(Carlos Morales is the Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the City of Omaha, Nebraska)
Like many others, I began my love affair with biking at an early age. I still remember the first time I experienced the thrill of riding down a hill and immediately transforming my tricycle into a full-on rocket ship (okay, so I was young and had a very lively imagination). Throughout the whole ride, I had the biggest smile on my face.
There are many reasons why I choose to ride now. But the reason that keeps me going is that it’s just plain fun! I never have a ride where I don’t enjoy every minute and have a smile on my face.
I started riding more seriously as a form of transportation while living in Los Angeles. I still remember the first time I started biking to graduate school and work in LA. Everyone I knew kept telling me that commuting by bike in Los Angeles was nearly impossible. But after trying a couple of different routes and finding out that it took less time to bike to my destinations than it took riding the bus, I quickly became what I like to call a bike addict.
I later took my addiction to my new job in Omaha, Nebraska where I am the first Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the City of Omaha. I continue to ride primarily for transportation and as part of my daily life. Lately, I have started branching out to ride for recreation. With all the trails and all the rides taking place all the time it is hard not to ride for recreation in Omaha.
My commute is a lot more relaxed than the rides I would accomplish in the urban jungles of LA. Instead of gritting my teeth and fighting with traffic, my commute in Omaha now takes me through serene neighborhoods on a more leisurely pace.
Although I have more hills to climb, I also have more thrilling descents which always brings a smile back on my face even during cold Nebraska winters. Keep riding and smiling this May, you know I will!
May is National Bike Month and this year’s theme is One Ride, Many Reasons. To highlight and celebrate the many benefits of bicycling, throughout May we’ll bring you the personal reflections and inspirations of a diverse collection of bicyclists from coast to coast with our daily 31 Days, 31 Reasons blog feature.