She has talked in the past about becoming car-free. She's not totally convinced that she can live without a car, even though she fully believes in all the benefits of a car-free lifestyle (not to mention that she was the one who got me to read Kunstler's "The Long Emergency", which is all about peak oil. A car is not a necessity for her, as we live in Minneapolis which has great public transportation. She essentially just wants the luxury of not having to bus/cab/hoof it everywhere, so I have suggested that she get more into bicycling. I mean, I have found the freedom to go about 90% of the places I need to go in Minneapolis really quickly and effortlessly by bicycle. Not to mention, it's the perfect form of transportation for those places that are too far to walk, but not far enough to justify calling a cab. She thinks that it is a good idea, but she's scared of falling off her bike (she grew up on a busy street and her parents wouldn't let her ride a bike until she was older, and by then she wasn't interested). She has always said that she will "try to ride her bike more" but it always feels like she is just saying that because she thinks that I want her to. I mean honestly, I WOULD like for her to start riding her bike and then eventually get to the point where she could consider becoming car free, but I want for her to find the joy in it for herself, not for me. I really think that she could like it if she could just get over her initial fears.
I've gone out with her on a couple rides on bike paths and roads that aren't busy but she just doesn't take to it. It seems like she just can't get over her fear. She almost always resists when I ask her if she wants to go for a ride.
So the questions are:
1. Am I being selfish? Should I back off? I mean, she has expressed her interest in being car-free, but am I pushing the biking thing too much? The last thing I want to be like is the disappointed dad who just can't accept the fact that his son doesn't want to play football, y'know? But at the same time (and I'm just being honest here) I really really want her to learn to ride a bike. And I guess there are maybe a few selfish reasons at work. For example, biking would make getting to the majority of the places we go all the time so much faster and easier than other methods.
2. Or on the flipside, does anyone else agree that it could also be a hugely rewarding and beneficial experience for her to conquer her fears and learn to ride a bike (and then eventually have the means to forego car payments, insurance payments, the mammoth cost of gas, etc.)?
If so, then what do you think would be the best way to go about it? Obviously, I don't want to be pushy, I want her to like it. She is a little shaky (literally) on a bike. Can being "solid" and confident on a bike be taught?
What do y'all think I should do?