The Two Wheeled Experience

Ten miles an hour. My favorite speed for travel.
My commute to work doesn’t require me to take secondary roads but I choose to ride on them because the scenery is nicer and there is less traffic and what traffic does exist is moving at slower speeds. Many roads in Lancaster County, PA do not have shoulders and so riding a bike often happens in the right side of the lane, which is another reason to stick to the smaller, side roads. While these roads offer less traffic there is still a good amount of traffic during rush hour(s) but many drivers in this area give a wide berth, in my experience. Perhaps the Amish buggies and Mennonites on bicycles/kick-scooters have paved the way for today’s cyclists by traveling frequently on these roads and preparing the local traffic for the possibility of the right side of the lane being blocked as you crest a hill or come around a blind corner. Whatever it may be, my rides to and from work have been quite enjoyable and safe and also feel safe. I think feeling safe is a huge part of riding a bicycle on a regular basis and one of the biggest reasons there are not more folks out riding around, be it for recreation, commuting or running errands.
When I ride my bicycle or scooter through a town and someone is walking down the sidewalk, I can say “good morning!” or wave at them or at least smile. While I can do these things in my car the effect is rather dull since no one is even aware that I am trying to interact with them. In fact, it might seem truly odd. If you’re walking down the street and someone in a car waves at you or says “Hi” and you happen to notice you’re probably expecting to know them and once you find out that you don’t, they just seem sort of odd or perhaps confused about who you are. This experience on a two wheeled machine is very different. You’re face and eyes are usually exposed to others and it is easy to make eye contact. The car isn’t putting up a wall between you and others. You feel more connected to the ground and what’s going on around you and what your environment is like. Overall, you are not as detached from your surroundings. I like this experience and didn’t even know if was missing from my life until I started riding my bicycle to work.

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One thought on “The Two Wheeled Experience

  1. I’ve been commuting by bike for 6 months now, and I absolutely love all the things you talked about. Getting to interact with everyone and not be detached from my surroundings are incredible.

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