Cycling through my 50s

Thomas Cooper – Nashville, TN

Cycling through my 50s

I have been a cyclist since my teens. Before I got my drivers license, I rode my bicycle. I grew up in Chicago long before the city developed the wonderful bike paths that now run along the lakefront. My first job was selling hotdogs at a trailert cafe on North Avenue beach. My journey each day was a 14 mile round trip on my Gitane 12 speed, no fancy lycra and converse all stars. My father and I rode the Tour of the Mississippi River in Iowa 6 times and the RAGBRAI twice.

I moved to London, England during my financial career and began commuting by bicycle from my west London home to the City of London (financial district) in the mid 90s. The journey took me through Hyde Park and along the Thames river past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliamant building on one of the best bicycle commutes in any city in the world.

I returned to the US in 2004 and now live in Nashville,TN. Nashville has the climate for year around riding yet like most cities in the Southern US, the roads are built primarily for automobiles. The distances are greater and there is not much public transportation.

The current Nashville Mayor has embraced the cause for a more sustainable city with a large network of greenways that provide safe cycke and pedestrain walkways but the arterial networks of Nashville remain largely unsafe for such travel.

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