Thanksgiving Reflection: Thankful for Bikes

The irony of using my car to power a pump to inflate my bike's tire is not lost on me. Unfortunately, the drivetrain was not rideable.

The irony of using car power to inflate my bike’s tire is not lost on me. Unfortunately, the drivetrain was not rideable.

I am thankful for bikes. Corny, right? I spent the last two weeks visiting family and friends in a less than bike-friendly part of Pennsylvania. I will not lie – I loved the convenience of having a car. I did not worry about the snow. I did not worry about the cold. I did not worry about planning a safe, flat route. I just hopped in and drove off. What convenience! And I never arrived sweaty, frozen, or soaked. Now that is luxury. But I missed my bike, and so did my body.

I felt fat. Lazily, unhealthily, fat! There is not a whole lot to do around Reading, Pennsylvania and a lot of my activities revolved around food and beer. Want to hang out with a friend? Go to our favorite, Sofrito Gastro Pub, after work for dinner and $1 lagers. Need to catch up with a cousin after her evening shift at the diner? Hit up a divey Village Tavern and then cruise to another diner for late-night snack. Oh, and it was Thanksgiving, so there is that. Pounds and pounds of food. More meat than I have eaten in the last 6 months and countless desserts. Wash it all down with a lot of beer. But there were times I ate like that in Seattle. Certainly the food here is not THAT bad! Why do I feel bad this time? No bike.



Without a bike I fell into the sedentary lifestyle I blame for much of America’s battle with obesity. My body is use to averaging 10-20 miles a day on two wheels with a bit of walking thrown in for good measure. I am not the kind of guy who can commit to running several times a week or keeping a gym membership. But when getting to work, to the store, and out to socialize means exercise it is easy to stay fit. Suddenly I went two weeks without touching a bike, with the exception of my futile attempt to revitalize my old Raleigh mountain bike.

I feel like I am returning to Seattle 10 pounds heavier and a much less fit. And it is because I did not bike. I knew I appreciated the bikeability of Seattle, but until now I did not realize just how lucky I am to live somewhere that facilitates my health.

This year I am thankful to live in bikeable Seattle. I am thankful for the great people who have made this city feel like home. I am thankful to have traveled to Denmark where I learned to love biking again. But most of all I am thankful that I know the value of bikes and have the physical ability to live a healthy lifestyle. Every year I am healthy and fit I will thank my bike for making it possible.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo courtesy of Mission Bicycle Co. via

Meanwhile, the Seattle Bike Blog held its annual Cranksgiving, Seattle failed to achieve a platinum rating in The League of American Bicyclist’s Bike-Friendly City ratings, and Seattle ranked #1 in pedestrian safety in a national study by Liberty Mutual. Seattle, I missed you!


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