You've seen many bicyclers out and about recently, and you're probably aware that May 15 is the last dayof National Bike Week. You may know that May, 2015 is National Bike Month. You might not know that these special days are sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists. Bikers, banding together through their organizations as well as informally: that's the theme for today.
Like most kids, you probably enjoy or enjoyed your bicycle. I certainly did. My most memorable childhood Christmas present, as I describe it for you in my book, Growing Green Two Ways!, was a used bicycle. That it was used was actually an enhancement because of the previous owner. That was a childhood hero and long-term friend, Dan Lantz. I rode that bike to death around my neighborhood and around the city of Tacoma, where I grew up. You can read all about my bicycling adventures in my book, Growing Green Two Ways. (An excellent book for your summer reading, by the way.
Think about it. Is anything greener than bicycling? Bicycling is energy efficient, it's good for your health, and it's easy on planet earth. Bicycling is at the top of all activities, gauged by greenness.
I live in Portland, Oregon, known as bicycle friendly especially since the yellow bicycle project in 1994. Portland is bicycle city, and I have plenty of opportunities to observe people bicycling.
- Along Highway 25, west of Sylvan, many bicyclists commute on a special bike lane, separated from the freeway.
- On the waterfront along the Willamette River, bicyclists enjoy a bike lane S.W. Moody Avenue. Every day the route is occupied with bicyclists commuting to work. The route is paralleled by a tram route. These are just a couple of many possible examples.
In Seattle, my son, Dave, bicycles to work daily. Perhaps more interesting to you, he's planning a south/north bike ride through Oregon from Klamath Falls to The Dalles later this month. You can examine a photo of his bike, packed to the handlebars with trekking equipment. Dave's everyday commuter bike is photo'd below, outside of the bike locker at work and (for one day I suppose) at his work station.
You're a parent? You'll enjoy this story. Dave got his start years ago on a tricycle. Then, after a couple of years, he moved up to a two-wheeler. I well remember helping him learn to balance the bike on North 29th Street in Tacoma, the street of the family home at that time.
On my first trip to Europe I was amazed at the prevalence of bicycles for everyday transportation around cities. Especially in Holland, bicycles far outnumbered autos.
As for me at age 76, I still ride my bike occasionally. It's a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy the experience of using my own energy instead of a pint of gas.
Join me in wishing that bicycles, bicyclists, and bicycling will flourish! It's ranks near the top of all green, earth-friendly activities. If yours is gathering dust, pump up the tires and take a ride today. Support bicycle week and bicycle month. Happy bicycling!