Happy National Bike Month

Photo courtesy of State Library of New South Wales, 1937

What’s not to love about May? Spring flowers, budding trees, longer days, warmer weather…. and it’s National Bike Month!

I’ve written so much about bikes that I fear anything I have to say here will be redundant. But as we wax on about all of the seemingly intractable societal ills – global warming, pollution, traffic accidents, road rage, obesity, runaway health care costs, a flailing economy, an energy crisis, declining social connectedness, foreign wars – I am continually inspired that there is a simple, humble solution for all the above. Bicycles.

They are the perfect technology – cheap, easy to ride, energy efficient, and emission free. They require far fewer resources to produce than automobiles, and they can even be made of renewable materials like bamboo. Most people can learn to ride one, and doing so keeps the body healthy and the mind sharp. Plus, in my experience, bicycling has a way of inspiring that cheerful enthusiasm for life the French call joie de vivre.

I tend to favor vintage and urban bikes with kid seats and baskets overflowing with flowers and fresh vegetables. But really, all bikes are cool. So here’s to May! I’ll be celebrating the way I do everyday – by choosing two wheels over four. How about you?

"A brush salesman and his bicycle," Photo courtesy of Nationaal Archeif, 1957

Want some inspiration? Here’s a round up of some of my favorite bike stuff on the web:

Bike advocacy:

Bike news:

Beautiful Urban Biking Blogs:

Awesome bicycling families:

"Letter carrier delivering mail by bicycle," Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Institute, 1890

Bike adventurists:

Inspiration for the bicycle way of life:

Some of my writings about bikes:

"The Coles sisters on a bicycle trip from Montreal to Ottawa," Courtesy of McCord Museum, 1916

How are you celebrating National Bike Month?

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About Abby Quillen

Abby Quillen writes fiction and magazine articles. Her articles and essays have appeared in YES! Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, Colorado Central Magazine, and on Common Dreams, Nation of Change, Reader Supported News, The Daily Good, Truthout, and Shareable.net. You can find more of her writing at http://abbyquillen.com.

Comments

  1. Dick Stacy says:

    Excellent, timely links ! One of my many wishes, as an 83-year old, somewhat arthritic man, is for an economical, street-legal, gas or electrically-powered tricycle for short, in-town errands. I realize that such tricyclic vehicles are considered anti-macho by the motorcycle crowd, but would fill a real transportation niche.

  2. Funny that it is National Bike Month and I’ve just fallen in love with biking EVERYWHERE my legs can handle. I used to borrow my husbands bike to get to and from when he wasn’t using it but that was rare. I bought my bike just weeks ago and I’ve gone all over with it. I thought I was going to only sort of like it. I thought it would be exhausting and that I would feel too lazy to really enjoy it. That has not happened. I am loving biking. It is genius. It is so superior to a 4-wheeled vehicle. I LOVE the breeze. I love not having to find parking. I love getting everywhere faster than walking, which was my method of transport prior to purchasing my bike. I love not getting motion sick on the public transit bus each time it brakes or is muggy on the bus. No more motion sickness for this girl.

    All that to say, I’m stoked on National Bike Month to be absolutely converted into a biking fiend (as much as one can be after a few weeks).

    Thanks for all the great resources, Abby!

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