Remember when you were a careless eight year old kid riding a bike with your friends, racing each other around the neighborhood? Remember that feeling of absolute freedom as you felt the wind in your hair and the smile it put on your face? I never thought I would feel that way as a grown up, until my friends presented me a red brand-new bike.
At first, I was a bit skeptical about the total idea of commuting by bike. One morning a couple of days later, I changed completely my mind. I was stuck at a traffic jam and saw in my rear mirror a man in a suit riding a classy bike with his laptop case in one hand and a handlebar in the other. I figured out it would take him about 15 minutes to get to the office while I was still sitting in my car and waiting for the cars in line ahead to move, even if just for a inch. I was always very afraid of being late for my business meetings.
That is when I decided getting on the bike. I haven’t regretted my decision so far. One of the best things about cycling is that the bike is perfect for exercising. Just cycling to and from work or to the shops every day is enough to keep you healthy and happy. Besides, its incredibly liberating to be able to get anywhere without loosing time in traffic jams. Also don’t forget about the environment benefits. Cycling helps to reduce air pollution while reducing also traffic congestion and the need for gas.
At some point, I realized that I started to use the bike more often, not only to get to work, but also to catch up with friends and to head out for coffee on weekends. I loved this style of traveling because it lets you really appreciate what you are seeing around you. You can stop anywhere you want and yet you can cover alot of distance. That daily distance I rode to work was no longer enough for me. I started riding to the nearest decent mountain bike trails so I could spent the day going up and down hills. I did it because it was fun. Because I enjoyed it. “I wish I could bike all the way round the world” I said to myself one day. And than I thought, “Why not?” I knew I couldn’t ride across the oceans. I came up with the idea to ride across each of the continents, from coast to coast. The more I thought about it, the more excited I became about my future plans. If I will do this, I will have to thoroughly prepare, I thought. I was also very scare. Would I be able to make it over towering mountains and across burning deserts? What if I got lost somewhere and didn’t know the language?
After a few months of training, I set off. This was hard at first, but soon I realized that everywhere I went people cheered me on when they heared about my journey. The newspaper back home reported on my progress. Once or twice I ran out of money and has to spend a couple weeks doing odd jobs before I could continue on my way. I never gave up on my idea, and a year and six month later, I found myself petaling back toward the place where it all began. My journey was over and I was home. These days, I continue exploring the world with my bike as often as I can. Thanks to my bike, I’ve made countless friends, seen incredible sights, and had unforgettable adventures. I would have missed out on all of that if I hadn’t decided to try biking instead of driving! I guess there are an upside to traffic jams after all!
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