Most people ride their bike for exercise. Some people, mostly kids, ride for fun. Even fewer ride their bike for transportation. I ride for all of these reasons. As a kid in my purely fun days, a Trek Antelope 800 carried me on my journeys. Growing up near Washington DC, that hybrid bike took me anywhere I wanted to go: to and from school, up and down the C&O Canal, friend's houses, basketball courts and soccer fields. It gave me freedom at a young age.
During my undergrad years at Ohio State, I rode my bicycle to classes as well. I vividly remember riding to school in the rain, with my notebook safely zip-locked and arriving to class just in the nick of time. My dripping pant legs formed a massive puddle during the 50 minute lecture. It was also during those college years that I learned the importance of always locking up my bike and taking it in at night. Bicycles are commodities regardless of the condition they are in, which brings me to another point: regardless of the condition your bike is in, it doesn't take much to fix it up for riding condition and take it to work or school. After I graduated, I moved to Arlington, Virginia and rode my bike to work, moonlighting as a high school teacher. You can pretty much say that my bicycle has been my main source of transportation throughout my life.
These days, mountain biking is one of my favorite ways to stay in shape. Living in Southern California, near the hills, there are miles and miles of trails in close proximity to my house. This means I take a loop from my garage to Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park, which is about 14 miles round trip. Thus, not requiring the use of a car. Convenient, given that I don’t own one. And sometimes, I see the most epic sunsets. In the one below, you can see a snow capped Mt. Baldy in the distance.
I will be taking many trips to the beach this coming year. One of my goals will be commuting via bicycle. Yup, Riverside to the ocean. The annual 'Smog to Surf,' leisure ride which now goes by the more playful name, 'Riverside to Surfside' is the route I plan to take. I am hoping that Colleen will occasionally follow my lead, riding behind me on her new custom made Trek FX. We will see how 60 miles treats her spirit, her bike, and her butt. When was the last time YOU rode your bike for over 2 hours? Do it! Tomorrow! It gets easier after the first 45 minutes.