About four and a half years ago, I bought myself a bicycle. It didn’t take very long for me to fall in love with it, and with cycling in general. I loved how I could hop on and glide through the streets of Oakland, getting almost anywhere I needed to go, without much concern for traffic or parking. I didn’t have to worry about being harassed as I waited for the bus. I loved that I could go, go, go without having to worry about refueling. Flying down the bike lane was exciting, and I also felt like I was a part of a special club. In short, it helped me feel independent and free.
And of course, I’m not alone in my sense of freedom upon a bicycle. The bicycle is often held up as a key component of the changing culture in the 1890s. Women took to bicycles as they were experiencing greater access to public life, and riding changed fashions of the days, as women began to dress to accomodate riding. They were also affordable for many people, and “in 1897 alone, more than two million bicycles were sold in the United States , about one for every 30 inhabitants.” I agree, that “cycling is inherently feminist.” I’m proud to be a part of this tradition, just as I am proud when vote or support women owned business.
Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel.” ~ Susan B. Anthony, 1896
Cycling has also been shown to be a great vehicle for improving physical and mental health. (Pardon the pun) I have always felt that cycling has been great for my personal health and wellbeing, even though at times it can be a harrowing experience. It’s exhilarating, it’s fresh air, and it’s movement. All good things for body and soul.
My bicycle has become very important to me. It does feel like an extension of myself.
So, I was absolutely heartbroken when I found that my bike had been stolen on Monday night. This is all that’s left of her. I’m crushed.
So much so, that I went out and got myself a brand new bike right away. I don’t want to live a bicycle-less life ever again.
I think she’s so beautiful.