Monday, March 21, 2011

Bicycle diversity

I've been thinking about the different types of people that ride bikes. You've got your "spandex" crowd, families, kids, commuters, mountain bikers, social riders, serious riders, those that train for specific racing/triathlon events and there are so many more. For every rider, there are also the individual bike(s) that they use. Mountain, hybrid, road, racing, tandem, bmx, low-rider. The list goes on and on.

It might be argued that different riders or groups have different personalities. Someone who is a serious trainer probably wouldn't want to ride with families every day. Kids and teens might see the helmets worn by racer to be a little uncool. Commuter cyclists also come in all shapes and size: those from the geared up to others who is riding because they have little other option.

There are so many different riders out there. I think it's actually pretty cool. I grew up being forced to ride my bike (or walk) to school when the weather turned nice. At the time it was pretty uncool, especially since I ALAWAYS had to wear my helmet, but I also have fond memories of flying around the neighborhood on my bike. As I got older, I still loved to use it, but in the teen years I abandoned my Huffy 21 speed for a car. In college, I didn't bike much, but I still brought my bike to college to explore some nearby neighborhoods. As a young adult, I learned to love biking as a way of commuting in Madison, WI. There were so many (quicker) ways to get around on your bike than in a car. Plus, if you wanted to stop and relax, there was no need to search for parking. Last year, I purchased "my bike:"  A bianchi volpe. :)

I'm sure we all have our own stories. Remember your first bike? Learning how to ride without training wheels? Maybe you have recently purchased a new bike - what's that one like? Having a bicycle is a common experience most American's share. There seems to be a right of passage in getting your first speed/geared bike - whether it be brand new or a hand me down. By providing trails, paths and places to ride to, we can continue the story of the bicycle in our culture and in our individual lives.

Riders hop on for fun, for speed, for health, for the wind blowing in your face, for _______ (you fill in the blank). I love that on any nice weather weekend, you'll see all kinds of people hit the trails on their bike. A bike path is a good investment because it provides a healthy activity that folks can participate in together outside, and the cost is relatively small. It also could be said that public trails have become public spaces/places where people can gather and meet one another.

As the weather warms up, get on your bikes and ride!

No comments:

Post a Comment