Saturday, September 28, 2019

How Could I Have Been So Wrong?

        I just don't get it. Forty-five years ago I figured out that bicycles and bicycling is good for you...the healthiest and most efficient form of locomotion ever invented. Simple and beautiful and increases your awareness of the world around you like nothing else. When cycling is performed and practiced on a regular basis it keeps you young, supple and smiling. It's easier on your feet, your knees, your back and your pocketbook than any other activity that you attempt in the out-of-doors.
        So, why doesn't everyone I know and especially the ones I love, partake in bicycling? "It's too hard"...doesn't have to be. "It's too dangerous"...don't ride where it's dangerous. "It's too expensive"...doesn't cost as much as most of your bad habits or mindless entertainments. Spend $500 on a new bicycle and you are likely to use it for twenty years with inner tubes and chain lube as your only expenses. "It's too much work" yet, they realize that doing work leads to rewards...some that you expect and others that surprise you.
        I really thought that bicycles and cycling would be an easy sell. Now that I've owned a bicycle shop for over twenty-five years I must's not always easy to convince the public that bicycle riding is a good idea. It appears to be so much easier to hop in your car to go to the grocery store, even though you spend as much as a fifth of your annual income keeping the car (or truck) fed, housed and operating reliably. I can't even sell my own family on the idea of regular cycling activity for the sake of health, the environment or extending their lives by a couple of years.
        How could I have been so wrong? I actually imagined that by the year 2020 America would be rivaling Denmark or The Netherlands for percentages of travelers choosing to ride bicycles to complete their errands. I imagined huge bicycle parking facilities in America's downtown spaces. As a teenager with a fertile imagination I was often called "a dreamer"...some things never change.

1 comment:

  1. Ths subsidies cities and states in US provide for roads and parking without accounting for the effects of pollution has heavily favored cars and driving. The human tendency to think short term on the impact of decisions especially on health, and great marketing by car companies and industries which profit from cars has stacked the deck against bicycling for many years. People are slowly beginning to understand the impact. You were way ahead. Keep up the good cause.