Have you ever read a book that changed your life? I've had a few, from books that taught me to love reading, to books that introduced new genres to me, and even taught me about feminism. Yes, there have been numerous books that, looking back, I realize have significantly impacted my life. But you know what has been rarer? Books I recognized would change my life even as I read them.
I don't remember how I came across Grant Petersen's Bike treatise, Just Ride, but I read it while on vacation with my family of Memorial Day weekend this year, and I knew within pages that my life was changing.
It just made so much sense! Riding bikes could be regular transportation. Riding bikes could be fun! There's no need for special clothing or crazy light-weight materials--a steel bike designed for commuting is all we need. We should all ride bikes all the time!
Now you should know I am no athlete. Hahaha--as if you even suspected I might be! But seriously, I'm even less athletic than that. Riding a bicycle somewhere has always sounded about as fun as running there. Chased by a rabid grizzly bear. With a taste for girly human flesh. In other words, not fun at all.
I don't know what special bike-loving drug is emitted by one's smart phone upon reading the Just Ride e-book, but I was converted. I admit that I really couldn't follow the chapters describing bike parts and fitting and whatnot, and the "bread makes you fat" chapter was good advice I'm familiar with not following, but the good, common-sense "hey, don't be a baby, get on a bike and ride it" stuff just spoke to me. The subtitle is "A radically practical guide to riding your bike" and it all sounded so radically practical there was no way I wasn't going to ride a bike as soon as possible.
So I got a bike.
Well, I talked about it with Matt, and he agreed that he was interested in riding. We looked around a bit, and in mid-July we ordered bikes. I had been rabidly consuming all the bike blogging and shopping the Internet has to offer, when I came across a previous entry on Petersen's "Bike Blug." In it he called the new Brooklyn Cruiser a "not dumb bike." Well, with such high praise, how could I resist? I couldn't. Plus, it was so cute. I am not going to pretend that even my feverish blog-reading had taught me much about bikes other than 1) I wanted one, and 2) there are lots of pretty ones. So a Grant Peterson endorsement of a pretty bike? WANT! Matt agreed that it looked like a decent, affordable bike, and admitted that he'd like one too. So we each ordered one. Yep, we have matching bikes now.
And that's the beginning of my bike love affair. I'll write more later, but I wanted to share that. How a short book changed my life even before I started making changes. xoxo