For those of you who did not realize, I was calling on one of the oldest jokes in the book in my blog post “it's not about the money.” I'm sorry that I'm not Oscar Wilde or someone else very witty, only a copy cat.
Everyone has different reasons for riding a bike, but they fall into three basic categories: recreation, fitness, and transportation. Mix and match as you will because most things straddle these categories.
When I was a kid, riding my bike in the driveway and down the block was incredible fun in St. Ann, Missouri. The neighbors, my brother, and I would draw lanes in chalk on the driveway to create a little town and then create elaborate political and economic systems with currencies, products, and elections. And there were only four of us.
I had no car in college. I didn't even have an adult bike. My brother really did not use his, so I pretty much stole his cheap mountain bike to ride around town (Fulton, Missouri). Senior year I signed up for a triathlon, having not swam in years, not owning a decent bike, and not being a very good runner. After training for months on my brother's cheap mountain bike, I asked my mom to buy me a low-end road racer. That's what I have to this day, along with a continued distaste for swimming. It's a great way to get places fairly fast and work all of my muscle groups. Seriously, you'd be surprised how much work your pecs get on a bike.
Those of us who are not wealthy often have to think about how much we spend on groceries, gasoline, bus fare, recreation, fitness, and everything. On any given month, I will spend $30-40 on gasoline. Compared to most people I'm a lightweight consumer there. In June and July 2014, I filled my tank once for around $35 because I biked to work roughly half of the time. But again I'm not supposed to be talking about money.
My bike commute to work in Des Plaines has made me more aware of other people riding. Children ride to their schools every day. A surprising number of commuters with really nice bikes and gear travel on Wolf Rd. People who have community garden lots from the Des Plaines Park District coast leisurely on the path under the ComEd power lines. Middle-age men who appear over-worked and under-paid balance plastic shopping bags on each handle. Take a moment to be more in tune with just how many people are using this form of transportation.