Monday, July 4, 2011

The Freedom of Biking

When I was 13 years old I got a new bike. It was a blue supercycle with white tire walls and a white saddle. I remember feeling immense pride in owning a bike and also great pleasure and a sense of freedom as I rode it around the town. It was my route, my bike, my choice.

Some 40 years later, I still bike. I love the speed and the sense that I can use my bike to do almost anything. I don't need a car to get me places. Recently I reintroduced myself to bike camping. There is nothing like the feeling of riding a bike with your camp gear and indeed your entire world on wheels. Fantastic.

When I bike, I feel that I am not ruining the planet for my own enjoyment. The only carbon dioxide I emit is from my own breath! I love the silence and being so close to the scenery that I can stop anywhere to enjoy the vistas. I love the fact that the bike is powered by me, not some engine. I love the fact that there are no traffic jams when I am on a bike, I can zip around like a cat.

I love the fact that I can park anywhere, parking spaces are always available and I can park my bike close to where I stop for a break or to have a picnic. If my bike breaks down, I can usually fix it and for the most part I can maintain my bike,

Cars are clumsy and awkward. They require mechanics and parts and are expensive to run. They run on gas and make you fat. My bike runs on fat and uses no gas!

Ottawa is considered one of the cycling capitals of the world. We have numerous bike paths that can take you almost anywhere and for the most part, cars are getting used to the idea that the bike is a vehicle and yes, we do ride ON the roads, not hugging the curb or on the sidewalk. Over 40 years later when I ride my bike, it is still my route, my choice, my freedom!

Vive le Velo!

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