For those who are reading this who may be uninformed on this topic, Madison, Wisconsin LOVES bikes. They just love the bikes. They're freakin' everywhere. The city is FULL of bike shops. I swear there are more bike shops than grocery stores-- what's up with that?
People in Madison ride their bikes pretty much everywhere, and the bikers and pedestrians totally rule the downtown area. They pedal and walk whenever they want. They don't seem to give a shit about what a traffic sign may say. Anyone using any form of transportation other than a car seems to have the ultimate say in what's going on with the traffic. Car drivers like me are totally in the backseat when it comes to the downtown roads. We have no say. It's not our turf.
But here's the problem: I refuse to buy a bike. I have not ridden a bike since elementary school and I just have no interest in ever doing so again. I enjoy being comfortable in my Volvo. I really do. Also, I have a bad back and hunching over on a bike is no good. I have been a competitive figure skater for 20 years and I have truly sacrificed my body to the sport (yup, you got it, doing unnatural things to your body with the constant risk of falling on ice is in fact detrimental later in life). I truly love skating and I am willing to deal with the pain. It's a blood sport, but it's worth it. BUT... the last thing I need in my life is a bike. I'd wreck my back even more than it's already been wrecked, plus I'd be risking falling over on the pavement (trust me, I fall quite often, and it would definitely happen). I am particularly good at tripping over absolutely nothing. Imagine me on a bike... it's doomed to be dangerous.
I truly wish I had a dollar for every person who has suggested that I buy a bike. I'd be quite wealthy. And for the record, I would definitely invest that money in figure skating, not biking.