Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Learning to ride a bike

Since the accident my only mode of transportation has been my beach cruiser that I've had since I was eleven. It is hunter green, and if I wasn't so lazy I would find a picture of it, or take one, to post.

I quite like riding my bike. I mean, I'm getting exercise, I'm going where I want to (for the most part), I'm not spending all my tips on gas, etc. The only part I don't love it the sweat. I'm okay with being sweaty, but not when I get to Borders or my chiropractic appointment, or work. Thankfully there are these things called "deodorant" and "body spray" that are small enough to carry with me everywhere. So, smelliness can generally be avoided.

Last week I rode from my house to Moe's on Hoadly Rd. I have no idea what that amounts to in miles. I didn't plan on going there, I was just in a bad mood and needed to clear my head (something I've needed to do a lot lately) and where I would usually go for a drive, I went for a ride. It was refreshing and wonderful. Yeah, it took about three times as long to get there as it usually would via car, but I felt awesome afterwards.

My biggest problem with not having a car at my constant disposal was the sense of freedom I thought I'd lost. But there's a completely different sense of independence that comes with riding a bike. It's all about you. You and the machine, but not a machine that your externally operating, a machine that you become a part of. You also become much more aware of your surroundings. I think I've developed a greater appreciation for my body. It's not something that I often think about. But, I have this awesome machine and when it's used, it can do anything. And then when you combine it with another machine, it's literally awe-some.

I wish we had bike lanes or more sidewalks, or wider shoulders, something. Lake Ridge is not very bike friendly. I've had quite a few people yell out of the SUV's for me to get off the road. But I'm not "in" the road. I'm on the shoulder, usually. I'm only in the right lane if there aren't any other options, and it's not like they can't see me. I mean, I'm not in their way, I'm not slowing them down. Perhaps if they knew what I know, they wouldn't be so quick to make an ass of themselves.

Today after my chiropractic appointment I dropped off some movies, went to the bank, and made a stop at our local bike shop. They are all in the same shopping center, how convenient! (so much more so than Manassas) And all within a ten minute bike ride away! I bought myself one of those obnoxious flashing lights, some lube and a rear-view mirror (to attach to my handlebar). I also ordered a basket for the back of my bike. I'm most excited about this. Hopefully it will mean less hauling junk in my backpack, or at least a lighter load.

Dude, if you don't have a bike, you should get one.


Ben said...

Great post.

We really do need to make things more bike-friendly. It's such a great way to get around--healthy, eco-friendly, etc.

Some SUV drivers just can't help themselves. They've got a big earth-killing vehicle and anyone who doesn't is just askin' for it.'s good for you. said... Lots of crazy-ass drivers out there.