There have been many inventions throughout time that we can classify as very important or useful in our lives, many creations that have helped us in achieving things or simplify our everyday tasks.

One of my personal favorites is the bicycle!

Even though I wasn’t an “all the time” rider, I did have my share of bicycles in my younger years in the past Millennium (yeah, I’m that old!) and I can remember brief images of happiness while pedaling around the block and trying things with my trusted bicycle of the moment.

It is my opinion there is no other transportation device that allows us to enjoy and experience the surroundings while traveling better than a bicycle. We can feel the breeze and the wind; we can hear every sound around and smell every scent that happens to be in the area we are going through.

About twenty five years ago I read in a newspaper the news about a man who wanted to travel and see the world, so he said goodbye to his girlfriend and took his bicycle to travel almost all around the planet, which took him twenty years! When he finished his trip he went back to find his girlfriend was still waiting for him, so they got married  :)

At one hand, talk about waiting for a loved one! But at the other, what an experience it must have been! All the sights, all the feelings, all the memories…I would love to do something like that, but I’m not that crazy! (No, I won’t do it)

Such a simple machine that works as an “energy multiplier”

With the same energy used for walking five miles we can travel fifteen miles, thanks to the bicycle. We also can transport more packages than we could when just holding them in our hands.

I’m not talking here about the “green” aspect of a bicycle, which is very important nowadays indeed, but if you consider that a bicycle doesn’t need fuel, oil, heavy maintenance, registration, insurance, etc, there are so many elements, expenses and work we can save ourselves from when riding a bicycle instead of a car, or even a motorcycle or a scooter.

So for these reasons a bicycle represents freedom to move and explore, without having to carry too many tools or spare parts and without being dependant on finding supplies and fuel on the road.

“The bicycle will rule in apocalyptic times!” (Just kidding)

But maybe is mostly a thing for older generations.

My son is not a bicycle rider; he is just not interested and rather prefers to ride the bus when going back and forth to college, so he can relax and listen to history podcasts in his ipod. I think is a great thing though, so he is using the transportation time in a way of acquiring more knowledge…a practical way to use time.

But for the older generations the bicycle was more about enjoying the moment than using it wisely, I must admit (at least in my case)

So when I have the time and some energy left, I like to jump over my bicycle and have a short trip around in the area where I live, just to revive those memories of a child pedaling with energy against the wind; having a reddish face with the heat and a big smile that reflected a being enjoying the surroundings, the views, the breeze and the sights; enjoying the moment, the now, in this amazing planet we have.


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12 Responses to Bicycle

  1. Tony Single says:

    Raul, that was a wonderful tribute to the humble bike. Unfortunately, me and bikes never really got along, especially after that childhood incident involving me, a brand new BMX, and an old rose bush. My dad was plucking thorns out of my legs and arms for days! :P

    Still, I have to agree that there’s very little that surpasses the bicycle as a mode of transportation that allows us to take in all the sights, smells and sounds of our surroundings in such a carefree, relaxed manner! Well, except for walking, which I do a LOT of these days. :)

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Tony,

    I’m sorry to hear about your accident and I can imagine “loosing” interest after that.

    Walking is great to experience the place we are going through; I do walk a lot too, more than riding bicycles to be honest, but still have a love for that simple machine :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Living Without a God

  2. Kelvin Kao says:

    It was fun to ride the tricycle and bicycle with training wheels when I was a kid. However, I’ve never really learned how to ride one without training wheels. It does sound wonderful though!

    Los Angeles is a little too urban for me to ride bikes without worrying about my safety though!
    Kelvin Kao´s last post ..A Happy Birthday

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Kelvin,

    Riding a bicycle in the city is stressing because of the vehicles and pedestrian, but when going in a park or the countryside it is fantastic. I guess in small towns there’s still hope for the trusted bicycle :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Living Without a God

  3. Raul,

    I love the story of the bike rider. You have a son who goes to college? Wow, I somehow thoughts you were younger and so were your kids!

    I admit, I have ridden a bike in long time since I fell and now I am scared. My 5 yr old is learning a cycle with training wheel and 1.5 yr old is going to try his brother’s old tricycle soon.
    Preeti @ Heart and Mind´s last post ..Why learning from history is cool – Part II

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Preeti,

    I’m glad you are not passing along your fears to your children and instead letting them learn to ride bicycles; maybe in the more technological world of the future they will never use them, but it’s always good to learn a new skill.

    Yes, I’m an old man of 48 and my son is 22. The picture in this blog is, I believe, from 2008 :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Living Without a God

  4. Nacho Jordi says:

    Hey Raul,

    Thanks for the post. I have a sympathy for bicycles too. I think it is my favorite mean of transportation (in addition to, among the “senior” ones, trains).
    But besides, I also understand your son’s point of view; I always prefer being carried, delegating the effort of driving, so I can do other things. I use to carry a book with me rather than an Ipod -I’m more ‘old school’ I guess :)
    Nacho Jordi´s last post ..Dance to nature’s music- Autumnal Equinox

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Nacho,

    Ah yes, trains are fun, if they are not too crowded, like traveling through the city at a time of the day when very few people are on board and we can seat comfortably by the window and let ourselves be taken in a tour by the city, watching all the streets, stores and people going by, giving us a sense of the place, the time in history and our own place in it.

    Or use the time wisely and have a good read in our hands :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Living Without a God

  5. We recently sold our kayaks and bought a new bicycle for my wife. My daughter has gotten too big to ride with us in the single person kayak, and she has been really excited about riding her bicycle with training wheels. So we decided to embrace that instead. We’ve been riding to destinations near our neighborhood, and it’s been a great time. You really do get a different perspective when traveling at slower speeds. It’s been very enjoyable for us, and fun to reconnect with our old friend the bicycle.
    Eric | Eden Journal´s last post ..It’s difficult to smile when you’re not okay

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Eric,

    Going around in a bicycle instead of a car definitely gives us a better perception of the same place. It’s great that your daughter enjoys riding a bicycle and the three of you are participating together :)

    I’ve been thinking about getting a kayak for myself for a couple of years now; it really entice me the image of quietly paddling through the lake enjoying the fresh morning air and the quietness that seems to be a characteristic of basic kayaking.

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Living Without a God

  6. Patricia says:

    I so enjoyed reading this post….I write my partner’s blog too, which is called bikingarchitect
    He did a 1000 mile ride around the Cascade mountains last year and for 13 years he has done the Seattle To Portland ride (204 miles in 1 day) with one of his children.

    Our other car is a bike….I just posted an interesting piece about the Bamboo Bicycles of Brooklyn…
    it might just tickle your imagination?

    All 3 of my children ride…but do not like riding in the cities – cars are too aggressive and dangerous – My oldest love the bike riding in Denmark when she lived there for a year….but now uses her iPod on the train as she computers to keep on learning

    thank you for sharing this
    Patricia´s last post ..An Apple of Appreciation for the Teacher

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Patricia,

    I see you guys are really into bicycling!

    And definitely riding a bike in the city is dangerous, but when getting to a park it can really be a relaxing activity :)

    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Problems With English

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