The Chainlink

Compared to most people I come in contact with, I am much more serious about biking. And while I am not this way for the benefit of anyone else, I've noticed that my biking can have a positive effect on more casual riders.
For instance, I've been riding to my teaching job, and now one of my college students has started talking about how cool she thinks it is that she can beat the bus when she rides. (and now she is affecting the others in the class too!)
And so, the more we all ride and talk about riding and show people how cool it is, the more likely it is that one of those people we come in contact with will get their bike out of storage and spin around the block, suddenly remembering the glee that they feel while riding. Yes, indeed, glee.
So the next time you feel disrespected by drivers, pushed to the edge of an afterthought bike lane, remember that: the more we bike, the more bikers there are. Our influence is subtle but magnified by our numbers.

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I agree. I started out with casual cycling, but then I fell in love. I ride to my job 5 days a week and back, I run errands on my bike, and participate in Mass and Midnight Marauders. I cannot have enough! This has also influenced some of my friends to dust of thier bikes (or buy new ones) and get out there with me!

The more there are of us, the more we are seen and noticed!
I totally agree, and it's so nice to realize that your cycling is touching other people. For example, I went to brunch with a friend and suggested we ride there, so she got her bike out of storage and we rode - it was probably the first time in a year that she had ridden her bike. When a friend and I went to volunteer at the marathon, we rode down to Lakeview. She hadn't ridden a bike in years and after riding mine that morning, is thinking about getting one. I've also inspired my parents to start riding again. My dad dusted off his bike and my mom got a new one, and now they ride on weekends and to run errands during the week - in Nashville, no less... not a big biking city. The last time they rode was when my sister and I were growing up, and now they love it.

Also, just given my enthusiasm about cycling and this site, a lot of my friends have either become interested in cycling, ridden a bike or just become more tuned in to the cycling community. It's really a great feeling to not only share your passion with those around you, but realize that they're taking an interest in it as well. :)
I agree as well! After I got my new job and started biking to work, my boss started doing the same. She had been planning on biking one or two days a week, but this month she biked almost every day!

She even came to the September Critical Mass with me. AND she got all kinds of gear for biking to work in the winter time.

It's great!

Now, if I can just get my other boss (who's younger, male and and lives closer to the office) to try it out instead of driving!
definitely, it's too fun and too easy to bike chicago to let your wheels get dusty in storage

because i typically carry my helmet into classes with me (lock doesnt fit through the plastic holes) people notice that i ride to school - at first i would get perplexed looks and questions about why i bike to school, especially downtown, usually i replied that it's fun or that it's faster than any other means - i shocked myself a bit with the speed, the blue line from division to clark/lake downtown takes roughly 10-15 mins if it is waiting for you at the bottom of the stairs and doesnt have delays (making it 20-25 total mins with the added 4 blocks of walking) - when i bike it takes about 10 mins door to door, 15 with lots of red lights

I heard a NYC messenger on youtube say “it’s the fastest way to get around the city if you don’t have a helicopter” – so true, friends in cabs or cars can’t beat me anywhere

back to the purpose of the thread, 4 of my classmates (so far) have started biking to school and hopefully more will join

i ride with them when we leave class together and we can complain about school and discuss exams or papers - some come to critical mass, and hopefully more will hop on their wheels soon
At my new job, most of the people I work with are older than me and when I first started, I was the only person who regularly rode in to work (to the amusement of nearly everyone). Now, the guy in the next cube has started to ride to work a few days a week when the weather's nice, and he's always talking about how much better he feels when he rides in the morning... maybe next spring we'll pick up a few more riders?

Chicago is a completely different city by bike as compared to car - the few times I drive, I always get out of the car wishing I could be on a bike...
you said it right with "to the amusement of nearly everyone" - i've found it quite strange to see the surprise of people who realize i ride everywhere in the city - they are dumbfounded with "why do you ride your bike?" as if it is silly for anyone over 12 to mount up and tear around - or they anticipate near death incounters every time the set to pedaling

just wait a few years, im sure our numbers will only continue to grow - people will pick up a bike in response to terrible gas prices and then BAM they are hooked just like all of us - its fun, its fast, it's responsible, it's healthy, and there is a great culture/community that comes with it
i have trouble convincing other people to get a bike, or start riding the one they already have, in a city that is trying to be friendly to bikers (with varying results).

im not the best at convincing people by sake of argument. i usually dont argue, and tend to close an argument if i catch the faintest whiff of BS. i tend to get a little irritated when someone complains about the price of gas, or the possibility of a CTA fare hike, or the amount of time it takes to get anywhere in a car or bus or train, when a bike will get you most places yr trying get to, sometimes faster than a car or CTA, and, besides a little maintenance, its free. a bike, in chicago, is a wonderful alternative to a car or the CTA.

the truth of it is, i just get pissed when people complain about their lot and there are solutions they would never consider.
Ha. Just found this. Apparently there's a word for this whole discussion:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme
Apparently there are no new ideas under the sun.

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