When I was younger I loved riding my bike in Brooklyn. Here in Roanoke, not so much. A couple of things make it less than attractive to me, including having to wear a helmet, and the lycra/spandex uniform that seems to be mandatory, particularly among men of all shapes and sizes. (That's a post for another day.)
Since I live on top of a hill and near a busy road, anywhere I would choose to ride would have to be gotten to via my car, which means I would have to find a way to squish my bike in the back of it. Not only is that impractical, but losing weight notwithstanding, it sorta defeats the purpose of riding a bicycle in the first place. There are many hills and valleys that this out of shape body would not be able to handle, and where there are straight semi-level paths, I certainly would never be comfortable riding in the roads with cars. Many bikers here do not seem to have the same worries as I do because lately there are tons of them. Biking is so popular here from what I've heard, read and seen, it's almost cult-like. (That's a post for another day too.)
The other day I read this article about a bike parts vending machine recently being put in Brooklyn..."the machine is stocked with bells ($2 to $10), locks ($5), inner tubes ($6), lights, bicycle tire patch kits ($2), pumps, brake pads, etc". I wonder if something like that would be effective here in Roanoke. Would if work downtown, or would it work better on some of the well-traveled but out of the way trails? What do you bikers think? I don't think anyone would get rich with it but it could be profitable, particularly if its linked with one of the bicycle stores that have been springing up. So bikers, feel free to share the idea, but please, no spandex in the machine. Okay?