I Am A Concertina Technician, And I Ride

A while ago we asked you to send in your bicycling stories and you didn’t disappoint! We are trying to make sure everyone out there realizes that cyclists are real live human beings, not just anonymous people on wheels. Your stories put a face on cycling. These stories are part of a larger campaign to make cycling safer for everyone in Massachusetts, stay tuned for more information about that campaign.

We are still accepting entries, so be sure to read below to find out how to send in your story.

Our next story comes from Marga, who just so happens to be Emily’s daughter!

Where I Ride: Amherst/Northampton area, MA
How Often I Ride: Monday through Friday, I commute from North Amherst, where I live, to neighboring Sunderland, where I work. (Just five miles, one way). If it is snowing or really cold, I take the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus. The bus is free, which is wonderful, but still, I prefer biking. After work I sometimes bike to Amherst or North Hadley to see friends, go to yoga or attend various events or meetings. During the weekends, I often bike to the laundromat in Amherst center, to pick up my CSA share in North Amherst or get groceries in Amherst or Hadley; sometimes I bike on the Norwottuck trail to Northampton to see friends or just for the excitement of a (relatively) larger town. I don’t have a car, so I get around by bike or bus most of the time.

My Story:
My bicycle (bought new from Belmont Wheel Works) was a high school graduation gift from my parents; probably the best gift I’ve ever received. It continues to serve me well after six years. One of my goals is to get into the habit of doing regular tune-ups and cleaning my bike; currently, I can’t do anything more complicated than changing a tire, but hopefully I will gradually become a competent amateur bike mechanic, and keep on riding my current bike past the time it starts to get that cool “vintage” look.

My life would not be very fun at all if I didn’t have a bicycle and ride it. Biking makes me happier. I enjoy the physical sensation of exercising, outdoors. It feels so good to have independence and freedom of movement without a car, without putting more CO2 into the atmosphere. I feel more connected to other people when I am biking; unlike driving, you can share smiles with people while biking. I hope to keep biking all of my life. My grandmother biked until she was eighty; my mother and father are still going strong at 61. I believe that biking almost every day will be one key element in maintaining my health and happiness for the rest of my life. Seeing the world from a bike is, in my opinion, preferable to seeing the world from the seat of a car, and in fact, I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I drove instead of biked.

Thanks Marga! Great to see your mother has passed the cycling tradition down to you.

We want to hear your story. Tell us about yourself and how bicycling is a part of your life. Just copy and paste the form below into an email, fill it in, and send it to shane@massbike.org.

  • Name:
  • Email:
  • Where You Ride:
  • How Often You Ride:
  • Your Profession/Relation/Title (lawyer, nurse, Grandma, son, etc):
  • A picture of you on your bicycle, or you in your daily life (be sure we can see your face):
  • A paragraph or two about your life and your bicycle:

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