Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cannondale Quick Essay

Living in a household with multiple adults and one car can be a hardship in Central Florida,where public transportation ranges from poor to non-existent. When I was hired as the branch manager of a business a few miles from where I lived, I couldn’t justify the expense of buying, fueling, maintaining and insuring another car. So, after not being on a bicycle for thirty years, I grabbed my daughter’s $80 department store special and pedaled away.

Fifteen minutes on that baby helped me transition from “mom” to “staff,” while the ride home decompressed me back to “mom.” On weekends, eight to ten mile jaunts on the local bike paths, waiting for the rest of the world to wake up, waving to the dog walkers and joggers refreshed me. Errands were combined or eliminated depending on whether or not a place was close enough to ride. I changed my shopping, banking and work habits, switching to electronic banking and sending work out on the internet instead of by mail. Every expedition became multipurpose in a conscious effort to conserve time and fuel. Biking also increased my awareness of what I ate, the effect various foods had on me, my body, and on my children. Laziness had replaced my love of cooking over the years, but fresh vegetables and alternative whole grains resumed their rightful prominence, pushing out the packaged and fast foods that had crept into our diets. Red meat, which is so costly in the amount of grain and gas it takes to get from hoof to table, was eliminated. In fact,
two of my children became vegetarians as their awareness of the food cycle increased.

Improving on my riding skills, pushing to see what my body was capable of, what mountains,real and metaphorical, it could conquer. I started to proselytize the joys and benefits of biking. I learned to trust me, my body, feelings, senses and made other life changes, too numerous to list as a result of that one small decision, to bike back and forth to work.

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