I’ve been riding bikes off and on most of my adult life. As I’ve gotten older with fewer parental responsibilities, I’ve been able to get more involved in cycling as a sport rather than an occasional diversion.
There are three things that stand out for me with regard to bicycles – efficiency, simplicity and beauty.
As to efficiency, one thing has remained constant in my relation to bikes. It has always seemed just short of magical the ability of a bike to move me, under my own power at speeds and over distances that would be impossible otherwise. I’ve done my share of hiking, and covering 10 miles on foot is a significant undertaking. 10 miles by bike is something that almost anyone can do without any preparation, using most any kind of bike. I find it hard to roll out on a bike and not find a grin stuck on my face…
And such a simple machine! Anyone can look at any bike and instantly see how it works. Pedals, chain, sprockets, wheels. That’s all it takes. You can take the most exotic, high-end carbon-fiber and titanium bike, and it’s still the same basic elements, and almost anyone can ride a bike.
As to beauty, even the most mundane bicycle has a certain charm and grace, but there are those that can really see the bike as a functional piece of art. Our local design company Shinola has certainly done their part on this score.