Dr. Joe Jensen has worked in education for 28 years and is an avid bicycle rider. He gives some great tips on helping his children ride as well helping other people get on bicycles. He discusses the idea of access and inclusion, and the need for a human being to be the link for that to happen.
He also shared with me an inspirational essay written by Gary Fisher in 2008 that I read at the start of the session. Such a beautiful written piece, that will inspire anyone to get out on their bicycle.
Enjoy the session! Get out and ride and feel the amazing benefits from being on your bike!
Here is the essay written by Gary Fisher:
Transmissions from a perpetual motion machine
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about bikes. And, by “lately,” I mean the last 40 years or so. I’d like to share a thought or two.
I think a bike is an optimistic creature. An anti-inertia machine. It opposes stagnation. It despises atrophy.
A bike wants to go. Look at it. You can tell. There’s something weird about a bike standing still, like an organ playing the same note over and over. The song needs movement. It needs a progression.
Of course, I’m biased. I like bikes. All bikes. I like wheels, because wheels want to move. I like that, with a bike, you get two wheels. Kind of an added bonus. Two is the perfect number, I say. It means you’ve got balance.
Important thing, balance.
It’s on a bike that I feel most at home. It’s motion, but not the kind of motion that’s taking you away from something. I think it’s the opposite of that. Singletrack or switchback or city street, when I’m on a bike, I feel like I’m moving toward something. It’s forward motion, motion that has its own value. It is its own destination (to borrow someone’s cliché).
Of course, I get carried away. It’s also true that a bike’s not much of anything. Rubber and metal, chains and posts. It needs a pilot. I’ve been a pilot for as long as I can remember. Longer, because some of my memories are a little hazy, to be perfectly honest. I’ve known hundreds of other pilots. Thousands. I meet more every day. People with hands on the controls, some kind of elemental liftoff achieved, all plugged in to the buzz of two wheels moving in the same direction. Thousands of pilots times two wheels each. It’s a lot of momentum.
Maybe I’m a bit of an old-school idealist(aka: hippie), but I count all bike people as friends. You too. Seriously. “Hippie” is defined as “a person who opposes and rejects many of the conventional standards and customs of society,” and, for the moment, disciples of the bike fit that definition.
Riding around powered by your own two legs is not a “conventional standard.” It’s just not. Knowing that you need to be careful about your pant leg getting caught is not what most people are thinking about as they begin their morning commute. Sitting somewhere behind your bike seat on a steep descent, watching trees go by at a wholly disturbing angle, blood tingling with panic and then elation? Definitely not conventional behavior.
Some see this non-mainstream-ness as a good thing, a badge of pride. Some see it, as bad. Me, I’m not worried about good or bad as much as WHY. Why are more people not riding bikes? You know how many people live within biking distance of their work? Did you know that in Amsterdam, 40 percent of commuters get to work by bike? (I knew I liked that place.)
Maybe you think it’s weird for a mountain bike guy to be talking about commuting, but that’s kind of my point. I’m about bikes. Two wheels. Momentum. Arriving under you own power, on your own terms. Arriving at the top of a mountain, at the base of a hill, at the revolving front door of a 100 story building in a city of millions, arriving on Mars. It’s all good to me, as long as it’s arriving on a bike.
The point is, in all these years of thinking about bikes and working on bikes and dreaming about bikes and falling in love with bikes and the people who ride them, one thought—maybe the one thought—I keep coming back to is that I’m going to continue doing everything I can get more people on bikes.
Why? Because bikes are good. Pretty simple.
That’s what I’ve been thinking. I’ll see you around.
The original catalog PDF can be found at: http://www.vintage-trek.com/Trek-Fisher-Klein-Lemond/2008fisher.pdf
–Ride This Out-