My work at Washington Bikes has me traveling the state quite a bit, often by car. I always haul my bike with me, however, working toward my goal of biking in every county in the state.
I may bike around a town by myself, checking out the vibes and the infrastructure. I participate in official bike events of various types, from Bike to Work Day to policy rides. In addition to my “work biking” I explore places with Sweet Hubs on the weekends.
This has me blogging quite a bit on WA Bikes about these places and reasons to ride there — bikespeditions taking a different form, since I don’t necessarily poke into all the little shops and spend too much money. I do, however, generally find food!
I seldom write about style, but then, this blog has had a heavy dose of bike policy from the beginning. It makes sense when you recognize that a town that feels bike-friendly to women, children, and families riding in regular clothing is a town doing a good job in its policies and investments for better bicycling.
One of my favorite things is the chance to talk to with women on bikes about their experiences. In Olympia I talked with Andrea Bell, who had ridden down from Tacoma on Bike to Work Day to check out the Thurston County trails.
Andrea said something that describes bicycling for many whether you’re riding to meetings, errands, shopping, or the bus stop: “I like my job but when I’m there, that’s work time. This (riding) is my time. It’s my chance to connect with what’s around me and be outdoors.”
I especially appreciated her comment about getting outdoors. Unless you’re in a spin class or on the trainer, bicycling takes place outdoors — obvious, right?
But do you think of your bicycling as your outdoor getaway? When I’m in transportation mode I don’t always remember to be mindful of the connections my riding gives me: to green spaces that I see more clearly at biking pace, bird sounds I hear because I’m not enclosed in steel, the chance to see something flash across the road and scurry into the bushes.
I pay more attention if I’m deliberately setting out to have a ride in a beautiful natural setting, but nature goes on in all its “blooming, buzzing confusion” (not exactly what William James meant by this phrase) every day in even the most mechanized of urban settings.
In the midst of my bikespeditions for policy evaluations, connections with local bike advocates, and searches for baked goods, I’m getting outside. And that’s a very, very good thing.
A blogspedition to some of my recent bikespeditions:
- Cookies & Muffins & Cupcakes, Oh My! A Bike Trip to Lake Forest Park
- Enumclaw Bicycling: Racing and Pie
- 10 Fun Things to Do by Bike in Spokane this Summer
- Bike to Work Week, Bike to Everywhere: Spokane
- Bike to Work Week, Bike to Everywhere: Olympia
- If you live in Washington, recommend the town(s) I should ride in.
You’re fabulous.I also wanna go backpacking by bike but I’m too lazy to do it.
Very true, cycling several times /week to get to work, can be a way to connect to nature …and some of us do it so often that we take it for granted.
A well-known Canadian environmentalist, David Suzuki, advocates that we have 15-30 min. of outdoor exposure to Nature. For mental equilibrium and physical health.