To ride or not ride a bike is the question, and I think it’s a damn good one. What prompted me to ask this question is the experience I have on a daily basis.
No matter where I go, I get this very same question from everyone. Of course this question is asked in many different ways, but still, it’s asked a lot.
People look and point as I ride by, as if they haven’t seen a guy on a bike before. At red lights drivers yell out the window, “nice bike” as if they are shocked to see one.
Whenever I’m at the grocery store, restaurant or coffee shop, the questions pour in like a tech help center.
Questions such as:
”How does it ride?”
”Is it easy to climb up hills?”
”How much does it cost?”
”Where did you buy that from?’
”How much does it weigh?”
”Do you have to pedal a lot?”
The questions never stop, even though these people will never go out and buy any type of bike at all.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a very social guy and don’t mind talking to people. In fact I love talking to people who are genuinely interested in something that I can help them with. I think this is an awesome trait that made me excellent at customer service, even though my former job didn’t appreciate it.
But of course we’re not going to get into that right not, because that’s not what this post is about.
So back to my original question.
Why do I ride a bike? The answer is quite simple. I ride a bike because it lowers stress, blood pressure, decreases the risk of cancer, and helped me lose over 31 pounds of pure fat. Yes, I was a disgusting fat body that now has the body of a Greek god. And no, I’m not going to show you a picture so you can lust over me. And I’m definitely not going to show you my buns of steel. But more importantly than the reasons I already provided, riding a bike makes me feel darn good. And here’s why. It’s because I can!
Why Am I Happy When I Ride A Bike?
Whenever I ride a bike I feel like I’m at home. When I was growing up, I use to ride my GT Pro Freestyle BMX from morning to night. I’d get up very early, and ride that bad boy for mile and miles until the darn wheels came off, which they never did.
Anybody that rode with me during that time would agree that I was completely insane. I’d ride that mother so long that I’d literally have to take my hands off the handlebars and ride no handed, in order to prevent my hands from going numb.
Isn’t Riding A Bike Punishing Myself?
For those of you who don’t know, there’s nothing punishing about riding a bike. Yes, it can be tough when my shoes and clothes are drenched from pouring rain.
When it’s over 100 degrees and sweat is running down my forehead like Niagara Falls, it can be tiresome.
And when my hands and face are numb from below zero weather, it can sometimes cause me to question myself as to why I do it.
But I always end up back to my original answer. I do it because I feel free. The wind blows in my face. Water drops cause my clothes to cling to me. And the hot and cold weather reminds me that I’m alive, and have something to be grateful for.
Still, this isn’t what’s most important though.
Right about now you’re most likely expecting to see the same bullshit answers that you’ve read on the last 100 blogs you visited, before arriving at mine.
Everyone talks about how Bikes are cheaper than cars. Bikes are much better for the economy and your health. And cars are responsible for thousands of deaths each year. We all know this, but these aren’t the real reasons why I ride. They are just an added benefit that I still believe in.
The real reason why I ride a bike is because nobody can tell me what to do. The government can’t make me pay for insurance. They can’t make me pay for plates, registrations, or overpriced gas.
These are very obvious reasons. But what I truly like about riding a bike is the feeling that I’m telling the government and Corporate America to kiss my ass.
I Can Ride A Bike Anywhere I Damn Please!
I can ride a bike in the street even though road raged drivers don’t like it. To them I say, your self entitled self can kiss my ass.
If the road has a traffic jam I can ride on the sidewalk, even though some over exaggerating pedestrians don’t like it. To them I say, you can kiss my ass too.
Or if available, I can ride on paved trails or semi rough shortcuts, allowing me to avoid idiotic drivers who got their license from a cereal box. Along with the super sensitive pedestrians who cry that we ride on the sidewalks even when we’re nowhere near them. Basically, I can go places and explore where motor vehicles could never go, just like life intended.
Do I Hate Cars And Only Praise Bikes?
By now you’re probably thinking I’m one of those hardcore bicycle assholes, who go around causing trouble over people being parked in the bike lanes.
I’ve met a few of these people and I will openly admit that I want nothing to do with them. If you have the time to go around and harass people over being parked in the bike lane, then you have time to do something more productive.
How about going to the local government and getting information about improving bicycle infrastructure? How about getting funding to help afford this infrastructure? And how about finding ways to improve parking for those who drive, so that they don’t have to park in the bicycle lanes?
Going around harassing people, and writing shit on their windows or taping letters to their windshields isn’t going to help. All this is going to do is make everyone hate you even more and make it harder to move your cause forward.
I think cars and bicycles are vital modes of transportation depending upon how they’re used. There’s times when cars are more beneficial, such as when you have to travel very long distances. Or you have to travel in extremely bad weather. Cars can also be necessary for those who are physically handicapped or elderly.
You can use the cars for trips that require them, and save the bikes for local trips that don’t require them.
So, I think it’s time to give up the car versus bicycle bullshit! Don’t you think?
What Do I Enjoy The Most About Riding A Bike?
I’ve already mentioned many reasons why I like to ride a bike. There’s a ton of reasons why I love it, but there’s one that I truly love the most.
Lately, I’ve truly come to love taking photographs. I believe that photographs not only capture a moment in time, but also speaks more volume than any amount of words ever could.
I can sit here and explain a place and moment in great detail to you with words. Maybe I’ll do a great job and give you a clear picture in your mind about what the place was like. Or, I can provide a photograph where you can see what the place and moment was like. With the photo there’s no need to rely on your imagination, because you can actually see what I’m trying to explain to you. Now when I add words to the picture, the place and moment I’m trying to tell you about becomes twice as powerful.
Bikes are the best way to take pictures
What makes bikes so great for taking photos is that they are slower, and can go places that cars cant go.
When you’re riding slower you tend to take your time and notice things. Your brain gets a chance to see and experience things that a car doesn’t allow. With scenery passing by a lot slower your brain has a chance to process more of what it’s seeing.
Also, with a bike you can take shortcuts or ride to places that cars can’t go. You can ride paved trails that are located away from traffic, or if you ride a mountain bike, ride up in the mountains or forest areas. Some people even go bicycle touring around the world. All perfect chances to take amazing photo’s.
When is the best time to take pictures?
The best time to take pictures is in the morning or close to sunset. Before the sun completely rises or sets at night, the sun isn’t directly above you. When the sun is exactly above you it has a tendency to completely wash your photos out. What you end up with is bright rays on your photos that cover up the details. If you must take pictures during the middle of the day, try to find a shade to take them in. It eliminates the sun spots that totally ruin your amazing photos.
My favorite time to take photos is at night. I don’t have to worry about the sun destroying my phenomenal photos, or burning me to a crisp even though I wear sunblock. Plus, I love shit that lights up such as my bicycle lights. Just don’t leave them home like I did recently.
You’re Probably Wondering What Kind Of Bike I Ride
Remember what I said in the begging of this post about how crazy people act when they see my bike? They ask all types of questions and flock around like I’m handing out free lottery tickets. There’s a reason why they act this way.
You see, I don’t ride a bike that resembles anything you’d normally see. My bike is much different. I ride a folding bike. Yes, you heard correctly. My bike folds up for easy storage and travel.
I use to ride a regular full sized hybrid bicycle until I won a folding bike from a raffle. Ever since then, I’ve given my hybrid bicycle away and rode a 2-speed Brompton and Tern Link D8. Both these bikes fold and eliminate many of the problems that are usually associated with owning a bike.
At home I don’t have to worry about where I’m going to store them, or deal with them always being in the way. I can fold them up and put them in a closet or the basement.
While shopping at the grocery store or hanging out somewhere, I don’t have to worry about locking them up somewhere only to be stolen. Instead, they are a thieves worst nightmare because they’re always by my side. So, the bike thieves can also kiss my ass. Plus, I can travel with these folding bikes by bus, train or plane. Here I come global travel!
Now Back To My Original Question. Why Do I Ride A Bike?
The answer is simple. It’s because I can! Plus, I like to be different because just fitting in is boring and kills creativity.
As Mr. Miyagi in the movie, “The Karate Kid” said:
Walk the left side of the path, everything okay. Walk the right side of the path, everything okay. Walk the middle of the path, squish just like grape!
Now enough about me.
Why do you ride a bike?