Biking was one of my favorite things to do as a kid. Up until age 10 I lived in a quiet area of Auburn, Alabama, and my parents let me range freely by bike. I explored as far as my legs would take me. I also enjoyed getting gadjets for my bike, like an odometer and turn signals.
This pretty much ended when we moved to a small town in the Santa Cruz mountains of California. Roads there were narrow, winding and steep with lots of traffic. I tried to keep biking until I broke my wrist doing it about 6 months later.
I’ve flirted with picking up the bike habit as an adult a few times, but it didn’t stick. There was a lot of fear and resistance to overcome. But now I am rediscovering the joy and rush of biking. I am commuting by bike to a class at our local community college. It’s about 10 minutes there (mostly downhill), and 20 minutes back. (I recently started taking a longer route home for safety since it is dark.) Having a saddlebag for my books has been key.
Almost every day that I have class I don’t feel like biking, and resist many seductive excuses. Invariably I feel much better after riding to class. By the time I get home I’ve gotten a workout! My legs are starting to rejoyce in it. Every ride is a new experience, and I gain confidence and strength with each new condition. I love being part of my environment.
The next step for me is to get a bike trailer so I can take my kids with me on local erands. I am getting serious about reducing our carbon footprint. A few miles by bike may not add up to much, exept that it is creating a new culture and paradigm for myself, and more importantly, my children.