When we were kids, we pretty much lived on our bikes. We rode all over the countryside surrounding our small, rural farm town, jumping through ditches, popping wheelies, and tearing across fields for fun and kicks.
We also started early using our bikes for getting places. I first rode my bike to school in 2nd or 3rd grade. When I was 10 years old, our gang went on our first major expedition, riding from our hometown, all the way to the mall in the next city and back. It was quite an adventure. I measured the route on Google Maps this evening; the round trip was 22.4 miles.
From that auspicious start, bicycling for sport and bicycling for transport have been inextricably entwined for me. Over the years I’ve done some racing, lots of club riding, and even more mountain biking. Throughout, I’ve always used a bike for errands, commuting, and just getting around, but it’s only in recent years that a majority of my riding has been for transportation. Interestingly, this shift hasn’t diminished my enjoyment one iota. In fact, a more purposeful approach to riding has made it more rewarding than ever.
How about you? Are you a pure sport rider, or do you mix in some utility riding? Are you a pure transpo rider, or did you start riding for practical reasons, then take up sport riding later on? Has bicycling been a lifelong pursuit, or did you take it up in recent years? We’d love to hear your story.