I guess you could call me a former general opponent of cycling. That is a hard term, but I feel it is an accurate one upon reflection. I grew up believing that bikes were only for children and guys that lost their drivers license because of DUI convictions. I came to biking through my career as an urban planner. The longer I worked in the field of planning the more I realized that large suburban strip malls and mega-ranch subdivisions are not the end-all be-all of civilization. I also spent some time in Europe while I was in the Army. Europe acquainted me with some different ways in which humans organize the physical space within they live. I saw public and bicycle transportation thriving and serving more than just hobos and the elderly despite what we see in the American Midwest.
While it has taken me some time to come around, I think I am finally there. I now see not only the utility and beauty of the bicycle, but the promise it holds to solve a variety of self inflicted human foibles. The bicycle is gradually becoming a greater part of my life. My daily ride is one of the most enjoyable times in my day.
I ride a cheap old hardtail Schwinn Woodland CroMolly mountain bike with 26Ē road tires. I use it for a little commuting, some utility trips to the store, but I use it mostly for fitness rides. I have it set up with plastic fenders, lights, a rear rack, a handle bar bag, a trip computer, and a rugged set of homemade panniers. Iíll never set a land speed record, but I donít think I need to keep up with the Jonesí.
I am pretty happy with my simple and reliable bike and my communityís efforts to make our small midwestern town bike-friendly. As an aside, I seem to be the only guy in town that wears a lightweight orange mesh reflective vest. It gets some sneers from the road bike guys and the local jocks. Nevertheless, I think it is smart to be visible. It is just a common courtesy to the drivers. It helps them see me, and it weighs practically nothing.
Thanks to those that keep this board going.