Hi Madison Bikes Community, I'm Steph! I am a new member of the Madison Bikes Board, an avid cyclist and coffee drinker. I will be contributing to the Madison Bikes blog on a weekly basis to provide a voice of bike-related encouragement, insight, and amusement. While I am not a bike expert by any means, I am obsessed with all things bike-related and look forward to sharing my thoughts on a new topic with you each week!
Before we get started, a quick advertisement: Come to the big Madison Bikes Bike Week Party tomorrow (Friday) at Brittingham Park! We have beer from Working Draft Beer Company, The Hop Garden, Ale Asylum, Karben4 Brewing, and Funk Factory Geuzeria, non-alcoholic drinks from Klarbrunn and the Willy Street Co-op, food carts (Toast and Haynes Kitchen), a skills course for kids, the Spoke-N-Words mobile bike library, free bike checks, and tabling from local bike and other non-profits. Free and family friendly! 5-8 pm near the Brittingham Park Shelter. Bring the family, bring your co-workers, bring your friends, bring a stranger you met on the bike path!
While going for a stroll this morning, I saw a lot of bikers. Some were speedy in their hi-viz spandex kits, some were children donning backpacks, some were commuting with young children on cargo bikes. With all of the bike-related events during Madison Bike Week, everybody and their mother (and their mayor...) seems to be biking.
(City of Madison Bike Ride)
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and our board member Liz at the Madison Bike Week press conference on Monday
Needless to say, there are a bunch of reasons to bike and everybody has a primary reason for biking. It’s good exercise, it’s (pretty) cheap, it’s better for the environment than driving, it’s better to ‘drink and bike’ than to ‘drink and drive’, and so much more.
Why do I bike?
More than any of the previously mentioned reasons, biking is good for my mental health. I have had bouts of depression and I simply cannot recall one time when I didn’t feel better about life after a bike ride. Ever since I was a child, biking has provided me with a conduit for serenity and/or repreive. While some perceive biking to be a luxury for the weekends or “when time allows”, I endorse the notion of biking (or kayak, running, hiking, etc.) as a daily necessity to be a better human.
In a couple of days, I will move from my home in Madison to Washington, D.C. and woo wee, I am equal parts stressed and thrilled. I have sold, stored, or disposed of most of my possessions to make this initial move as easy a possible. So, when move day comes, I will have my most essential items- clothing, toiletries, athletic gear, and my two bikes strapped to the outside of my car. Knowing that I can jump on my bike at the end of the day, no matter where I am, brings me great comfort. Living next to a 20-mile long recreation/bike trail will be a major bonus too.
Anyway, I hope to see you all at more Bike Week events! Don’t forget, the Madison Bikes Bike Week Party is coming up! It is this Friday from 5pm- 8pm at Brittingham Park and is open to the whole family!
See ya around! Tailwinds!
P.S.: Not convinced that biking cures what ails ya? Watch this video regarding mountain biking and its impacts on mental health.