The following is an article that James D. Schwartz penned for The Urban Country about a common misconception people tend to associate with cycling – that people who cycle must be hyper-athletic cyclists when in fact most people ride their bike because it’s simply the easiest way to get where they want to go.
Here in Canada, as in the United States, people tend to generally view bicycles primarily for recreation or sport. Thus, when someone asks me how I arrived somewhere and I tell them I rode my bicycle, they naturally assume that I am athletic, brave, unusual, always late, and I probably need to take a shower.
In reality however, I arrive on time, I’m not sweaty, and I rode my bike not for a workout, but rather au contraire, I rode my bicycle because I am lazy.
I step outside my front door and hop on my bike because I’m too lazy to go downstairs in the parking garage to get the car. I pull my bike up to the front door at my destination because I’m too lazy to drive around looking for a parking spot then having to walk from the car to the building.
I ride my bike instead of taking public transit because I’m too lazy to go to the store to buy bus tickets, and I am far too lazy to dig for loose change under my couch. I am also too lazy to transfer from the bus to the subway to the streetcar, preferring to ride directly to my destination without transfers.
Instead of walking 15 minutes to my destination, I ride my bicycle there in 5. Yes, I ride there because I am too lazy to walk.
I ride my bicycle past dozens of cars at rush hour because I’m too lazy to be stressed out sitting in traffic and too lazy to explain why I’m late all the time.
I sold the last car I owned in 2010* and bought a couple solid bicycles because I was too lazy to maintain the car*. I was too lazy to renew my license plates each year, too lazy to fill up the gas tank, too lazy to shop around for insurance rates, and too lazy to take it to the car wash.
Now I just hop on my bike and go. Lazy transport. No insurance or major repairs required. No licensing, fuel, parking fees or traffic jams.
Urban bicycling is just pure, lazy, simple transport. Great for the body and wonderful for the soul.
*Note: In 2012 my wife decided to buy a car, so we do have a car sitting in the parking garage right now that doesn’t get used a whole lot.