When I first moved to Eugene almost sixteen years ago, I rode my bike everywhere. Through the winter of 1996, one of the wettest winters ever, I rode the two-and-a-half miles to and from campus everyday.
But after a few years, I found myself driving more, taking the bus more, and riding my bike less and less. Eventually I stopped altogether, and without the exercise to balance out my usually sedentary work, I gained weight and got out of shape.
Why do I mention this? Because today I rode my bike to church. For the first time in at least ten years I rode a bike for transportation. About the same distance I used to ride to campus: two-and-a-half miles each way. It wasn’t easy. Not only was I out of practice, but I’m also a lot older than I was when I first moved up here. It wore me out, but I did it.
I’m not planning on riding my bike to church every week. I specifically went to 7:30 a.m. Mass today so I wouldn’t get overheated in the midday sun—most Sundays I go to 11 a.m. instead. But I will be taking the bike out on the local trails a couple of mornings a week, and each week it will get a little bit easier.
After all, I live in one of the most bike-friendly towns in the country. I might as well take advantage.