These days, I’m happiest curled up on my couch with a cup of tea and a juicy novel.
But, there is one adventure that I’ve wanted to have since I was a teenager and my desire to do it has only grown: I want to bike across the United States.
I love bikes and everything about them.
This week I went on a three and a half hour solo ride. The whole time, I was plotting my family’s bike trip across the country (tricky given that our youngest is only three) and listing in my head why biking makes me so happy. So, here it is. (And, Universe, if you’re listening, just want to put out there again that I’d like to bike across the United States. Thank you!)
1. Biking Turns Anything into an Adventure
Need to go to the grocery store, the cleaners, and the bank? Blech. But do it on bike and it becomes an adventure! Or, even without errands, hop on your bike and see where you end up. It’s the best way to get out and explore.
2. It Makes Me Feel Like I’m a Kid
Remember coming home from school, hopping on your bike, biking around the neighborhood with other kids, then playing Pac Man in somebody’s bacon-y smelling house until dinner? I do. And being on the bike reminds me of those days.
3. I Feel Great About Not Driving
I love getting somewhere knowing that I did not burn any fossil fuels along the way.
4. It’s a Great Family Activity
Meet our bike trailer, “The Shlufmobile,” or “The Shluf” for short. Shluf, in Yiddish means “sleep.” It’s original name was “The Shlepmobile” (“shlepping” meaning to haul something back and forth), but we quickly changed it when we realized that all we needed to get our son to sleep was The Shluf, a pillow and a blanket. Between our three kids, we’ve put hundreds, if not thousand of miles on this guy (it doubles as a stroller too). We’ve also got this nifty add-on bike guy so we can go on long rides with kids who can ride solo but not for miles at a time.
I love the utilitarian nature of biking. You’re outside enjoying yourself, getting some exercise, and at the same time you’re moving yourself where you need to go. On your own power. Sweet.
6. It’s Cheap Relative to Driving
My husband and I probably pay $1,000/year just for gas for our cars. Then add tune ups, new tires and breakdowns, not to mention the environmental and health costs of driving. Bike upkeep and maintenance cost a fraction of that. But, what about the cost of a bike? Isn’t that expensive? Well, not necessarily.Right now I’m training for a long ride on this 1988 Trek. In fact, I did a century ride (100 miles in one day) on this some years back. And, why yes, my husband did receive it as a present for his Bar Mitzvah! I’ve upgraded some parts along the way but it’s definitely still old school (not sure if you can tell but the levers to shift gears are right above the water bottle). My SUV bike, as I call it, is a hand-me-down from my father. We got our add-on bike off of Craigslist. None of our bikes are fancy but they all do the trick. An old hand-me-down can take you far.
7. It Keeps Me Healthy
I read somewhere that buying a bike is the best investment in your health that you can make. Sounds right to me.
Roads make cities functional, bike paths make them livable. One thing I love about Denver is the more than one hundred miles of bike paths in the city alone. And, most importantly, they plow them!
Not only am I a fan of singer/songwriter Peter Mulvey’s music but I love the fact that he sometimes does bike tours to get to his shows. Now, that’s just about the coolest thing I’ve ever heard.
…and here’s the bonus reason that I just thought of on my ride this morning:
16. Simple, Elegant Machinery
Bikes are so simple and elegant that even I can fix many of the issues that crop up.
Love the bike? Did I miss your favorite reason? Please add it to the comment section below.
Julie Geller is a singer/songwriter who is saving the world one song at a time by writing original, uplifting, positive music in English and Hebrew. You can watch her latest videos here. Sign up for free monthly music at www.JulieGeller.com.