Braking Away

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2 Responses

  1. I happen to live in a climate highly conducive to bicycling, so there’s little or no excuse for most people not to bicycle year-round more often than they do (in fact, the foremost reason I fled the San Fernando Valley after high school was that it was not at all ‘biker-friendly,’ an assessment made all-too-intimate by several close calls with death).

    I’ve been bicycling for over forty years and I still very much enjoy it (although now I have a seat that is much softer than those on my earlier bikes!). I bicycle to school, weather permitting, and students seem to enjoy seeing an old fart like me pedaling a classic one speed Schwinn (with high-rise handle bars) around campus. Our son has grown up to be an avid cyclist (our daughter less so, although she does commute to university on bike) and takes pleasure in assembling all sorts of bicycles for himself and others. And when my neighbor (another academic) was diagnosed with diabetes, he took up cycling with his wife and is now in the best shape of his life, with no current symptoms of his illness.

    I think the bicycle is one of the most technologically exquisite and truly useful devices ever produced. Thanks for paying it, and those who use it, homage.

    By the way, I also have an inordinate fondness for the cycle-rickshaw (aka trishaw, sidecar, pedicab, cyclo, becak, etc.), and admit to envying those who make their living driving these taxicabs. The ideal coffee table book (well, next to Lonely Planet’s Buddhist Stupas in Asia: The Shape of Perfection, 2001) happens to be Chasing Rickshaws, written by Tony Wheeler (no joke), with glorious photographs by Richard I’Anson (also Lonely Planet, 1998).

  2. Jack S. says:

    Hurrah. I’m happy for every day I can ride my bike to work. Riding past the mass of drones stopped in a traffic jam or the mob waiting to get on the bus/tram is always a feeling a thanks that I’m on my bike.