Maybe you like the idea of biking, but you’re a little unsure about cycling in the road. Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t understand why all of us bike advocates talk so passionately about slowing the cars and reducing automobile use.
Right now, when our traffic counts are fractions of what they usually are, we have an opportunity to bike in the road and feel what safe(r) cycling on our right of ways feels like.
But the truth is, most of us can experience this at any time. Get up early on a Sunday morning… like before sunrise early. Hop on your bike and ride on the far right side of the road. Start with side streets, then move up to busier roads with shoulders or bike lanes. There is a beautiful freedom when it’s you and your bike, and a quiet road, almost completely free of cars. The birds chirping, the leaves rustling in a light morning breeze… perhaps the air has the slightest bite to it. You speed through your community, feeling like the only person on the planet, a level of serenity that finally makes you realize A) what the world would be like without an overabundance of traffic and B) what it feels like to bike comfortably in the road without fear of being hit.
While this sounds simplistic, the power of this feeling is one you can only experience if you do it. If you want the full effect, juxtapose this feeling with the same ride during rush hour. When you begin to experience what our streets feel like outside of our “ton-and-change” cubes of steel, your understanding of our mobility world will never be the same.
Take a Sunday Morning ride. Go get some groceries. Go get breakfast or coffee. Mix in an activity so that you feel like you’re “going somewhere.” Then it becomes an experience, not just a ride. Whether you’re getting some solid outdoors time while social distancing or just going on for a morning stroll 6 months from now when normalcy has surfaced once again (hopefully), early Sunday mornings will always be that time when virtually no one is on the road. Riding your bike early on Sunday paints the picture of true sustainable transportation without worry. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is everything.