1,000 Miles

In March, I bought a brand-new electric-assist bicycle. I just hit 1,000 miles on the odometer.

I don’t ride it much for recreation, so that 1,000 miles represents 1,000 miles of replaced gas-powered car trips, including three days a week of replacing my 24-mile-round-trip commute, weekly grocery runs and other trips out of the house.

Planning my week around bike riding is becoming second nature. For the time being, we have two cars, but there’s only been a couple of occasions where we’ve used both.

While a full Midwestern winter is still an unattempted hurdle, I’ve ridden in temperatures below freezing (get a balaclava and warm gloves) and, now, in a heat advisory (just sweat, but at least you’ll get a good breeze). I think we can probably ditch one of our cars.

The speed and silence of the bike means you get close encounters with nature. I’ve startled deer, almost hit a raccoon and been attacked by a goose.

There is great joy in being able to ride with traffic at the speed limit, with drivers still seeing you as a slow-moving bike as you quickly fend off their attempts to pass. Short trips are faster, since you can almost always find parking near the front door.

There are certainly cyclists who look down their nose at ebikes, who call it cheating. OK, I’ll still pass them on my commute home without guilt.

Over these past 130 days, I’ve found this “magic flying machine,” as my wife calls hers, has returned a great amount of joy in cycling for me.