“I think [the bicycle] has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives a woman a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. The moment she takes her seat she knows she can’t get into harm unless she gets off her bicycle, and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”
– Susan B. Anthony, 1896
The end of February finds me as giddy as a schoolgirl waiting for those last few days before summer vacation. March means I can start my favorite activity again – cycling to work! I love riding my bike to work, and I find that I’m looking forward to next week more than any holiday or vacation – because being able to ride my bike to work means freedom from all of the horrible things that I dread on my commute, and adding in all of the fun things I tend to do on my weekends!
I already use public transportation to commute to work, but I often become frustrated during my commute, because I live 6 miles away from my office, and my normal commute ranges anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes. By riding my bike, I breeze into work under 25 minutes and barely break a sweat, and get to spend all of my time outside reveling in the gorgeous scenery around Washington, DC (instead of being stuck on the metro inside a tunnel.) I get to fold my daily work-out into my commute, and I get an extra dose of sunshine and vitamin D that I so desperately need after a long winter full of grey days and cold weather.
By cycling to work, I find myself a bit more bold and outgoing and willing to try new things, I’m not usually one to cheerfully walk around in neon colored spandex and chat up strangers, but somehow when I’m on my bike I gladly sport brash cycling shorts and am quick to start a conversation with the fellow cyclist next to me at a light. Susan B. Anthony’s quote rings true for me – each weekend in the spring and summer I set off on my own exploring all of the wonderful trails in the Washington DC area, equipped with my bike emergency kit and plenty of water, I know that wherever the trail takes me I’ll be well prepared for whatever adventure lies ahead.
Why don’t you help celebrate our freedom and self-reliance by joining me on a bike ride? Washington DC’s Bike to Work day is May 18th, 2012, and there’s plenty of time to get ready for a wonderful day of biking. Stay tuned to Redefining Eco, for we’ll post lots of tips and tools to help you get ready for this great cycling event.