What if I was willing to pay you to ride your bike? I want more bike lanes here in Valparaiso and I want them protected, too. I want to use my bike as a car whenever possible. It helps my health, reduces pollution and improves my mood. Just you TRY to be in a bad mood while riding a bicycle. I wrote about the mood enhancement angle of biking in this earlier post.
We have had a loooong crummy winter and now is the time we get warm, breezy, actually Springlike Spring days sprinkled into our week. I have enjoyed biking with my two little girls already this Spring. I also enjoyed getting my bike spiffed up at Buck's Bike Shop here in Valparaiso and then all that happy joy joy got me thinking: YOU should be doing this too. I would even pay you do enjoy yourself like this. I would pay you to ride your bike on an errand.
That got my wheels turning about how to get you lovely people out on your bikes for MORE than just a pleasure ride around your neighborhoods. You can reduce pollution, reduce fat on your body, increase your endorphins, improve your mood, connect with your neighbors, appreciate scenery, LIVE your life more fully and teach your family and friends how to do these things too; just by riding your bike as a vehicle instead of a toy.
I still smile when I think of the day last Spring when my husband John rode his new used bike to Target on an errand. He returned and said, "That was great!".* I grinned, happy to have converted him to my brilliant way of living. I have friends who think I am nuts to use my bike as a car. I have other friends who go with me sometimes. I was scared to take the girls to the pediatrician by bike, but we did it. We loved it. When I pull up to preschool drop off with my little girls squished together in their bike trailer all grins and bike helmets everyone around us is smiling too. We are fun. We are HAVING FUN!
I've gone to Buck's Bike Shop here in town about once a month since I began using my bike instead of our car. They helped me with a tune up. Replaced brakes. Got me a snazzy "I heart my Bike" bell. Headlamps. Bike helmets for the little girls. Fenders to keep said little girls dry and clean if we bike in wetter conditions. Buck's Bike Shop set me up with a happy red bike basket and someday I will buy panniers from them too. And maybe a big fat mama fanny bike seat that is more comfy than whatever I have now. Jeff and Shaun are the best guys. Roger the owner is a nice guy and he gave me a GENEROUS $50.00 gift certificate for one of you fine people to win. So I'm not going to have to pay you, Buck's Bike Shop will!
How can you win this $50.00 Buck's Bike Shop Gift certificate, you ask?
Hmmmm? I couldn't hear you, the wind was in my hair as I coasted downhill. (That is untrue, I do not text and ride or text and drive for that matter.)
Ok, here is how you enter to win: In the next two weeks, take your bike on an errand instead of your car, and get someone to snap a photo of you or show your bike at the errand location. Post as many pictures as you run errands in the next two weeks. I will select randomly from the entries, the more errands, the more pictures, the more chances to win.