Friday, May 7, 2010

'Get around the city in the quickest way' day

May 7 is bike to work day.

Like Copenhagen's Mikael Colville-Anderson, I prefer to think of the bike as a tool, the quickest way to get around town. In the latest addition of WALRUS magazine, Colville-Anderson writes "Here the bicycle is a vehicle...and I always say we don't have any cyclists in Copenhagen. None of them identify themselves as cyclists. They're just people who are getting around the city in the quickest way."

I like that. The word cyclist to me evokes visions of Lycra shorts and clamped-in bike shoes – a sporting activity for the weekend. I like to think of riding my bike as just a better way to get around Calgary than a car, and without the headache/cost of parking when I arrive at my destination.

Who wants to have to don special clothing and strap a bottle of water around their waist every time they want to go somewhere? Not me.

In fact I think that might be one of the reasons Calgarians don't ride their bikes to work more often. Because they feel they need to dress in a certain way, be athletic cardio-junkies, or swig special protein drinks for breakfast. Perhaps they just don't see themselves that way and therefore can't see themselves riding that bike down the street, let alone all the way to work.

I'm here to tell you that anyone can ride a bike and you don't need anything special or be anything special to do that. So get that word "cyclist" out of your mind and just think of yourself as a person trying to get around the city in the quickest way possible.

No Lycra shorts needed.

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