May is Bike Month.
Bike Month started in 1956 by the League of American Bicyclists and I usually like to kick it off the first weekend with the annual 5-Boro Ride, which I have been doing with my dad for the past few years. There is nothing quite like riding down a car-free FDR drive and over the Queensboro bridge with 30,000 other cyclists. I missed it this year, however, which has me thinking about bikes all the more. You see, as much as I love cycling, I don’t currently own a bike. There is no place to keep even one (let alone four) bikes in our apartment and our building doesn’t have bike storage.
Having successfully implemented a building compost bin, I am now gearing up for a building bike-room campaign and I think it will be well worth the trouble. Last summer, my family decided we wanted to bike up to the Cloisters and walked to one of the many bike rental places in our neighborhood. It was easy enough to procure wheels and head to the Riverside bike lanes, but we could have rented a car for cheaper than it cost to put all four of us on two bikes (one was a tandem).
There is something just wrong about that.
I grew up in the suburbs and the freedom of having a bike is one of my favorite memories. While I am committed to city dwelling, it bothers me that my kids don’t spend much time on two wheels. In fact, they don’t really know how to ride confidently and only manage to do it when we are visiting our parents.
But biking should be central to urban living.
As outlined in this great article in the Atlantic, biking represents a way of making cities even better. Apparently Bloomberg thinks so too, having added over 250 miles of bike lanes in recent years and soon to embark on a Bike Share Program this July with over 10,000 bikes and 600 stations. I love the concept of bike sharing, and know it works in other cities, so I can’t wait to try it out this summer. But from what I hear so far, it could end up being as expensive as our neighborhood rental spot. Which brings me back to just wanting my own bike. This bike in particular:
Not exactly cheap at around $600, but I would only need to ride it once a month to make it cheaper than renting. It’s almost the opposite of a car in that regard. So, I had better get to work on that bike room and in the meantime I will covet the increasing number of amazing bikes I am seeing around town, and online.
For more fabulous bike love, check out Cycling Without A Helmet. This is the blog my friend, Alicia, started when she up and moved to the Netherlands for a life of bicycles and beer mapping. It’s awesome.
Happy Bicycling: Ten Quotes to Inspire Cycling.
This is an original post from Heather Topcik, Domaphile.
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Heather Topcik is a librarian and mother of two young children living in New York City. Passionate about windowfarming, composting, and making stuff, she blogs about the joys and challenges of urban domesticity and sustainability at domaphile.com.
Prepared by Jill Barth