Tag Archives: bicycle

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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Wise Words

I had often mentioned in my temperance writings that the bicycle was perhaps our strangest ally in winning young men away from the public-houses, because it afforded them a pleasure far more enduring, and an exhilaration as much more delightful as the natural is than the unnatural… Nor could I see a reason in the world why a woman should not ride the silent steed so swift and blithesome…

The question now of great interest to girls is in regard to the healthfulness of the wheel. Many are prophesying dire results from this fascinating exercise, and fond parents are refusing to allow their daughters to ride because they are girls. It will be a delight to girls to learn that the fact of their sex is, in itself, not a bar to riding a wheel. If the girl is normally constituted and is dressed hygienically, and if she will use judgment and not overtax herself in learning to ride, and in measuring the length of rides after she has learned, she is in no more danger from riding a wheel than is the young man.

~Frances Willard, temperance reformer, 1895

Well, that’s a relief.

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