Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Lance Effect on Bike Commuting

With the Tour de France in full swing, this bike commuter has noticed many new cyclists on the road.

By Deb Cosgrove http://bicycling.com/blogs/inthebikelane

The Tour de France is an inspiration to cyclists at this time of year, especially when Lance Armstrong is riding in it. Some people like him, some don’t, but you have to admit he draws attention to an amazing cycling event like no one else can. Since the tour started I see many more cyclists on the road, and not just the usual expert riders and commuters. I’m talking about those who look like they’re trying it for the first time, or going back after a long hiatus. I think it’s fantastic.

I’ve seen guys with gray, flowing beards riding, young guys in everyday clothes riding together. Yesterday I saw a woman riding up a steep hill in full kit. She was overweight with big doughy legs, but she was doing it. She was out there making an effort to get in shape with one of the most enjoyable ways to do it.

These people inspire me and it’s cool to have other riders on the road with me. When I pass another cyclist we usually say hi or nod to each other. There’s a sense of camaraderie that you definitely don’t feel when you’re driving. When I’m in my car I’m thinking things like: “I have to hurry and get to the intersection before the green arrow turns red,” or when I’m at a stop sign, “Hey, it wasn’t their turn to go!” If I’m at a light with another cyclist I’m more likely to hear from them “It’s okay, I’ll press the button!” (for the light to change). Cycling has made me a better person. I like myself much more when I’m a riding my bike than when I’m driving a motor vehicle.

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