One of my goals this year is to start using my bike for short trips around town. The local neighbourhood shopping district is about 2 miles away, which is outside of easy walking distance, but close enough that I don’t really need the car. Looking for a parking spot always annoys me, so I’m happy to skip that as well.
So, what do I ride and what do I wear? Though I love my road bike, these trips are better suited to something easier to just jump on and go. There are so many lovely city cruiser bikes, but, in the spirit of working with what I have, I’m using my trusty old mountain bike. It’s more upright and has better cushioning from bumps in the pavement. I replaced the quick-release fastenings on the seat and wheels with rods that have 5-sided hexkey (a pentakey?) as theft-deterence. Just a few weeks ago, I added a basket, so that I can use my purse instead of a backpack. I’d like to have a chain guard, but I don’t know if I can add one to it. I also want to add fenders.
I’ve really enjoyed the more sporty side of cycling in the last few years – it’s fun to go fast and ride hard. However, I’ve really come to appreciate how much fun and how useful other styles of cycling can be. The simplicity of being able to bring a purse and wear my street clothes makes it much easier to use my bike as a routine mode of transportation. It’s also great to rediscover that cycling can be easy and relaxing.