It’s been amazing, hearing from so many people over that past 30 days about why they ride. The reasons are varied and wide-ranging, and the essays have provided ample food for thought. Following are just a handful of quotes pulled from the pool of over 200.
“Riding makes me happy and takes me places I wouldn’t normally go.” —Ryan Sprake
“We ride for family togetherness. Having adult children that still want to ride with us is one of our greatest joys.” —John McLean
“The sights, the sounds, the wind, the smells.” —Mona Raza
“I ride to bring home the groceries.” —Jack Bulkley
“I ride for exploration and freedom. I ride because of the elegance/form of the bicycle. I ride for functional transportation and for the environment.” —Will Millhiser
“Why do I ride? It’s faster than walking and far more enjoyable than being in a car.” —James Kirby
“This is the first year I’ve tried to commute by bike year round, and I’ve experienced every single fleeting minute of our fall, and I’m a richer, happier person because my bike forces me to slow down, to appreciate, fully inhabit, and embrace my surroundings.” —Cecily Walker
“I ride to find places that feel like heaven on earth.” —Jeff Ignall
“There are many reasons why I ride but this morning it was for fresh apple cider and homemade donuts!” —Ron Whitmire
“Because laying in a field on a sunny Sunday with your car would be weird.” —Thom Bahde
So, why do we ride? Underpinning everything we do here at EcoVelo is the desire to reduce our dependence on the automobile while encouraging others to do the same. We strongly believe reducing automobile use can improve our neighborhoods, our cities, and ultimately, the world.
While this is reason enough to leave our car in the garage, truth be told, there are other, more personal (selfish?) reasons why we ride bikes, including:
- the feeling of well-being that comes with physical activity in the out-of-doors;
- the tangible health benefits that come from daily exercise;
- the surprising amount of money that can be saved by eliminating an automobile;
- the greater connection with our community that comes from being out and exposed to our neighbors;
- the increased appreciation of nature that comes from daily exposure to the elements; and perhaps most importantly for us,
- the sheer joy of sharing the experience with friends and family.
Taken together, these benefits make a compelling case for transportational bicycling, and on a personal level, they make bicycle riding an extremely important part of our daily lives. The wonderful essays accompanying the photos in the “Why I Ride” photo contest have brought these ideas and ideals into even sharper focus for us, while also inspiring us to make an even greater commitment to our mission. Thank you!
—Alan & Michael