Bike Commuting For the Love Of It
People start riding their bike to work for many different reasons. Terrible traffic, congested or hard to access public transportation, expensive parking, etc. My path to becoming a bike commuter has nothing to do with any of those things.
A few years ago I moved from the Bay Area to a small town near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I traded life in the big city for a small house on Main Street. No really, my address was literally 600 Main Street. Despite the amazing rental market, however, I struggled with small-town life. In a fleeting attempt to make new friends and adjust to southern life I embraced a variety of hobbies. Attempted to enjoy cooking, bought a skateboard, took surf lessons on the weekends, attended hip-hop dance class during the week and even joined the local tennis club out of desperation. In case you are wondering if any of these stuck, to this day I am a terribly mediocre cook/skateboarder/surfer and tennis player.
The moment that changed everything was the day I bought my commuter bike. I wandered into the local bike shop during lunch one day just “to browse” and fell in love with a shiny grass-green Specialized Globe. The details are hazy, but I think the transaction took place in under 15 minutes with a 30-second test ride and plenty of remarks of how pretty I thought that bike was. It might have been the least technical bike sale in history.
My love affair with bikes was born that day. As silly as it sounds, my favorite parts of the day were riding my bike to and from work. I quickly discovered small-town life was perfect on a bike. The other riders waved when you passed by, I passed my co-workers in their cars when they were stuck at the traffic light, and my bike was a conversation starter and friendship-maker with strangers at the local coffee shop. To ride was freedom, and that was amazing. I explored every inch of town, got out of the house and found random adventures that I would have never discovered if it wasn’t for my trusty two-wheeled companion.
Five years later, I find myself back at home in the Bay Area, working for an electric bike company that has created the ultimate utility bike. Sure, riding a Faraday is one of the most efficient ways to be a commuter here, but the real utility to me is the joy that riding the electric bike brings. I still smile every time I pass a car, I still wave to my fellow riders and I meet even more curious strangers with a Faraday then I would have ever imagined. Call me crazy, but commuting is still my favorite part of the day.
Bridget is a self-proclaimed “boost-mode-only” rider and the Director of Community at Faraday Bicycles. You can find her riding a Faraday through the streets of San Francisco, Oakland and Marin County.