I have been an avid bicycle commuter for a number of years. Most of my riding takes place in the seasons where snow and ice do not render the ground too slippery for my comfort level. Still, I strive to get in quite a few months of two-wheeled bliss.
Sometimes I ride to get to work-related meetings and events, and sometimes I just hop on my 24-speed mountain bike and head to the River Valley, just for the fun of it. Cycling gives me the opportunity to get outside, get some fresh air, and get some much-needed exercise. It also gets me where I want to go, with reasonable speed and safety.
Cycling has taken on even more importance in my life through my involvement in the activist community. Bicycles and activism go hand in hand. Or, more accurately, bottom on seat. In addition to creating a more intimate interaction between myself and my surroundings, here are some reasons (both practical and radical) why two wheels are better than four:
Of course, riding a bicycle everywhere, all the time, throughout the year is not a choice everyone makes due to various practical considerations. Even still, cycling can usually be incorporated into one’s lifestyle, assuming one is physically able to do so. Give up driving once or twice a week. Plan a weekly family ride through the River Valley. Ride, instead of drive, to errands of shorter distances. Bicycle-based lifestyles can build over time. Besides, it’s fun and addictive -- in a good way.
Paula is a freelance writer, editor, and photographer. She owns a driver’s license, but not a car.