The wind dances across my face and arms as I sail an asphalt sea. I pedal faster impossibly trying to match pace with the cars racing past me. The chain of my bike starts to tick as I switch gears. The faster I pedal, the faster it ticks. My chest tightens and my breath quickens until my heart beats at the pace of the ticks. We are one.
Up until a few months ago, I strongly disliked “street bikers”, bikers who ride on city or suburban streets previously reserved only for cars. It seemed like they were always in my way, purposely slowing me down, and they seemed to think they owned the road or something. You can have the sidewalks and gutters but leave the streets to the real cars, and whatever those smart cars consider themselves.
My whole perspective changed when I started to ride my dusty purple bike out in the streets of the city. I didn’t know the proper hand signals and I was not wearing a helmet. I was somewhat terrified.
I quickly realized that the gutters were impossible to ride in due to all the cars parked on the street, and the sidewalks are big enough for pedestrians and cyclists. And they don’t think they own the road, they are just trying to make it to their next destination like the rest of us.
For the entire month of May, Sacramento is celebrating bicycles and their riders. People who don’t normally bike are encouraged to break out their bikes if for nothing more than exercise.
At the May Is Bike Month website Sacramento residents can log their miles, sign up to win prizes and learn about upcoming bike related events. Every mile logged will go toward meeting the citywide goal of 2 million miles. Friends can also challenge friends, and companies other companies.
Sometimes it takes riding with their handlebars to really see another person’s perspective.