Why Not . . . Ride a Bike?
Wednesday September 4, 2013

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I can remember a yellow banana seat being the distinguishing feature of one of my first bikes as a young girl. As I grew up, another adventure on a bike took me to the San Juan Islands up off the coast of Washington state, and then it was Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) in Murder, She Wrote that inspired my fascination for getting back on the bike again as an adult.

Tucked away in my garage I’ve had for the past five six years a sea foam green beach cruiser, and I must say I can’t help but smile each time I take a look at it. Taking a ride on it really does provoke one to smile without realizing it, as you feel transported back to childhood when a bike was the fastest mode of transportation you were legally able to use and no bills were your responsibility.

Even though summer is winding down, there are still many months of good weather to keep the car parked and utilize the option of riding a bike.

Here are a few more reasons to hop on and go for a ride:

A Bike Friendly World

In Denmark, 36 percent of the working and student population chooses biking as their main mode of transportation which has prompted the country to create 180 miles of bike paths and lanes and even traffic lights specifically for bikers (source). In my home state of Oregon, Portland is the only city in the nation to receive the League of American Bicyclists’ top rating as it sports more than 270 miles of street biking lanes, bike corrals, and other amenities to bikers. The world is catching on, and I think they might be on to something.

Tres en Vogue

With Bike City (Portland, Oregon) just a few hours away, New York City recently beginning its new Citi Bike public sharing program and being surrounded by bikers in Paris as they went about their daily business, it’s hard not to find a reason to hop on and enjoy the wind in your hair. More and more people are finding that biking isn’t just for fans of the race cycling culture. Wear a dress, wear heels, it doesn’t matter – you can still hop on a bike.

Saves Money

Not only is it somewhat liberating to leave the metal cage with four wheels behind, but it saves money and reduces carbon emissions (hey, it’s the little things, right?)


Another benefit is the exercise it provides for the legs, abs and rear. Can’t complain about that!

Make Yourself (and others) Smile

For those who have ridden a beach cruiser or classic vintage bike, you no doubt have noticed the smiles you put on passersby’s faces. But even better, is the smile you put on your own face. Sometimes we get caught up in the rapid pace of the day that we miss the changing of the leaves on the trees, the sound of the river as it rolls or the feel of the rustling wind rushing over your skin. By simply changing how you commute or go about your business for one day a week, you might be amazed at the positive effect it has on your mood and your mind.

Whether you choose to include it in your everyday routine or rent a bike to ride on your next vacation, there’s something truly simply luxurious about peddling along, a front basket full of your necessities for the day and an appreciation for taking things a little bit slower. Enjoy the ride, and perhaps I’ll see you on the road.

Sites for bike safety:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Portland Bike Maps and Trip Planning Tools

California DMV – Sharing the Road – Safety Tips for Bicyclists and Motorists


8 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Ride a Bike?

  1. In Australia it is illegal to ride a bike without a helmet. As you can imagine, this tends to put a lot of us off riding!

  2. Hello! I’ve been a follower of your blog for a while and this is the first time I’m posting a comment. I adore this post, as I just recently began biking to work. I live in Boston, MA which also has as city bike program. I invested in a beautiful Bobbin bicycle a few months ago and adore it. It’s been great exercise, so incredibly efficient (environmentally and time-wise!), and not to mention cost effective! It’s been great scouring the internet for other stylishly chic biking ideas and gear.

  3. I bought a lovely Pashley bike when I returned to the UK last Spring. Its really comfortable to ride and much easier to park than my car! Unfortunately I”m not allowed to ride at the moment due to having a broken wrist, but I am counting the days until I can be back in the saddle.

  4. What a great post! I’ve been riding my vintage Raleigh 3-speed for four years now, and it just makes me so happy. For even more inspiration, Copenhagen Cycle Chic is a wonderful blog. It combines style and beautiful bikes with lovely Copenhagen as a background. I have been seeing more people riding normal bikes while wearing nice clothes and it just makes me smile!

  5. A few weeks ago my husband and I grabbed out bikes and took them for a spin. I hadn’t been on a bike in *gasp* 12 years! It was super fun and I need to do it more often.

  6. I am studying abroad this semester in Copenhagen and rented a bike while I am here. The bike culture is amazing and it really does make you smile to hop on your bike and go everywhere even in bike rush hour! Great post, your blog is one of my favorites!

  7. If I Can have that beauty at the top of the post, I will happily put up with helmet-hair. Fortunately, I don’t live in a large city, so cycling is safer than it would be in other areas of England.

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