It’s safer in the mountains.

At 11:59pm on December 31st, I stood behind Yann as he washed the dishes. I had Enfoiré in my arms and an eye on the range display, waiting for 12:00 to pop up. At midnight, I yelled Happy New Year at the back of Yann’s head.

The scene an hour earlier had been even grimmer: I was hunched over on the couch, trying to comb the mats out of my toque’s pompom, which had shrunk in the washer. (The entire thing shrunk, actually. I aimlessly restored a pompom on a now too-small toque. I should have known better than to put a toque in a washer. Fuck.)

I did not feel like partaking on this designated day for social gatherings. I’m not letting a calendar decide when I’m supposed to enjoy being in the company of others! Besides, Yann and I spent the first day of the year doing something fun rather than trying to suffocate our headaches under a pillow.  We went for a hike up Mt. Work (elevation 445m) where a conspiracy of raven awaited.

Worm's eye view of four dark bird figures in a blue sky, with Yann in the bottom-right corner. Yann has a downwards pointing DSLR camera covering most of his face.

Hikers familiar with the area had toted folding chairs up there to watch the ravens play. We may have missed the customary New Year’s fireworks, but this was even better.

A hazy photo taken from the summit of Mt. Work. Smaller mountains can be seen in the background, and in the foreground, Yann crouched on the rocky base, taking a photo of the landscape.

I love that we don’t need to go far for sights like this.

Right now, though, I don’t feel safe walking anywhere in Victoria alone. Some nutjob has been approaching women downtown, trying (and failing) to convince them–with a knife–to go home with him.

A friend half-joked, “I don’t think you need to worry about him, he has a terrible success rate.”

Here’s what makes me feel extremely uncomfortable: there are already random people downtown Victoria who identify me as a deaf woman.

I frequently interact with bizarre men at my job (at least I trust the weirdos I work with, ha!). Yann started describing one of the regulars that he finds sketchy when I interrupted to ask, “You mean the guy who can’t change his own flat?” Yann began laughing hysterically. Plenty of people have no idea to change a flat, but when you find yourself needing to replace a bicycle tube every week, it would save you A LOT OF MONEY TO LEARN TO DO IT YOURSELF. But that’s moot because Ted Bundy might’ve not known how to change a flat either, yet he was dang good at this murder thing.

I’ve thought about which tools I’d use to defend myself should I be attacked while alone in the bike shop: Park Tool UP-1 (reamer), the 1m long socket wrench if I can reach it quickly enough, or a combination of a spray lubricant and a lighter. Once I leave the shop, though, I don’t have these tools on me. I could make a holster for a chain whip?

For once, cycling feels safer than walking, although someone recently had their pannier snatched off their bike, while they were on the bike. So, I’ve been jamming the pannier handle between the rack and pannier backing to prevent the yank n’ run technique from being used. I don’t usually keep anything of value in my pannier, but the pannier itself cost more than $230 for the set.

If you must steal something of mine, please pinch my shrunken toque. I’ve spruced up the pompom for ya.

2 thoughts on “It’s safer in the mountains.

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