“Aren’t you scared to ride your bike in the city? There is, like, cars. A lot of them”.
This is a question I am frequently asked. The answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no. If we are being honest here, there are certainly times I have worried about riding. When I first started commuting from the upper portion of Manhattan to Midtown, I was truly frightened. It was a new route, new taxis, new people, and new pot holes. Overtime, I have become more comfortable. I don’t sit and anxiously wait from my afternoon commute like I used to.
Moreover, when the streets are crowded and there is heavy traffic, I tend to get a bit worried. There is greater potential for a pedestrian to step into the street or a cab to quickly switch lanes. It’s these times that I slow down and focus on each rotation of the crank.
So at the end of the day, yes there are times when I am frightened to ride my bicycle. However, this is certainly not enough to stop me. Like many great people have said, “the greater the risk, the greater the reward”. Each time anyone gets into the saddle they risk falling off, getting hit by a car, crashing, and/or injuring themselves. The same risks are taken when you drive or even walk.
In contrast, when you hop on the bike you are also taking the risk of enjoying yourself, exercising, clearing your head, meeting new people, and/or a million other benefits. LIFE IS A RISK. SIMPLY WAKING UP AND DECIDING TO LIVE IS A RISK. As human beings we can not avoid risks. It’s the life we have been dealt. We spend money, time, and effort to avoid risk, but why? Taking a risk implies there is a chance that something good may arise. Far too often we focus on the negative and this perspective becomes the lens through which we view our lives. This lens may black out the potential for joy and excitement. When we don’t take risks we may feel safer, but are we truly living? That is for you to answer.
Personally, I’ll take the risk of cycling as long as those rewards keep coming.