Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Little Green Monster

No, I'm not referring to the new Raleigh Lady Sports that's made its way into our home (Besides, I'd hardly refer to her as a "monster").  I was actually pondering, or rather finding myself highly jealous of, those who are in larger cities with more bike-friendly people and areas to ride around. Cities like San Francisco, Portland and Chicago come to mind as a few of the areas that strike me as having several groups and/or individuals who are able to do most, if not all things by bike. I find myself wanting to be in these kinds of areas so that I don't feel so all alone when I ride my bicycle. Sure, I pass the occasional cyclist, but in these parts, they are hard core for the most part, and in some ways, I feel different from these folks. If I wave or say good morning in passing, it is quite rare that anyone even acknowledges my presence. Instead they just pedal on in their brightly colored spandex outfits to outperform themselves in some self-made, invisible race.
This image of John Kerry riding reminds me of the 'type' of rider we see, for the most part, in this area
The more I thought about it though, I realized I don't have much to be jealous of in regard to these larger cities. Here are some of the initial thoughts I had in regard to pedaling my way around town in a relatively small city.

1) I get to be alone on the roads with my thoughts. If there were too many cyclists around me all the time, I would find myself distracted and perhaps conversing with others as I ride. While that would be enjoyable at times, I have to say that I really do enjoy the thinking time being alone on my bicycle gives me.

2) Most drivers (and I say most, because the "bad" drivers exist everywhere) are fairly considerate of bicycles and do their best to yield the right of way or make room on the roads. I've had some run ins with a few scary drivers, but as a whole, they are polite and look out for those on two wheels. I can't help but think this might be different in a larger area with more bicycles, because I've heard horror stories about cyclists being told to "get off the road" or "stop hogging the lane" in larger, more well-known cycling cities. Particularly in the months from November through April, I find cars are pretty consistently considerate of me while riding.

3) I also think I enjoy being an individual. I know that sounds silly on the surface because of course we are all individuals; however, here it is rare to see someone riding around in every day clothing, simply using his/her bike as a means of transportation unless the individual doesn't have a driver's license, doesn't have a car at all, or s/he is on some sort of license suspension due to impaired driving. Getting to stand out in crowd is kind of fun, and in fact, I get to have some interesting conversations with people because of this.
So, even though these may sound like only a few simple reasons not to be jealous of those living in larger cycling areas, I think (at least for now) it works for me, and perhaps I'm starting to make my peace, even if only for the moment, with living in area that isn't as bicycle friendly as perhaps I would like it to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Word verification is on, but I've turned off the moderation portion in an attempt to make it easier for you to know that your comment has indeed made it through. We'll see how this goes, but I'm hopeful that this will help out and I'll try my best to weed through and remove spammers comments. Additionally, I recommend copying comments before hitting publish as the "blogger comment eater" seems to continue his snacking.