Filed under: Cars + Transport | Tags: Advocacy, Biking, Community, environment, Health, Mutant bikes, Reasons
I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into when I first straddled the bicycle that was to replace my car.
The freedom I felt riding a bicycle for the first time as an adult was like seeing a mountain or the ocean for the first time. It gave me hope, and it showed me beauty. I wasn’t just going to be riding a bike; I was going to be commuting on my bike and becoming self-sufficient.
I found out that bicycling became the easiest way to get around, and my love for bicycling threw me unexpectedly into bicycling advocacy and the bicycling community in Lawrence. You discover a new world by biking, exploring your community and connecting a little more with nature. Bicycling is the most convenient mode of transportation, and the reasons are endless. It increases mobility, free time, money and dependency on oil, but most importantly it is the healthiest mode of transportation for your body, the environment, and of course, it’s fun!
There is a challenge to this lifestyle shift, of choosing bikes over cars. There is the first step of getting on that bike and making it to your destination, and then there is also the commitment to this choice. This challenge is not impossible though. Humanity has gone far, and seeing more people on bicycles gives hope for sustaining our current lifestyles.
Going a step beyond just commitment, Eric Farnsworth has added a more creative and fun aspect of the Lawrence bicycling community. Eric creates what some in underground bike culture call “mutant bikes”. Farnsworth has created bicycles out of anything, from couch bikes to grocery cart bikes, which he often lends out to the community to enjoy and test out for themselves. Not only has he brought people together with his unique bicycles but he is also an advocate for bicycling as commuting.
Bicycling is a means to happiness mentally, physically, and environmentally, but remember to be safe, wear a helmet, and have fun. Soon enough you will hear “ I saw you riding your bike today!” a phrase I personally can’t hear enough of as it gives me a rush of joy and satisfaction with my lifestyle change and decision to ride a bike.
A group of about 100 people riding down 23rd street in Lawrence for the first critical mass in 2007 in Lawrence, Ks.
Photo by Alex Dworkin
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