I want two new words. If you’d be ever so kind as to give me your suggestions, we might change the future of our cycling world.
The majority of the Americans consider “commuting” the daily drudge of heading to and from work. Period.
When it comes to cycling that’s just not the case. I badly want more people on bikes but I don’t get very far when I describe riding to meet a friend for a cup of coffee or to New Seasons to get dinner as “commuting” to someone who doesn’t use a bicycle. These are trips we take free of the shackles of obligation. Commuting? Kill. Joy.
I’ll never forget when an old roommate of mine who raced and trained (while I “just commuted”) said, “Yeah, but you don’t really ‘ride’.” My hackles went up in defense. My ego was bruised. I did almost as many miles as she did per week but in small little doses. She DROVE most of the time for god’s sake. I was out there in every Portland downpour and I didn’t “ride”?!
So maybe the solution isn’t just to find a new word for cycling as transportation but also for bikes as fitness recreation. Fitness recreation. Now how boring does that sound? Just one sweet word to describe the everyday athletes (if I might borrow liberally from my dearest Heidi Swift) of varying ability from the weekend warrior to the seasoned racer.
I believe less intimidating language would help bridge the gap to new riders. Get those folks out the door for a quick “toodle”.
No. That’s just too silly.
So what are they? I want two new words to define our world and I’m looking to you who are inside of it to shape them. If we’re successful we can all “ride” together regardless of intention or lycra.
And maybe, just maybe, we can convince a few more to hop on.