No better time to ride

As the weather warms, the streets of Asheville are becoming positively lousy with bicycles. While there’s certainly no shortage of winter riders here, there are far more fair-weather peddlers. Last Saturday, some 170 of them gathered for the Bike of the Irish, an annual ride organized by Asheville on Bikes. The route was planned to celebrate the greenways and other bicycle-friendly and multimodal transportation improvements made by the city in recent years. We rode at a gentle pace for two hours, with frequent stops. Kids on their own bikes, parents pulling kids in trailers, people riding fancy bikes, people riding yard sale bikes, fast people, slow people, young, old… they were all there, riding their city. Organizations like AoB are doing work that makes me fall in love with my bike all over again, and–maybe more importantly–gets folks in the saddle who might not otherwise ride.

I rode home tonight in a light rain. For those who don’t ride, inclement weather is usually the first question that comes up. But honestly? At the end of my day, when my destination is home, it doesn’t really matter if I get wet. I can dress to keep myself dry if I have to, but why bother when the rain feels so good and I’m can easily hang my clothes up to dry as soon as I get home?

I’ve recently discovered the website Utility Cycling, and I want to pass it along to you. This is precisely the sort of cyclist I am, along with so many others. We won’t be winning (or even entering!) any races any time soon. We don’t bomb down trails and take sweet jumps. We’re not in training for anything in particular. We don’t wear lycra. And most of all, we don’t have to load our bikes onto the car and drive to where we will ride. We ride here, in our town, to work or to the store or to the pub or just for the heck of it. We might also do those other things, those trail-y, race-y, “real” bike rider-y things, but mostly we just get from point A to point B under our own power.

I can’t recommend that highly enough.

If you are–or are thinking about becoming–our sort of rider, check out Utility Cycling’s tips for riding in the rain, or reasons to bike commute with your kids, or about how a Portland, OR, bicycle delivery service is helping combat hunger in and very local, sustainable way. All good stuff.

Or just enjoy how this guy puts his cargo bike to use. My dogs approve…

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2 responses to “No better time to ride

  1. Thanks for linking to my post on Utility Cycling! Sounds like the Asheville bike scene is thriving. You might also be interested in checking out a couple of things that are going on in my hometown of Portland — Portland Sunday Parkways and Kidical Mass.

    • My pleasure! I’m really enjoying Utility Cycling. And thanks for these links–Kidical Mass in particular looks awesome! Asheville’s nowhere near Portland as far as cycling goes, but we’re getting there. (I guess we started by stealing your Beer City title because that was easier. Maybe bike infrastructure is next…)

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