I never thought I’d be one of those people – you know, the one riding a bicycle with saddle bags over the rear tire, a mirror attached to their helmet, and reflectors popping up over their body like some bizarre skin disease. But it’s happened. I even wear the neon green jacket.
I like biking to campus. It’s about 13 miles both ways. I don’t do it everyday; I like to give my legs a rest between rides and relax on a city bus, chauffeured across town for a mere 35 cents. Some people think it’s crazy, but I say, is it any crazier than strapping yourself to a thousand pounds of metal, hurdling down a freeway while sipping a coffee and checking your email in the palm of your hand?
I think not.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not against cars. What I don’t like is how they’ve boxed in our sense of what’s doable, and what’s not; what’s normal, and what’s crazy. When I bike through Los Angeles, I see a hundred cars jammed at an intersection, lined up in all directions, spewing exhaust, as far as the eye can see. And then there’s me, and maybe, if I’m lucky, another cyclist, looking around and wondering why people put up with it. I can’t be sure, but I think it’s because they feel like they have no choice. Sure they see me, a flash of neon green out their window, but do they see that what I’m doing is something they could do, too?
It’s just one more reason I keep doing it.