As I lay in bed musing over the day ahead, it occurred to me that I now have a general sense of the personality of “a Toronto cyclist”, given that I’ve done more than 15 interviews, and have an equal number lined up. Furthermore, I was beginning to see some surprising physical similarities, too. Here’s what I’ve gleaned so far. I realize I’m generalizing, but it’s a bit of a shock to realize I’m using very similar adjectives to describe my subjects as I write up interpretations after interviews.

Toronto cyclists generally embody the following qualities:

  • Gentle
  • Calm
  • Articulate
  • Unassuming
  • Generous to a fault
  • In love with their bikes
  • Helpful
  • Eager to share and to educate others
  • Upbeat and optimistic
  • Intelligent
  • Available, or certainly willing to clear time in their busy schedule
  • Determined and dedicated
  • Creative
  • Playful
  • Politically astute
  • Industrious
  • Focussed
  • Strong promoters of environmentalism
  • A great sense of humour
  • An engaging personality
  • Slightly anarchistic

Physically, they typically have these characteristics:

  • Distractingly healthy hair
  • Clear, laughing eyes
  • Great posture
  • Slender builds
  • An uncanny ability to remain healthy throughout the year

It occurred to me that this list actually describes my ideal mate, which made me laugh. And then it occurred to me that it also describes the perfect neighbour and the kind of volunteer most organizations want to attract, and maybe even my idea of a best friend.

And then I sat bolt upright. Apart from the anarchistic tendency, I’m describing the ideal employee and the model citizen.

Take note, world. The cycling community is gold.

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