Writer Drew Magary hated on bikes. Cyclists, more specifically. Taking up HIS road with their spandex clad bodies, making him shift his phone to his other hand so he could put down his Frappuccino, to slightly maneuver his bloated SUV out of the way of the rider. In that, he wasn’t all that different from, oh, 95% of drivers in this country.
Then on a vacation he rented a bike. And everything changed.
This piece, from SF Gate, is such a lovely ode to the power of a bicycle to change people’s lives. Here’s a little taste:
“Turns out there are deeper, more effective ways to feel young again than listening to podcasts that rehash old movies you liked. I cannot de-age myself: I have a lousy back; I can’t drink alcohol anymore; I have brain damage from an accident in late 2018 that left me deaf and unable to smell. But this was a year where I ventured to do things I had long considered relics of my more active past. I skied again. I danced. And I biked. I don’t do any of these things as well as I’d done them in years prior, but sometimes it’s only the doing that matters. It’s a reminder that there is a great deal of life here in America available for you to live right now, no matter your age, or your ability, or whether or not you look like you’re in a “I Think You Should Leave” sketch while trying to dismount a rented Cannondale.
I got home the other day after biking 10 miles. I was exhausted. My knee hurt in ways I didn’t want it to hurt. But you know what? I felt f—king great. I couldn’t wait to ride again. I can’t wait to ride again right now, as I’m typing this. It’s nice to remember why I rode bikes to begin with. It wasn’t to be a responsible citizen. It was because I loved to bike. Maybe I’ll finally buy one. Maybe I’ll become a Bike Guy. Maybe I’ll permanently reclaim something that I once thought lost. If you’re a bikeophobe as I was for a long time, you can, too. Rebirth is but a pedal away.”