Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Guest post- People Ask: Why Do You Ride A Bike? by Tamia Nelson

People Ask: Why Do You Ride a Bike?
by Tamia Nelson

When I was 17 years old, I shattered my leg in a crash when downhill skiing, and as a consequence I spent five months in a full cast. My bones finally healed and my cast was removed, but my leg was weak, my knee would give out unexpectedly, and my leg hurt badly even after short walks. I began to despair of returning to my active lifestyle. But I had a new ten-speed bike. I lost patience with lameness, so one day I pushed the bike to the porch steps, cringed as I threw my bad leg over the saddle, and sat there with my good foot on the step and my bad foot on the pedal. It felt great to be back in the saddle, but could I ride? I shoved off and rolled onto the road. I COULD ride, I found to my delight. All that summer I cycled everywhere, and my bike brought me back to full strength. My good leg did the work and helped my bad leg to recover. I couldn't walk, but I could bike.

I'm sometimes asked why I cycle everywhere and in all weathers. The folks who ask me this question don't bike, so they can't comprehend without help. I try to explain, and I keep it simple. Mobility and freedom. That's why I ride. Beautiful countryside, the pride which comes from cycling well, and breaking away from car dependency are all icing on the cake.

This is a condensed version of Tamia's original article, "I Can't Walk, but I Can Bike…", published on her website, Tamia Nelson's Outside. She can be reached through her website's Contact page, or by sending her an email directly.

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