Yesterday, after biking to work on my slightly tank-like electric bicycle, I reflected negatively on the experience. I live in a world made for cars, full of giant streets, cartoonishly spread out points of interest, and miles of asphalt. And though I found bike lanes and straight paths to my destination, I felt a stranger in a strange land, a Lilliput among metal giants. Are there even people in all these four-wheeled metal giants, hurrying along, never stopping, always eating?
Yeah, there are people in there. I've been one. But that's the only way I know!
But with my expectations lowered my ride home was better. Though the city has a long way to go, along one main street I found a fully dedicated off road bike path I hadn't even noticed on the way there because it was on the other side of the street. Also, I hit all the lights much better. Having to perch on a curb at the single ugliest feature of any bike ride, a major intersection, can turn the brightest optimist sour.
I'm not the brightest optimist. I'm like the third or fourth brightest optimist.
In addition to all of this, with my city not being Utrecht out of the way, I was able to suddenly appreciate that there actually were bike lanes for over 80 percent of my trip, and a few of them were even separated from the roadway (see paragraph one, it's super interesting!). Furthermore, I was on an electric bike. An electric bike is a lot of fun! I have had to try and explain what an electric bike is like many times now, but I'm never entirely satisfied. I think I might finally have it now:
An electric bike is like all the good parts of a regular bicycle:
moving along under one's own power,
without any of the bad parts of a regular bicycle:
having to move along under one's own power.
But in the end the equation is a simpler one:
On the way to work I was on the way to work.
But coming home...
Well, I'll leave you with a song today: