A Simple Feeling

Gliding

A fellow bike blogger recently asked me, “What is the one reason, above all others, that you ride a bicycle?”

By now, most of us are aware of the many benefits of riding bicycles for transportation, some of which include:

  • the 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
  • the smaller environmental impact that results from reducing automobile use.

But beyond all of these tangible benefits, the primary reason I always come back to the bike is the simple feeling of gliding through the world under my own power. Simply put, there’s nothing that provides quite the same sense of pure freedom and childlike joy as riding a bicycle. For me, all of the rational arguments for riding a bicycle pale in comparison.

15 Responses to “A Simple Feeling”

  • Jesse says:

    Nailed it! Riding is just fun. You can take in your surroundings better, I always see something new when I ride, even if it’s the same route I’ve been taking for years.

  • John Boyer says:

    I think the above explanation, especially in these uncertian times is the prime reason to promote in order to increase widwspread ridership. How all the worries of this tired planet seemed to go dorment while we ride along. Commuting in this state of mind is always a great way to start your workday too!

  • voyage says:

    @Alan

    “the surprising amount of money that can be saved by eliminating an automobile”

    That’s true but absolutist and might frighten some people away: “…minimizing an automobile” “car-light, car-smart”, which is what we do, might be more effective phrasing. Granted, there are fixed costs associated with car ownership (insurance, registration).

  • Jon M says:

    Road riding for me:

    > provides freedom
    > has given me a level of fitness I’ve never had before
    > has allowed me to meet new friends
    > has given me a new client
    > gets me out away from the Mac
    > makes me smile!

    One of my biggest regrets is not commuting by bike when I did work for a large company… hey ho!

  • Logan says:

    Wonderfully reflective post Alan! :)

    I love the feeling of freedom that comes from bicycling too. The bicycle is a wonderful machine that quietly amplifies human power and grants the rider freedom from slow walking, freedom from waiting powerlessly for the bus/train/car-traffic, and freedom to coast on low friction wheel bearings like a bird hovering on a current of wind. All of this freedom for the mere cost of health yielding exercise. Thats why I ride and love bicycling.

  • Jack says:

    Therapeutic Fun.

  • Alan says:

    Wow, Logan; thanks for that! Just a perfect description.

    All the best-
    Alan

  • Mike says:

    voyage:

    “That’s true but absolutist and might frighten some people away: “…minimizing an automobile” “car-light, car-smart”, which is what we do, might be more effective phrasing. Granted, there are fixed costs associated with car ownership (insurance, registration).”

    Also mainenance and depreciation. Those are very big costs of owning an automobile which are often overlooked (primarily depreciation for newer cars and maintenance for older ones).

  • kfg says:

    You didn’t leave anything to say.

  • bongobike says:

    Alan wrote:
    “…the simple feeling of gliding through the world under my own power. Simply put, there’s nothing that provides quite the same sense of pure freedom and childlike joy as riding a bicycle.”

    My feelings exactly, Alan. There is nothing like it. The enjoyment of that simple feeling you experience gliding down the road under your own power on that smooth, efficient machine is simply unique.

  • Well said… « SpringfieldCyclist.com – Tracy Wilkins’ Cycling Weblog says:

    [...] http://www.ecovelo.info/2011/02/03/a-simple-feeling/ [...]

  • John L says:

    “I ride my bike because I like to ride my bike.”

  • Trevor Woodford says:

    Absolutely spot on !
    I’ve enjoyed the thrill of ‘whizzing’ along under my own power for about 57 years now and it never fails to deliver.
    Cycling for me is a total freedom to travel in a very ‘green’ way.
    I love it and I love my bikes !!

  • Ryan says:

    I commute a lot, and even on those days when I dread going in to work, I’m happy as soon as i start pedaling. I’ll find myself with a stupid smile on my face for no apparent reason. To put it in context: I’m not a happy, cheery Pollyanna-type. That’s the power of a bicycle.

  • Liz says:

    Thats it!

 
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