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…