Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature
Bicycles remind me of the Canadian rock band Rush. They’ve never had the marketing machine elevating them to pop star status, but their audience grows over the years through consistent competency, practicality, artistry, value and pure fun. They simply perform well.
And so it is with the bicycle. I was talking with a bike shop manager during a ride. His ideal customer is someone just getting started and wanting an entry level bicycle, $400 or so. They ride it until it wears out. Through their experience, they have a clearer idea for the next one. I told him that was my story. I started riding almost 20 years ago on a Specialized Rockhopper. It cost about $400. Now, 20+ bikes later, I’m on a Specialized Tarmac. Technology is wonderful, but the most important thing is your bike fits you, and is mechanically sound. How much money you spend is irrelevant. The ride characteristics come from you, the rider, from your heart and soul. A good bike lets you do what you want to do. It is intuitive, honest, trustful. You are the instrument making the sound. You make the bicycle go where you want to be.
The places we can go are fabulous! When I was driving 18-wheeler across America for a living, I saw a lot of country. But I missed most of what was out there. The bicycle allows you to immerse yourself and get a 360 degree experience of the landscape surrounding you. Cycling experiences make our senses and minds more impressionable. It keeps us fresh, youthful. If I would have had a bicycle with me on my 18-wheeler rig to ride during layovers, loading times, and rest days, I could still be truckin’. We live in the best of both worlds. We have macro-transportation capabilities to span the globe, and can find intimacy and serene pleasure too if we take the time to be quiet, humble, and explore under our own useful and fitting powers. Keeping a balance is key. We have to choose wisely, and accommodate ourselves to the world.
The bicycle allows us to build an understanding of the world minus the scaffolding. The structure of the cycling experience is almost unmediated. What a brilliant, fun technology. The bicycle is sustainable transportation. It is practical and worthwhile. My how we need it!
If you want to be a champion to future generations and create important changes now, be a champion of the humble bicycle. Let people make music with the bicycle. Embrace this technology and abide by it. Unlike the rock band Rush, bicycles do not grow old. We are on the precipice of big change in the world. Bicycles help us move our story in the right direction and produce more positive outcomes, win-wins. Bicycles build optimism, health, and–
- get us out of our bubble
- activate our inherent mobility powers
- shift our perceptions so we tune in
- stimulate creative thinking
- help us meet new people, feel connected to our communities, and be a part of the world
- assist us in creating change
- deliver benefits in health and wellness, sustainability, and creative development
Bicycles put humans in a positive light. Days are gifts as we pedal forward. The bicycle abides.
Check out Specialized for bicycles. The spirit of the bicycle is you!