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« Life’s lessons I learned from my bicycle | Main | Supply and Demand »


Cycling is a passion, or rather, it can become one. Many people ride a bike, not all of them can be described as passionate about it. Passion is one of those words that is not easy to explain, one has to experience passion to know what it truly is.

Cycling becomes a passion when someone rides a bike for no other reason than to experience the joy of riding a bike. If you have a passion for something in life, you are truly living. Without passion, a person is simply existing.

Sometimes the passion is in owning the bike, or collecting and owning more than one bike. Working on the bike, looking at and admiring the bike. Sometimes this passion goes hand in hand with riding the bike, but not necessarily so. The two passions can exist separately, and even one without the other.

There is a fine line between ownership as a passion, and simple materialism. The only way I can speculate the difference. If the object you own brings you joy, it is a passion.  If it is owning the object that brings joy, it is probably materialism.  

To put it another way few people have a passion for driving anymore. Few people go for a Sunday Drive, as one would go for a Sunday Bike Ride. Driving is for the purpose of reaching a destination. Owning a nice car, (The object,) brings joy, but roads are too congested to really enjoy driving the car, for driving itself to become a passion.

People who say, “Cyclists should not be on the road because it is dangerous,” just don’t get it. It is like telling a surfer it is dangerous to go into the ocean, the surfer who is passionate about surfing is not going to stop.

It is not that cyclists and surfers are crazy, foolhardy, with little regard for their life. In fact, the opposite is true. If one has a passion for life, the last thing that person wants is to end it. On the other hand, if one cannot engage in their passion, they are no longer living anyway. Life becomes a pointless existence. 

Passion can include anger, especially if someone suggests I should not pursue my passion, which happens to be riding my bike on the road. It is a road bike after all, and just as a surfer must surf in the ocean, a road bike must be ridden on the road. 

Some will say, “You have a local bike path, why don’t you ride there?” Yes I am fortunate to have a paved Walk and Bike Trail just two miles from my home. It is 7 miles long, so 14 miles out and home. But after riding it many times, the monotony has got me itching to get out on the open road, and actually go somewhere.

On weekends I pick quiet country roads to ride where there is very little motorized traffic, and actually I prefer to deal with a few cars and trucks over the dog walkers and runners on the shared path.

Of course, they have a right to be there too, so I am not complaining. Some of these runners and dog owners may be following their own passion. 


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Reader Comments (6)

The risks of being sedentary far outweigh any risk from cycling. When asked why I cycle because “it’s so dangerous”, I reply that it is to save my life.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterYoav

I take issue with your philosophy on passion. By your thinking, if one became disabled in a manner that precluded riding his bike, his life would not be worth living anymore.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAyjaydee

Of course not. Cycling is but one of the passions in my life, Writing and music are two more of many. When the day comes I can no longer ride my bike.I will still have a passion for life in many other ways.

March 12, 2018 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

Can readily relate to this essay. Thanks.

March 12, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterkamoteQ

Dave I am not sure about the word passion? I have never thought that riding a bike was a passion. Like walking running swimming all things that anyone with some athletic ability can be done. Artistic pursuits, are to me more a passion.The comments about riding on a bike path I also do not agree with. As I age, my senses diminish, my reflexes are not as good. My 130 lbs plus 20 for the bike are no match with a 2 ton vehicle. Why gamble. PASSION to me is more sexual, Been tuned on, even at my age is passion. So as my dear Dad used to say "Put that in you pipe and smoke it" Of course now, that is more than true!!!

March 15, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjohn crump

Hi Dave,

Thank you for this post. I've struggled with the question of passion for ownership versus simple materialism. My bicycle brings me great pleasure. I like working on it and changing bits that make it more suited to me. I even ride it sometimes. I'm self-aware enough to know that a lot of the decisions I make about my bike are driven by a desire to present an idealized image of myself as a practical and capable cyclist. I do far less riding than I'd like to, so it sometimes feels like my bike is just a toy or aspirational status symbol. I don't know where I'm going with this comment or what conclusions I will draw from further thought on the subject. I suppose the obvious answer would be "ride bicycle more and the rest will follow." Thank you for inspiring me to think a bit.

April 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Evans

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