Thursday, May 22, 2014

Commuting: Behind the times? Ahead of the times?

Freedom....isn't that why everyone commutes? Well, it is for me! I have commuted for, well, let's see, about 52 years now! The minute I learned to ride a bike I was off - to wherever a 5 year old needs to go! Living in a small town you realize biking to where you need to be is quick, inexpensive and sometimes your only option..... at least it was for me. My first commuter bikes were put together from parts my dad found at the dump..... and they were great bikes! When I turned 16, as all my friends were getting new cars as birthday presents, I got my first "New" bike. I was thrilled! I knew a car was not going to appear, but when a new bike did that was the best present yet. Most of my, all of my friends .....didn't get it and still may not.

When I went off to college there was no car...again, my bike was my transportation if I needed to go off campus. I quickly found out again that not many friends got it, but it really didn't matter because I could go places and that was freedom.

Married, living in a small town and one car...again, my bike was my way to get around...this time with a baby seat on the back. We rode everywhere and again, there weren't many people that understood, especially when I was 8 months pregnant and basically fell off the bike with child and groceries in tow.

Moving to Lincoln, our home choices centered around "getting around" on a bike. We chose to live central and with one child on a bike and the other in the baby seat we got around quite well. THEN life happened! Children got bigger, got involved, had commitments, my biking freedom was taken away for about 15 years! We rode bikes, but for fun and not that freedom of getting on a bike and going where you NEED to go...the "job" of my bike changed.

12 years ago the last child left home for college and my bike resumed it's job of getting me where I need to go. I have realized over all these years that there is nowhere you cannot go on a bike.... it may not be comfortable, it may not be practical, it may not be easy, but it can be done!
I actually think I may have made an impression on my grandkids as the other night, sitting at a chilly track meet, my daughter needed to go to her car and get more clothing. As she lamented the fact that the "car was clear on the other side of campus", my grandson reminded her that I could ride my bike to the car and retrieve the clothing. She declined and as we watched her set off,  in her dress and high heels, my grandson said "And THAT'S why you ride a bike!". Well said, Kellen.

Three commuting suggestions:
Start early and never be ashamed of your bike or biking.
Don't let what others think stop you.
Enjoy, I mean really enjoy, the freedom of commuting on bike.

This is the only thing that may stop you...but you can find your way around these barriers also! :)


  1. The importance of setting a good example can't be overstated. Well said Ann!