I grew up riding bikes. Whether biking around our subdivision with friends or by myself, I could spend entire days going round & round. Hopping on my bike was always a simple form of entertainment, a wonderful way to enjoy the sun and spend time with friends.
In the spring of 2007 I had visions of summer skirts, wire baskets, farmers’ markets, and me on a creme cruiser 3-speed with camel colored leather details, riding around in the sun. I also knew that I wanted to commute to work and get around town via bike; after much convincing I realized that I needed a bike with more speeds that was a little lighter than a cruiser. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and began the hunt for my perfect bike: vintage or simply used, cruiser handles & hybrid tires.
One gorgeous, sunny day that summer a friend called me to say that he found the bike I was searching for. I walked into my neighborhood bike shop and snapped up the $100 Motobecane (from the early 1980s). It fit the bill – cruiser handles and all.
Since then I’ve realized that Seattle is filled with avid riders, both for sport and transportation. I was intimidated my first month or so on the bike; I got destroyed by spandex covered men and women with rear view mirrors attached to the aerodynamic helmets. I felt the breeze on my left most days from messengers laden by skinny jeans and monstrous waterproof packs. Not much has changed, aside from my confidence and passion. Today, I ride my bike in everyday clothes, taking my time to get from one place to another.
I love riding my bike. We are asking for, deserve, and require a bike culture that encourages all to ride at whatever pace, on whatever bike, and in whatever clothes. We have to break the barriers to casual biking, proving that you don’t have to be an aggressive biker to get out there.