Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Big City Future

This morning I was reading a post linked through Cyclelicio.us that claims "According to a May 2010 Brookings Institute report, “metro areas are exceeding national averages on population growth.” For the first time, America’s suburbs are more likely to be home to minorities, the poor, and a rapidly growing older population, while younger, educated whites move to cities for better jobs and shorter commutes." I'm curious as to what this all means for me and for others who live in small towns and cities. Will the small city become obsolete? Will we begin to think of suburbia as 'the ghetto?' Does this mean if I don't live in a larger city, I'll be left behind? I have no issue particularly with living in a larger city, and I am beginning to understand as I age each year that there really isn't a reason to live in a smaller town because everything is easily accessed in larger cities, but I find it curious that the 20-somethings of today are flocking to larger cities in large numbers. It does make sense though, particularly as the larger the city, the more people there are, and the more likely one is to meet friends, a partner, find a job, and be able to bike or take another alternate mode of transportation on errands, meetings and work. With larger cities come other issues though (such as over population and more crime).

While there are days I enjoy living in a small city (less than 100,000 is my definition of  'small'), there are many other times when I long for the convenience of real city life. Though I have experienced living in a large city, it was one that was quite spread out and not at all built to sustain living without a car (though I did so for a good chunk of time). I am also curious to see if the current 20-something workers will get into their 30s and 40s and wish to live in a smaller area?
I know that I've found that there's a level of city that I enjoy and then it becomes too much. For example, Denver is fine as a city and is very doable, however, I'm not sure I could live in New York for the long term. Though I've busied myself musing about the future and what it will entail, I realize that nothing happens over night and for now, those of us living in small town America will have to make do with what we have.

In other news, I'm wondering who in the world I'm becoming? I actually purchased a synthetic fabric bike jersey the other day (whether I will wear it or not remains to be seen), and this morning found myself browsing clipless pedals. I've had some foot strain issues and have read that it could be due to my shoes or lack of the clipless pedals.
I wish that I didn't fear these pedals so very much because it would be an easy decision, but I've heard and read too many incidents of newbies falling down at a signal because they can't unclip his/her shoe, and I know how clutzy I am, so I question whether I want to endure the trials and tribulations of learning to do this. While I am tempted to take the plunge and force myself to figure it out, I really don't want to drop my pretty bicycle, nor do I want to hurt myself.


3 comments:

  1. You have to just jump in, the water's great! Really.

    Actually my husband had good advice - first time out (or really do this a couple times at the beginning of your rides) just ride around on a lush lawn for a while, and clip in and out. You probably won't fall, but the lawn will keep you going at a moderate pace. Only once did I ever come close to falling when I was really tired at the end of ride. Now clipping out is second nature and sometimes I forget and kinda "clip out" of my platform pedals on my city bike. :)

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  2. {giggle} @ 'clipping out of platform pedals.' I know I should try to do this, and it would make it easier for the longer rides, but I am completely freaked out by the idea of being "trapped" in a pedal. I agree though that it's more of a practice thing and what I am currently used to. I think I just need to try, try again, and should probably give this a go. I am slowly working my way up to the scariness of it all.

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  3. I know you can do it! Just don't tire yourself out on your first few rides.

    Like I mentioned elsewhere, we just got back from a little cyclotour in Italy. What did I bring? My Brooks saddle and my pedals. It's a learning curve but worth it.

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