It was a weekend of remembering why I ride. My parents and I toured the city on Saturday, riding our bikes from Queen Anne to the University District to Greenlake to South Lake Union. We weren’t the only ones enjoying the freedom of two wheels. There were expensive racing bikes speeding by, and cruisers made from spare parts ambling along. We saw and a Dad and daughter leaving the bike store with a her brand new bike, racers in training, and moms pulling babies in Burley trailers.
You notice more on a bicycle. There are the cracks in the pavement, stores hidden away in alleys, friendly faces that you meet along the way. Every fence, pole, or bench is an instant parking space. Miracles abound around every corner. On a bicycle, the journey is more important than the actual destination.
On Sunday, we did a different type of exploring by bicycle. We went to Tiger Mountain to do a little mountain biking. On the way, we passed a couple of guys out enjoying the day. Their bikes were outdated, one pannier rack was falling off, and they didn’t know where they were going. At the top, we saw them again. One of these guys was so proud of himself, you could see the joy radiating from his smile. Soon, he’ll be addicted. My mom was out mountain biking with us also. She is part of a generation of women who weren’t encouraged to do sports as young girls. And yet, she was out there doing a difficult ride, digging deep, never complaining, doing something truly extraordinary. You don’t get those experiences watching TV, going to the mall, sitting in a coffee shop. She should be an inspiration to everybody. You don’t live life by staying in your comfort zone, by doing things that are easy.
People who ride bikes are happy people, kinder people. It doesn’t matter how fast they are riding, what sort of bike is between their legs, whether they are on a road, a paved path, or gnarly trail. Biking people are swell people. I’m glad to know them.