The Biker In Me
“I don’t need coffee to wake up; I just need the wind in my hair during a bike ride.”Theresa Ferner
Home: My Cycling Paradise
Have you ever heard of Austria? With its green, mountain-filled countryside, crisscrossed by railroad tracks and bike trails?
In the middle of all those fields is a town where I grew up. No shopping centers, but cows. No fancy restaurants, but farms. No yellow school buses, but bikes. Everyone invests in a good bicycle since it’s the primary way to get around.
Growing up, I biked to school, home, to my friend’s house and on the weekend and to the river, which wasn’t a big deal.
I also had a job where I delivered packages by bike! Even my school trips included bike tours, instead of visiting museums.
Speaking of which, my mother started making me ride long-distance bike tours at an early age, often for as long as a week.
Growing up this way, cycling came naturally to me. I was able to summit the highest mountains and cruise down the steepest downhills, without any trouble.
It didn’t make me feel special, though, since cycling was just a regular part of my daily life.
Saying Farewell to Austria
I eventually moved to another country in a different part of the world—one where motorcycles were the main way of getting around. It wasn’t until then that I realized how extraordinary Austria’s cycling culture was.
In order to adapt, and because there weren’t any suitable bicycles available, I bought a motorcycle to get to and from work. And after a few years of regularly commuting like this, I forgot the positive exhaustion I experienced after a six-hour bike ride.
Then, I moved again to the United States, which barely had any bike lanes, and every driver seemed to hate cyclists. There, it also took me time to become accustomed to cars turning right on red, which makes it difficult for those of us with only two legs as an engine.
Finding My Way Back to Cycling
I missed the feeling of cycling so much that when I had the first chance, I jumped at the opportunity to buy myself a bike.
In fact, I don’t own a car, so biking is my only way to get around Austin, TX each day, whether traveling to work, university, or the gym.
And even though the city has a lot of improvements to make in regards to its bike lane infrastructure, I manage to ride from the suburbs where I live, all the way to downtown.
I’ve found that wherever I’m going, cycling allows me to arrive at my destination fresh, awake, and with a clear mind. I feel alive.
And when I’m cycling, I don’t notice time passing, because I have so much beautiful scenery surrounding me. Exciting things happen all the time!
I don’t need coffee to wake up; I just need the wind in my hair during a bike ride.
Leading Me Back to the Saddle
As much as all Austrian roads lead to Rome, my life’s path usually leads me back onto a bike saddle.
Sure, some people might call me out for being different. But, I’m healthy, and I thoroughly enjoy my daily routine of cycling, working, studying, and exercising at the gym.
Can they say the same?