Can’t We All Just Get Along? Bike-Style…

(Courtesy Washington Post)

I rediscovered bicycling in 2008. I had spent many years on a motorcycle, but hadn’t given the pedal powered 2-wheeler a shot until I bought my first road bike.

It didn’t take long for me to delight in a wonderful discovery. Riding a bike helps me reimagine my childhood.  Every time I start out on a ride, and oftentimes during the ride, I experience the rush of adrenaline and joy that I felt as a child riding my bike.  It brings back memories of my 3-speed Schwinn with the banana seat and the sissy bar…my first green Continental 10-speed.

I also discovered something else…cycling saves me money. Gas prices continue to climb and I adjusted some of the moderately short trips I routinely made and found a significant savings. And I felt good about it too. I’m no tree-hugger, but there is something about not contributing to the destruction of the planet that adds tokens to your personal Karma account.

I even found a job for a while in the cycling industry and reveled in the camaraderie and passion shared by my fellow cyclist. I am thrilled to see on my morning fitness rides, more and more men and women commuting to work. I live near one of the largest biotechnology companies in the world and on any given day, I see a couple dozen cyclists, backpacks filled with work clothes slung over their backs, heading into work.

Now for the downside; cycling is inherently dangerous, especially on city streets. A driver myself, I understand the frustration of motorists who see cyclists disobey traffic laws (run stop signs, ride on sidewalks, take entire lanes when it’s not necessary), in fact, a few years ago I hit a drunk cyclist who was traveling the wrong way at night.  Fortunately for both of us his injuries were minor…so yeah, I get it. But consider the vast majority of cyclist that DO follow the rules of the road. Here are a group of people, contributing positively to the overall well-being of our planet and they are subjected to often near-fatal encounters with metal machines bigger and faster than we are. It’s not that hard to co-exist. Here are a few tips to make the commute more enjoyable and safe.

It boils down to the same old adage: walk a few miles in the other fellows shoes and you will gain a greater understanding of him and yourself…or in this case, ride a few miles in his clip-on’s…

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About Conversations With The Moon

Divorced father of two amazing young adults. College student, plodding away at a liberal arts degree. Formerly a Fire Captain and Paramedic. Dabbler in fashion. Liberal. Believer in Karma. View all posts by Conversations With The Moon

2 responses to “Can’t We All Just Get Along? Bike-Style…

  • kingmidget

    Yes … where I live, I either have to bicycle in heavily trafficked streets or throw my bike in my car and to to the “bike trail” an incredible 30 mile long trail along the American River. But, having to drive to get there kind of defeats the purpose. It’s a struggle I’ve been battling for years.

    • Conversations With The Moon

      Dedicated bike trails are the bomb…sadly they are rare and you hit on an excellent point. Often you need to traverse urban landscapes without bike lanes and inhabited by “cage” pilots with no “cycle awareness”…best of luck my friend!

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