My Ride

by Mark Tassi

It’s become much more than a beautiful exercise machine in these past few years. I still use it for that regularly but I’ve also been using it more and more to commute. And it is a joy! Granted, it’s more work; I have to leave earlier, get up earlier, sometimes a lot earlier, but that’s all part of the joy. Because nothing comes from nothing. Nothing can be gotten for nothing. Everything has to be worked for in life, especially freedom. That is obvious. And this is a great freedom. I don’t have to elaborate on that surely. Just think of all benefits of not having to rely on a car and what freedom it would be to not have to depend on that, having your vehicle be a machine that rides very fast, how fast depending on your own strength both physical and mental which only improve with practice, that you can pick up with one hand and store in your living room, there’s a certain novelty to that, uses no fossil fuels and increases your well being and fitness to boot.

Yeah, this is a no brainer!

If half the people that drive gave up their driving and rode a bike instead, or if all the people that drive gave up half their driving and rode half the time instead, what a different world it would be. Think about it! This is green. This is the future.

So gradually, I’ve been riding the bike more and more and driving less and less. I still haven’t entirely given up the 3000 pound hunk of inefficiency, but that has been the goal and that goal is gradually becoming reality. The big obstacle for me had been making the mental resolution to get up at 5:30am and head out into the dark brisk air at that time in the morning when I “should” be sleeping. But that’s just getting the feet wet. Once you’re heading down that street at 20mph and rolling under your own power and the ingenuity of your bike’s beautiful design, it’s all the more joy that you overcame that obstacle, that limitation. Limitations and obstacles are in the head. We overcome them all in the mind. And every time that we do is a step forward; we become that bit stronger and it is yet another “victory through experience”.

Tomorrow, I will cycle to work and back for a round trip of 60 miles. I’ve been doing that on Saturdays for the past three years. I’ll be bringing my beautiful BOB trailer as well because on the way back, I will stop at Tapia Brothers farm in Encino, CA for two flats of vine ripened tomatoes. These are some of the best farm fresh tomatoes that I’ve ever eaten, and here in Southern California, tomato pickin’ season goes until Thanksgiving. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on that.

And if all this wasn’t inspiration enough for you to get peddlin’, check out my friend, Harley’s blog for tips on cycling, diet, lifestyle and health. Here’s a man who at the age of 34 has never owned a motorized vehicle, never even had a driver’s license and has gotten around exclusively on the bike. Now there’s an inspiration for you. He’s one of the fittest and best riders that I know. If anybody is the cycling commuting hero, that’d be Harley.

Burn fat, not fuel folks.

See you on the road.

M

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