A Simple Message

We’re half way through the “Why I Ride” photo contest and it’s been a real treat seeing all of the wonderful entries and reading everyone’s stories. We’re up to around 125 submissions at this point; for those of you who have already submitted a photo — thank you! And for those who haven’t joined the party yet, you have two weeks to submit your entry.

Beyond just enjoying the many beautiful images, it’s been enlightening to see the common threads running through the essays. Some of you mentioned the joy of sharing time with loved ones as your motivation to ride, while others listed the physical challenges and health benefits. Conspicuously absent are any mentions of saving money or “saving the planet”. Regardless of how or where you ride, most of you described how bicycling makes you feel: joyful, healthy, alive, peaceful, free, and accomplished.

So, while we spend a lot of time talking about infrastructure, gas prices, crash statistics, gear ratios, helmets, handlebars, etc., it seems fairly clear that most of us ride simply because of how it makes us feel. Sharing this simple message, and encouraging others to share in the joy, is probably the best thing we can do to grow bicycling.

7 Responses to “A Simple Message”

  • Larry Guevara says:

    I’ll second the sentiment of enjoying all the pictures for this contest, whether they are taken by professionals, beginners, someone out for a ride, or just a picture of a bike. They soothe my heart.

  • Pete says:

    People might start riding for lots of reasons but, at the end of day, you only stick with something if you really, truly enjoy it.

  • Josef says:

    I second Pete’s response. The eco-impact is in all of this, whatever the ride. I’ve been a bike commuter for years, I consider “saving the planet” to be a collateral benefit. Ok, if it wasn’t for the planet also, I might not have adopted the motto “Ride to Work – Always”, and might have wimped out on those 10-12 days in a year, which are really nasty.
    Too many people believe, a sustainable life-style has to be one of less in many ways. Your contest shows that it actually about more, much more.

  • Madness says:

    I’m so enjoying this too. Thanks so much for hosting it. Alan, you’re the host with the most. And I agree with Pete. When one only has 150 words, the most passionate ones spill out first. P.S. I do ride as reciprocity to my planet and to be a good planetmate – just ran out of words. Sorry Planet.

  • Fergie348 says:

    Thirds to @Pete. If I didn’t love it so darned much I wouldn’t be on my bike regardless of the secondary effects. Probably the best we can do to grow the numbers of bike commuters is to remove or mitigate as many of the barriers to entry as possible (and I think we’re pretty aware what those barriers are). Love will do the rest..

  • Squib says:

    point well made

  • Dottie says:

    I love seeing and reading all the entries. As you pointed out, it’s great to be reminded of the real reasons we all love bikes so much.

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