I am really excited I just bought a bike! I had not ridden one in more than a decade (actually almost two), except for once when I was house sitting and jumped on a friends bike thinking that I could just hop on and ride through town…it was pretty scary and didn’t last too long.
I lived in Germany for a few years where many people ride bikes as their primary mode of transportation and I had wanted to get a bike then but never did (that is a long story….). There were bike paths along beautiful roads and through miles and miles of forest. Well the bike part didn’t work out then, but I have one now to ride in beautiful Santa Fe.
I started more intelligently this time, rather than hitting downtown on my first day. My first three rides were a bit out of town where there is only a little traffic, and it was so much fun. Still a bit scary but I was thrilled to finally be back on a bike. Yesterday I rode into town for the first time and I was a bit nervous and tried to strategically select my streets to avoid the busier ones. One friend, who is an experienced bike rider, told me, just stay off the busy streets. Not so easy….sometimes there is just no avoiding them. I had other people on bikes zoom past me, which made me realize how slow I was going and how fast you can go on a bike. But all in all I was so happy to be able to leave my car at home and take my bike. It was worth the anxiety.
I wanted to have a bike for a few reasons. I remembered that I had really enjoyed riding and wanted to, finally, experience this again, and in such a wondrous environment. I also really liked the idea that if I needed to go into town (as long as it was not too cold) I could ride a bike rather than take my car. I also loved the idea that in such a small city I could create my own alternative transportation and that I could also get in a little bit of exercise at the same time.
One thing that I loved about living in Germany was that I could walk almost everywhere, or jump on the subway. It is such a different daily experience when you can be on the ground in your city rather than in a car…you have a different connection with where you live, nature and the people around you. It is good for the soul. I am excited to be able to get back to this relationship with where I live.
Coincidentally I recently saw a story on 12 cool urban bikes. Since I am now a bike rider I was curious to take a look and see how my new one measured up. I was so excited looking at some of these bikes, really beautiful and thoughtful. It made me wonder are bikes going to be a status symbol like having a car? Maybe in some cities like Portland, which is supposed to be the most bike-friendly city in the country, they already are.
In any event, maybe a bike is something to think about as a way to reduce driving, get some exercise and add some fun into your day. How can you not smile being on one? Just to tempt you here is the article on the cool bikes. Who knows you might fall in love with one and have to get it, or maybe you have one waiting for you in your garage already.
Come and join me riding, if I can get back on a bike so can you!