Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Bicycles, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
I took this picture a couple of years ago while on a short term mission trip in Amsterdam. I am fascinated by the fact that the dutch have such a developed transit system that includes bikes. There are 900,000 people who live in Amsterdam, and about 500,000 bicycles. My friend Jeremiah sent me this article that was recently featured on the site.

And maybe the trend is changing here in Morgantown. Sunday I was approached by two friends who offered me an opportunity to go on a bike ride with them. It is such a healthy form of transportation. Cycling is ecologically sound, and it is a great form of exercise.

The challenge is time. We are in a constant rush. This past monday, I rode my bicycle out to a friends house for a little gathering we had for our faith community here in Morgantown. The total distance was about 22 miles, and it was mostly uphill.

Being that I haven't really been able to ride either of my bikes most of this year, this probably wasn't the wisest decision. I was extremely exhausted, sweaty, and late when I arrived in Preston County. But, i realized that if I were in better physical shape, the ride would be more doable.

There are some limits to cycling in Morgantown though. Travel out to my church offers one challenge. While the multiple mile downhill to the church would be a blast, the trip back would not be much fun at all.

A few of my friends are actually riding 150 miles in a race to raise funds for multiple sclerosis this weekend in the southern part of the state.

What if more people started taking to the bicycling trend of amsterdam. What if more people in your town started taking a bicycle to the store for groceries, or to run errands around town. What if we rode our bicycles to visit our friends, or to do in town travel. Sure it might be a little slower than travel by car (depending on the distance and the traffic), but think what an impact it could make.

I think our top challenge is time. We are in a hurry, and cycling requires us to slow down a little bit. Some of us just aren't in physical condition to ride a bike or walk instead of taking a car--but most of us are. Will you consider beginning a healthy change today?

Slow down, ride a bike, practice good stewardship, and enjoy the good earth God has given us.

1 comment:

Amsterdam Asp said...

Cool thoughts, Billy. The trick is that Amsterdam is nice and flat (except for bridges) -- and the city has made very deliberate moves to maximize the comfort and convenience of bicycle transportation (separate bike paths, stop lights, a driving culture that builds in an expectation of bicycle presence)...

It would be interesting to take your ideas up with city councilmen in Morgantown, too. Grass roots -- combined with systematic adaptation -- could be the way to go.