ride a bike!

I think this world would be a better place if everyone rode bikes more.

They’re simple machines, and you can learn to maintain them yourself or have it done for you extremely cheaply.  They last for years if properly taken care of, and they’re powered by the most renewable energy source there is.

Biking is good for you, mentally and physically.  Not only do you get good exercise while you’re moving from point A to point B, you experience the environment around you in a way that you just can’t do from a car.  And you can move at your own pace.  If you want to take it slow and just mosey along on the sidewalk, you can, or if you want to race cars and do crazy bike messenger bus-dodging, you can (though I would not recommend the latter if you like staying in one piece).

It’s also good for the environment.  Bikes cause zero emissions, of course, and they use a relatively small amount of metal for the machine itself and for the hydrocarbons needed to lubricate it.

It’s better for our collective quality of life, because it creates less traffic, less fatal accidents, and more personal interaction.  It’s not very easy to have “bike rage.”  It does happen, but since bikers have to deal with problems face-to-face in a way that drivers don’t, the crazy factor generally gets reined in.

All these benefits also add up to it being simply cheaper to bike.  It’s even cheaper than public transit, although most places you can combine the two if you need to.

You live far from your work, you say?  I think many people do, but you can make that work too.  Drive as far as you must, but take your bike for at least part of the way.  If you’re commuting into the city center, you won’t have to deal with crazy downtown traffic or the expensive parking.  And you’ll get mad respect from the bike messengers once they see you every day.  Maybe you’ll even start to see the city differently – I really think if our population centers were more bike-friendly, it would be better urban planning.

It’s not easy to start the habit.  Like anything worth doing, it takes commitment and effort.  But once you get into it, you’ll appreciate it more and more.  People will ask you if you’re working out.  Your co-workers will remember you as the bike person.  You’ll be relaxed and ready for your destination when you get there, because you had some fresh air and quiet time to think as you pedal.

Don’t you remember how free you felt when you rode your bike as a kid?  You can get that feeling back!

3 Responses to “ride a bike!”

  1. Jay says:

    I purchased a vintage bike from the guy down the block who is a trash picker. He snaffles up bikes on garbage day and reclaims them and then sells them for a modest price. Mine was $30 or $55 if I wanted new tires but I can go back anytime for the tires. I did return once because the configeration of the seat did not suit my fat old hiney. I have to say, I JUST LOVE HER!

    She is green and creaky – sort of like me, and she has 10 speeds with the shifter on the centre post and pin striping and fenders and I feel 11 again when I ride her – I want pink neon streamers flowing from my handle bars and maybe one day before I grow up, I will find them only NOW I have pocket money to buy them!

  2. Tanya says:

    I have always said the world would be a better place if everyone rode a bike at least once a week.

  3. jbgoode says:

    One of my co-workers sent me a note after reading this post (those of you who know my workplace can probably guess who this is):

    “I would like to suggest a minor correction, bikes are not zero emission since an excerising human expels more carbon dioxide than a human at rest. Not to mention they are producers of certain other types of smelly emisions at times :)”

    Har har.

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