November 6, 2013

Jon + Morgan, PFB Crew East

After setting out on a ride, we ran into a flock of sheep who had better things to do than clear the trail.

When we hit the road for PeopleForBikes, we realized we were headed for adventure. We knew we would get the opportunity to experience firsthand the benefits of biking in different communities throughout the United States. We knew we would get to ride in parks, on trails, in protected bike lanes, and through busy traffic areas, and we certainly checked all of these off of the list. We knew that we would leave the adventure with a better sense of America’s biking infrastructure and the progress that would be left to come. We had seen statistics that helped us get an idea of what to expect in different communities and what the biking scene would look like in urban places as opposed to more rural communities. However, throughout our adventure we continued to experience benefits brought to us by bikes that could not be quantified.

For example, did you know that you can rent goats to manicure your lawn? You can. In fact they are ten dollars per goat per day, with a minimal fee if you’d like to include a herding dog to keep them on task.

While at LiveGreen! CT, we met a crew of goats for hire.

We would set out for the day on a trail expecting a full-throttle ride, only to be held up by a flock of sheep with no regard for our plans.

We found gems of American culture deeply rooted in other cultures, like Pella, Iowa. Did you know that Pella, Iowa prides itself on offering ‘A touch of Holland?’ As we participated in RAGBRAI, a weeklong ride across the state of Iowa, we stopped in Pella for food and entertainment and found an impressive amount of windmills, giant clogs, and Dutch pastries, which we could eat an embarrassing quantity.

One of the many windmills in Pella, Iowa.

We started to notice that no matter what type of bike races or rides we attended, there was always an absurd amount of support and enthusiasm for the riders. We saw body paint, tattoos, costumes and bikes engineered to look like VW bugs.

We love to bike and we love all of the wonderful things that come from biking, mostly the things you can’t expect. Through our experiences at events like festivals, races, conferences, and group rides, we’ve come to appreciate the little treasures that make you laugh when you need it most, conversations that can fuel an entire ride, and the unending culture that comes with the territory of riding your bike. 

Crowds gathering at the Tulsa Tough on Cry Baby Hill to cheer on the riders making it to the top.

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