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Why I Ride #26: To Connect With Friends

(Jenn Fox is an environmental engineer; and a Board member of the League and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.)

It’s hard to believe but there are only six days left in this year’s National Bike Month. So Jenn gave us her top six reasons she loves to ride.

  • To get more quality time with friends. The bike is a perfect vehicle, not just for transportation, but also for conversation. I meet people riding. I do some of my best thinking while riding, and I get uninterrupted time with friends while riding.  Sure, sometimes we get interrupted by passing traffic; sometimes I can only get a few words out while huffing and puffing up a hill. The punctuated staccato rhythm of a ride lends time to think, time to laugh, time to take it all in.
  • To see my home and be part of my community. I learned to ride a bike when I was 18. I had acquired a red Schwinn ten-speed to get around the Stanford campus. The following summer, I rode across the U.S. Whether touring the Rockies on my own, or riding RAGBRAI with 10,000 Midwesterners, I’m hooked.
  • To feel empowered. I was the opposite of a tomboy growing up. Fixing flats on my first long tour brought out the engineer and tinkerer in me.
  • To make a living doing something I love. I spent summer vacations working for the Denver Spoke learning the industry. I worked for Backroads leading hiking and bicycling trips. What could be better than helping (and joining) others to see the world by bike?!
  • To stay healthy, mentally and physically. My daily bike commute to work isn’t far, but I know it is my time, everyday. Once a week, I leave my house at sunrise to ride in the Marin Headlands before heading to work in downtown San Francisco. I notice the weather, the roads, the daily cycles; and I enjoy them.
  • And, maybe most importantly, to have fun!

May is National Bike Month and this year’s theme is One Ride, Many Reasons. To highlight and celebrate the many benefits of bicycling, throughout May we’ll bring you the personal reflections and inspirations of a diverse collection of bicyclists from coast to coast with our daily 31 Days, 31 Reasons blog feature.


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