“I don’t really like biking all that much.” I said this the other day at the playground at my daughter’s school and was met with shock and outrage. So I thought I should explain myself.
I bike a lot. Most often, I am riding a bakfiets, with or without my kids. Because I ride an interesting bike, I talk to people every day about my bike. I talk enthusiastically. I love my bike. I feel happy riding it, and I like being noticed on it.
But I don’t really like “biking.” Perhaps that makes no sense, because I’m sort of a biking evangelist. Biking is a big part of how we get around as a carfree family. But here’s the thing. Think of all of the people that you know that own cars. How many of them love cars? Some of them do, but lots of them feel “meh” about cars, and I’m betting some of those car owners actually hate their cars. Cars are just how most people get around, you don’t have to be that excited about them to make use of them.
Bikes are different. Biking as an adult is strictly a recreational or sporting activity for most people. It comes with an obsession with gear and funny outfits. There just aren’t that many utility and family bikers (although our numbers are growing), and that means that most of us had to work hard and obsess a fair amount to find ourselves with the bikes that we use every day. Thus many of the family and utility bikers out there love biking and the biking culture because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t have the lifestyle that they have.