Getting to Know One Another

The Diamondback

I remember my first bike; well my first one as an adult. It was a Diamondback, it had a dark color with a gold/champagne chrome finish to it. My sister brought it to my meager apartment as a gift. She even had a U-lock. I’ll never forget it, as foreign as it seemed.  I had no car. I had been taking the TARC.  My car had been totaled a while back, irreplaceable. Me, a college student, with little to no money, was not about to even search for a new one. But here it was, a bike; a vehicle really.

I said thanks, bewildered.

That Diamondback set up against the wall in my tiny apartment for several months. My cat used the seat as a scratching post.

I was in Speech101 class when I read one of the examples: riding a bike versus taking public transit; an argumentative speech. Biking is faster than public transit, the example stated (simple, huh?). It got me wondering. I was ready to start experimenting. The university campus was a mere three miles away although I didn’t know that then. Google maps was just a dream and I didn’t even have the internet at my apartment. I just knew it wasn’t too far; it was manageable.

I began without a helmet, in jeans. I definitely didn’t have money for a helmet and my pride was too big for one too. I rode, clinging to the parked cars, not really in a lane, scared out of my mind.  I remember getting almost there, about two miles, not so bad, but I was sweating, bad. Me, the non athlete and a pothead to boot, let’s say I didn’t exercise much. However, I made that final mile with relief, locked the bike at one of the few racks on campus, and walked to class with time to spare.

<<<<<<<

Eight years ago began my commuting career.

I’m not your average cyclist. I don’t race. I don’t do tours. I don’t do extreme dirt bikes. I don’t wear spandex.

I wear jeans.

What can I say, I’m an American.

About Katlyn

Bike commuter, environmental scientist, community advocate, feminist, foodie and traveler I love cycling and commuting.
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