It’s true, 100% verified.
When I first moved to a city (Boston) I drove to and from work, and the grocery store. I walked or took transit to friends apartments or other fun things. And in doing so I missed out on some of the best features of the city. The physical barrier of a car, bus or train limits what you can see and how you see it. Go ahead, try looking up to the top of a building to see neat architectural features from the drovers seat of your car. Feel free to ask the bus driver to stop in the middle of the bridge so you can take a moment to take in the view of the river. Oh, and the train conductor totally has no problem with taking a detour down that one road that you’ve never noticed before but it actually looks pretty awesome.
I know you can do better...
Please sir... can you just turn left at the next overpass?
I bet you’re disappointed right? I was.
At this point you are probably saying, John, really – what about walking around. And to a point I agree, you – but when you look at pedestrians in a city you are typically going to see folks walking fast with their head down, or people stumbling around with their eyes to the sky, looking but not seeing. Take a guess who the city dwellers are.
On a bike you have to be alert, looking everywhere – and in turn you see so much more. You are fast and flexible, so you can take that detour down that side alley and still not be late to your appointment. The connection to your surroundings intensifies, and in turn your feelings towards the city intensify. I distinctly remember feeling like I was just another ant wandering the asphalt and concrete pathways in Boston when walking – but on a bike I felt like I was part of the community. I had a place in this city, a responsibility and an obligation to use it to the fullest extent.
The daily grind can always get in the way of that connection and dilute it slightly – but once it is established I firmly believe that it sticks.
I would have never known this exists if I didn't bike by it
I’m going to be writing a bit about some of the great events that I have participated in that really highlight the city – and hopefully will stumble upon some new events that I haven’t had a chance to participate in.
Five Boro Bike Tour - New York City
Hub On Wheels - Boston, MA