Monday, 24 June 2013

The real reason I ride

I always feel happiest when I'm by
the ocean on two-wheels
It's another dreary June day in Vancouver, and I'm having a particularly trying day balancing all the tasks that are waiting to be completed. As I work away the afternoon, my mind wanders, trying to think of something I can do to lift my spirits and keep me going until the weekend and the beginning of summer holidays. I think of relaxing spa days I wish to one day enjoy, of our family vacation mid-July spent with family, but most of all, I think of my bike and the rides I will enjoy on the warm summer days. 

We all have reasons to ride a bike. Some do it as a means of transportation, others to save the environment by reducing their carbon footprint, many do it for exercise. These are excellent reasons to get on a bike, and have helped inspire many bike-curious people to give it a try. I think, though, that all of us who ride bikes are unwittingly keeping secret the real reason we ride because it seems so obvious, at least to me. Aside from the health benefits, the reduction of co2 emissions, and getting around slightly faster than walking, I ride my bike because it's fun!

Riding a bike for me is one of the purest forms of enjoyment. Being exposed to the elements, feeling the sun on my face, and experiencing everything first hand has brought me so much joy throughout my years, from when I started to ride as a small child until today. I have my most inspiring moments on two wheels, and sometimes the best conversations with my husband when we are slowly pedalling along the seawall together.

Perhaps it's time we start letting the average person in on our secret. Instead of putting the focus on the divisive reasons that turn people away for fear that they may be lumped into a political agenda, next time somebody asks you why it is you like to ride a bike, be honest! Tell them how much fun it is! How no matter what age you are, riding a bike is like being a kid all over again, and feeling the freedom of being able to go pretty much anywhere you would like, in almost any direction you choose. Stripping away the political, environmental or health reasons for riding is the best way to get more people to try getting on a bike. When the only reason left is the sheer exhilaration of the wind in your hair and the smile on your face, there's no better sales pitch for bicycles, and you'll be sure to inspire many!

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the future of the human race."
-H.G. Wells-

"There is nothing, absolutely nothing, quite so worthwhile as simply messing about on a bicycle"
-Tom Kunich-