On the bike…A gym bag, a book bag, a few groceries, and two bottles of red wine.

So this, of course, is not a lot of stuff to carry on a cargo bike that weighs 65lbs with nothing on it. But it’s the lifestyle that I’d like to say a few words about. Firstly, because I own a few bikes that can carry things, I sometimes forget that not all cyclists do (such as when I see them riding with overflowing backpacks or have bags hanging dangerously from their handlebars). What I like about riding bikes that are built to carry things–and indeed the reason I bought them–is that I can usually carry everything I need. But this isn’t what I was thinking about as I pedaled and coasted home this evening. What I was thinking about was how much physical exercise I work into my daily life, even in the teeny circumference in which I usually live.  Here’s what I’m talking about, and these are just guessing estimates when it comes to actual distances, but this is where I rode today…

Home > Church  1.5 miles

Church > Coffee Shop  2.5 miles

Coffee Shop > Home  1 mile

Home > JCC 1.25 miles

JCC > Grocery Store .75 miles

Grocery Store > Pharmacy .75 miles

Pharmacy > Wine Shop .5 miles

Wine Shop > Home .5 miles

I am fully aware that this is not for everyone. If, for example, you live in a rural or suburban sprawl riding a bike as a means of daily transport would be nearly impossible. But luckily I live in a condensed urban area which has an excellent Walk Score (94% “walkers paradise”). I am in no way trying to be a braggart or say that living in high density is better than the suburbs or rural–everyone makes their own choices and decisions–it’s just that this is what works for me…this is the environment in which I thrive. This said, riding my bike today running errands and other things I rode nearly nine miles, if I would have worked today I would have ridden another four (Two there and two home). It was not drudgery, nor did I dread having to do it. On the contrary, it felt good–really good–to be out in the open air and to be using my own muscles to propel me…I am both the cargo and the engine. I wasn’t tired or exhausted while doing it. I just did. And this is what I was thinking tonight as I coasted down a slow decline in the road with the wind to my back on an unseasonably warm Sunday in January.

Urban Simplicity.