14 April 2011

Running on Sky

Hi folks, my name is Jennifer and I’m a friend of Deborah’s from our U of A days. I grew up on the Canadian Prairies, but have had a rather nomadic life as an adult, moving back and forth across North America for the past 10 years. My family and I have been in Seattle for a few years now and we’re starting to call it home.

Now…on to the bicycles! I’ve enjoyed riding bicycles since I was a kid and bought a mountain bike for recreational use throughout college. This was mostly moderate weekend rides of about 5-6 miles on protected bike paths. A couple of years ago, I bought a road bike which I use for my commute to work (about 6 miles) and occasional week end rides. I still have a place for my mountain bike, though, as it’s more stable for pulling my kid on a trail-a-bike. I also plan to use it more this year for short errands and outings around the neighbourhood.

Unlike the other LFL bloggers, I don’t have a vintage bicycle and I’m not really interested in restoring them as a hobby, though I do admire their style and design. My initial interest in cycling centered on practical questions of choosing a bicycle, finding routes, and figuring out the logistics of commuting. However, I’ve become steadily more interested in cycling advocacy and urban planning, particularly with respect to cycling and public transportation. Of course, I always like photos of happy people on their bicycles!

I ride a bike for several reasons – it’s great exercise and I find it much easier to stick with cycling than going to the gym. It’s cheaper than driving my car and paying for parking every day and vastly cheaper than buying a second car. Riding my bike reduces my contribution to the pollution and congestion of city streets. All of these reasons are true and they do have some motivation. However, the truth is that I ride my bike because it’s fun. There’s a greater sense of speed and control with a bicycle than a car. I see much more of the city and the seasons on my bike. And, in the end, it’s fun to go fast.

A couple of weeks ago, I hooked up the trail-a-bike and took my son, who’s five, to one of the local parks. He loves riding it – it’s faster than a little bike with training wheels and he gets to ride on the street. That night at supper, he turned to me and said “Mommy, riding a bike is so funny! It’s like your feet are running, but they’re running on sky!"

That's why I love riding my bike.

4 comments:

  1. I am so excited that Jen is our new coblogger!

    Jen, the running on sky comment is wonderful - smart boy!! When I first saw the title I immediately thought, "Did W.O. Mitchell talk about riding a bike in Who Has Seen The Wind?" I could not make that up. =)

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  2. Thanks, both of you!

    It's been years since I read "Who has seen the wind" - I don't specifically remember him mentioning riding the bike, but I wouldn't be surprised. A farm kid in the 1930s HAD to have had a bike. I should read it again some time. It would be interesting to see what I get from it now, vs. when I was a teenager.

    BTW, have I ever mentioned that I have W. O. Mitchell's pancake recipe?

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  3. We "upgraded" this spring to a tandem trail-a-bike so that both girls can ride behind their dad and - in a few months - I can carry the new baby in a seat on my bike. (Last year I pulled the 6-year-old on a trail-a-bike and he pulled the preschooler in a trailer.)

    Unfortunately our 4-year-old is terrified of being way in the back of the lengthy tandem trail-a-bike and is unwilling to give it a try. So we've backed off and have bought her a little 12-inch bike to work up her 2-wheeler (plus training wheels) confidence. Hopefully by summer we'll be able to get in some family rides...

    But both girls miss the days when their dad and I would go for long rides while he pulled them both along in a trailer and they got to relax with snacks, water bottles, and audio books on the iPod.

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