up for riding. But now that my son has arrived, I'm itching to get out there again. 

It's been a long, admittedly mild, winter, but the snow and freezing Winnipeg winds reinforced my decision to be a seasonal rider. The husband, of course, spent the winter with frozen eyelashes and icy toes as he continued his riding on his Norco Fatty and Giant cross bike. Not I - I'm no winter warrior. But as the temperature creeps to zero and even above, as small stretches of road become ice-free, as mud and dirt begin to appear around the edges of the lawn where the snow is fading, I can feel the spring returning. And I can't wait! 

As an early birthday present, the husband bought me my first ever cross bike - a Liv Brava SLR - for our city rides. I've always taken my hardtail in the past, and he thought, since I love the city rides best of all, we should get something with a better roll than my mountain bike, but more stable and versatile than a road bike. Something we could take on-road and off-road. Liv Brava was it. And she's a sleek beauty, if I do say so myself. I want our first time out together to be perfect, so I'm waiting to ride her until the conditions are just right. I've also never ridden a cross bike (nor a road bike, in case you were thinking one experience was similar to the other), so I'm a little nervous to go out on my own. I'd like the husband to come with me, but that will mean arranging for a sitter, which is a whole other hurdle to clear before getting on my bike. 

So, I watch the snow melt and I pine and I plan and I wait. How about you? Any cyclists out there itching to get done with winter and give the roads or trails what-for?

Oh, and if you're a Manitoba bike enthusiast, feel free to check out the amazing riding club that I'm part of. I haven't actually ridden with them yet, since they formed while I was a non-riding pregnant person, but I have the jersey already and it's sliiiiick. You can find them at www.prairiepedalpirates.com.