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.