Monday, June 10, 2013

Should I get a bicycle?

Jennifer Aniston, image source uknown

For years I've shaken my head at my cycling friends and kept to the sidewalks at a safe distance for judging bicycles as annoying and a lot of hassle.

But I'm really getting over the subway. It's not like it was ever charming, but after almost a year of rattling trains, it's just grating. I've spoken with New Yorkers who bicycle the city, and they love it. I'd love to feel the liberty of cycling wherever I go, no longer having to worry about crosstown busses or wait on platforms with no idea if a train is even coming.

My main hesitation point— in fact my only hesitation point— is safety. I love everything about the idea besides the fact that bicycles just aren't as safe as I'd like them to be. Sometimes I squirm when I see New Yorkers zipping down avenues among Manhattan traffic with no helmets and their eyes on their iPhones, texting without even a glance up, touching their handlebars casually with their left hands. Needless to say, I don't anticipate being that girl. I just need to practice being among traffic, wear my helmet and have faith. (Plus, Joanna offers heartening input to that conversation.)

Image source unknown

So here I am, reconsidering the bicycle with fresh eyes. I've realized that my first adult bike (from my freshman year of college) was way too small for me, which explains at least part of why it was so difficult for me to get into the groove of it. When I sat on a cruiser at Dan's Competition, it felt great. Now, because I am still 23, I'm shopping Craigslist. Do you have advice for finding a great used bike on Craigslist? Also, any particular advice for shorter people? My legs are not long, and that seems to be one of my major difficulties with bikes is finding big enough wheels that still allow me to balance on my toes when I'm not in motion.

Image source unknown

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