Monday, July 20, 2009

My history with bikes

My fondest childhood memory of bicycle riding was helping my cousin out with his paper route when we were still in elementary school. Getting up before the crack of dawn, we'd get on our bikes and, with no cars around, we owned the road. It was so liberating, so empowering. Somehow between then and now I lost sight of that joy and freedom that cycling can bring.

I had a Giant mountain bike my dad bought for me in 90's. The whole family got them, in fact. We took our bikes camping a couple times, but really I never rode much, and never did any real mountain biking. I went away to college; it was a perfect time to use a bike. Never once did I ride a bike in college. I only ended up taking my old bike from my parent's house once I had graduated and gotten a house of my own. Still, I never rode it. I even worked for five years a mere 4 miles from home. I finally sold that old bike after it gathered dust in my garage for a few years.

Fast forward...I entered grad school for city/urban planning. I still really didn't get cycling as a viable mode of transportation until very recently, a few years out of school. I'll probably get into planning aspects of cycling a little deeper in future posts.

A year or two ago I began getting more interested in owning a bike again. Initial intentions were to use the bicycle purely for recreation/fitness. In the course of doing internet research (i.e. obsessing) I somehow ran across the website for Xtracycle. Wow! Seeing and learning about this cargo bicycle movement really opened up my eyes to the possibilities of using a bike for everyday things. Bicycle commuting began creeping into my mindset.

I eventually purchased a mountain bike in summer 2008. I used it as intended out on the trails and enjoyed it alot, though I can safely say I've not developed into an avid trail rider. My conditioning and endurance is still lacking. When I can, I do some fairly short fitness rides around the neighborhood. It was, and still is, tough finding the time to ride, so I've truthfully not been in the habit of riding (yet).

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