Incredibly, in the span of one week, each afternoon the swarms of bike riders who ventured our to get a taste of Springtime in Minneapolis had as little on as a shirt and shorts. As I was snapping this picture the fragrant Magnolia perfumed the air and captured for a moment in time the promise of new beginnings.
I am not good at new beginnings myself and I question people who aspire to some new program or marketing to remake their lifestyle. I’m a pessimist when it comes to paying out a bunch of money on equipment and gear or setting aside extra time during the day for exercise, when my bike ride is all that is required to make me feel alive. Speaking from experience as a runner who now is a weekend warrior when my daughter visits, I enjoy running more now that I don’t have a routine. But, this is about bike riding. Nowadays we bike bloggers have to distinguish between recreation and transportation when we are writing. Lost in translation a long time ago when bike riding was both we didn’t have time to think much about what we called bike riding. Those days of the 70’s and early 80’s people rode bikes so often in regular cloths that inventions like cuff bands were popular to keep our bell bottom pants from snagging in the chain. Then by the mid 80’s a uniform of sorts morphed and if you were hip enough you wore a jersey and a helmet on your head. A degree of self conciousness kept some people from bike riding while the transformation to full-blown recreation calcified American bike riding into Moutain bike riding by the early 90’s. This led towards a meltdown with the loss of one quarter of the bike shops in America by the year 2000. The loss primarily to saturated markets and falling ridership was due to societal distractions, one being the internet and the other cheap gasoline. The American city also increased the footprint of its suburbs and contracted core areas adding to lower bike rider numbers. No one it seemed wanted to commit to bike riding on a daily basis. Behavior had changed so that exercise was looked on as a luxury that yuppies did. Or that weird guy down the block. Or those people who think they are better than the rest of us. Or for people with like minds and values who knew products and therories and schedules and disposable incomes.
The few, the proud, the bike rider who everyday doesn’t think about taking a bike ride to work is like my favorite chocolate chip cookie. I have a friend who makes the best chocolate chip cookie and know that what makes it my favorite is he makes it with a special ingredient. As a bike rider using a bike daily for “transportation” there is a special ingredient that makes this my favorite transportation mode. But, like my favorite chocolate chip cookie that special ingredient is something I may know but, for it to be special I have to taste it for myself. I moderate my intake of chocolate chip cookies but my daily bike ride is better if I exhaust my options each day, everyday. So, whatayawaiting for? Ride your bike more and drive your car less!