Often I get asked “But how do you manage without a car?”…
I just smile and usually say “We manage really well, we are lucky we live in a city that has efficient public transport, train connections PLUS we cycle everywhere!”
Usually the questioner/s look at me slightly puzzled.
My dearest car, the family car that I had known since I was 11 years old that came to England all the way from home, broke down on me for good 5 years ago. You may find it sad, but I was attached to that car, it meant so much, it held so many memories. So, I wasn’t in the best of moods to go buy a new one and as I live in a great, cosmopolitan city, I thought “well, let’s wait a little and see if I really need it”.
At that time I had just started working, after graduating, and I really wanted to save – university was expensive! – so seeing if I could go without a car looked favourable, as I didn’t want to start spending lots of money on a new car.
Buses and trains took me places and although Britain hasn’t got the cheapest public transport ever, it still saved me more money than if I had to buy a new car, insure it, put petrol in it and pay for MOT/services and the likes.
Then my Pashley came along, and cycling became a way of being, to go about, to just hop on and pedal off (… into the sunset!! Ok I am getting carried away here…)
Cycling has enabled me to discover so much about my city, my surroundings and also what I can achieve. Not only is keeping me fit, but it has given me a boost of confidence that I could have never imagined possible.
What makes me the happiest nowadays is having some free time to explore places by bike, to push myself that little bit more every ride and best of all bike dates with my Mr. They are the cheapest and yet the most fun and most memorable experiences we have. We may argue a little, usually about which route to take or the fact he’s pushing me too hard (! I know, I know!)… but we finish every ride and I think when can we do it all over again?
There’s something so simple, yet so powerful about being able to create movement and speed solely with your own body. Perhaps people who love running share this feeling too. But that cycling speed, feeling the wind, the sun on my skin, and yes also the rain… is just something else.
I used to roll my eyes when I heard other (bi)cyclists say that to me, when I was only a two-footed person (rather than a two-wheeler), but it’s amazing how I get that too now, exactly as I heard it or read it before… and I can only think that if more people would give cycling a go they would probably experience the same feeling of freedom and contentment that a bike and riding brings you.
An odd post, perhaps… but it was spurred on by the passing summer storm we just had, as I looked out of the window the first thing I thought was “I wish I was riding my bike”…