When did bicycle commuting become so serious? Perhaps you’re really new to bicycle commuting and the grimacing look on your face is the end result of either missing your car or getting your behind used to the saddle again. SMILE! You’re participating in one of the healthiest, funnest and safest ways to get around!
Starting last Spring, I noticed that people on their bikes — especially the ones wearing backpacks and riding near rush hour — are generally pretty serious folks. They don’t acknowledge other cyclists and they don’t look happy to be on a bike. I know most people aren’t all that excited about their commute, but even the motorists I see on a daily basis don’t seem this earnest.
I’ve been the Pensive, Serious Cyclist plenty of times. It doesn’t do much good. I’ve found that simply smiling while you’re riding makes things a lot easier. You have to mean it, though. Your “soul” has to smile. Quit thinking about where you’re trying to go or what you’ll need to do when you get there. Start thinking about where you are. Start living in the moment. Maybe try remembering why you’re riding in the first place. The reasons and benefits to bike commuting are different for everyone, and there are too many to list here.
Being happy and content gives you confidence. Enjoying your saddle time gives you purpose and belonging on the road, and will likely make your rides to and from work seem a lot less perilous. Let’s shift from being Serious Cyclists to being Fun Cyclists who take our mode of transportation seriously.