As a child, I often biked around my neighborhood. It was a good way to get exercise and to visit my nearby friends. Most importantly, though, I found that it was a lot of fun. I am ashamed to admit this, but as I grew up, I started to ride my bike less and less. This decrease in cycling activity seemed to peak around the time that I got my driver’s license and moved away to attend RPI.
For some glorious yet unexplained reason, my sophomore year at school became a bicycling revival in my life. Not only did I bring a bike to school and resume my childhood activity, I began biking more than I ever had as a kid.
I found a job close to Troy, so I was able to bike to work, class, and almost anywhere else I needed to go. My options were seemingly limitless thanks to this compilation of metal and rubber! The more I biked, the more my fondness of the activity grew. I began to find aspects of biking that I loved that had never before crossed my mind. In the past, it had just been an enjoyable activity. Now, I see my bike as my ticket to freedom.
Having a bike gives me a mode of transportation that does not rely on fossil fuels. It also keeps me in shape and allows me to experience the outdoors on my commutes around town. In comparison to a car, my bike allows me to slow down a bit and really take in life. Since my biking revival, I have noticed much more about the contours of my hometown and been amazed by small details that used to fly by unnoticed in a car. One of my favorite discoveries from a bike ride last summer was the colossal amount of black raspberry bushes along the main road that leads to my house. For years, these bushes were unbeknownst to me as I passed by them in a car traveling at 55 mph.
In many small ways, bicycling has helped me to enjoy life on a different level than before. For example, my friends and I went on a camping trip in Lake George this past summer. Our transportation there and back was entirely by bike. While camping in the Lake George area is in itself a fine activity, the fact that we had gotten there completely by our own manpower seemed to heighten the satisfaction felt at the end of the trip.
Bicycling is awesome because it reduces the amount of cars on the road and the amount of fossil fuels consumed. On top of that, cycling has helped me to find joy in life and learn to appreciate my daily commutes.
If you’ve never been into cycling, it’s never too late to start! I encourage everyone reading this article to at least think about cycling and see where the idea takes you. It is likely that you will discover a hidden joy in your life! Lastly, as I’m sure you’ve all heard, always wear a helmet!