Why Write About Bicycling

As I was padding around the Mall on a meditative lunch run, I pondered what keeps me writing about time spent on my bicycle.

I reflected on how I ride to experience the many sensations that cycling evokes, not just the physical, but those in my mind as well. Often my writing is an attempt to meld the two together on paper.

In other instances I’m feebly trying to articulate my feelings in hopes of understanding myself a little better. Given how long it took me to write that last sentence, I’m realizing how difficult this can be.

Writing about bicycling is how I capture fleeting, yet personally significant, moments from my life’s narrative in order to give them more permanence.

Last year around this time, I interviewed the people behind some of my favorite bikey blogs and asked them a similar question. Why write about bicycling?

As you might imagine, while everyone shared a passion and interest in cycling, their answers varied. People blogged as a creative outlet and because they liked the process of writing. Some saw their blog as a tool for self-discovery.

Others wrote to highlight a particular geographic area or to inform readers about a certain ride or route. For some, writing a bicycling-themed blog became a way to share experiences and connect with others who also liked to ride.

Re-reading these interviews stokes the flames of my desire to write. Due to other activities in my life right now (one of them being winter), I have not been writing as frequently about my bicycling activities.

I’ve also been going through a time where I’m more interested in reading other people’s writing so I’m just letting that happen. It’s great, actually.

When the time is right, I’ll write more about my riding narrative again. In the meantime, if you have any bike-centric blog recommendations, I’d love to hear them.

Also, if you write about bikes, tell me– why do you choose to write about bicycling?

15 thoughts on “Why Write About Bicycling

  1. Like you, I find writing about riding a bike more about self-discovery and attempting (at times) to understand moments that take place. Sometimes it’s about reflecting, other times I really hope to get an idea of others’ ideas or experiences, and still other moments I find it nice to simply be able to share. Initially, I viewed the blog more as a diary/journal, and although I still often treat it that way, I think I’ve learned that it can be multi-faceted and change a bit over time without losing too much of the original intention.

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    1. As I look back on when I started until now, I think I began writing with more of an audience in mind. I wanted to share my rides and commutes in the D.C. area. Over time, and as the readership showed itself as being kind and supportive, I felt more comfortable being more personal and reflective. I agree about how writing can change over time. Now that I’ve been doing this a few years, I really like seeing where I am as well as where I’ve been on these pages.

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  2. Several reasons, I think. One of them is contemplation on solo rides. I often have an idea and while I’m riding I go over & expand on it in my mind. Often some time after the ride I’ll rework these ideas into a piece.
    I’ve also come to enjoy the comments and dialogues with others from around the world, connecting through WordPress and Strava.
    I take a multitude of various photos and enjoy selecting some of these to augment the blog.
    Plus, it encourages me to read a whole variety of stuff on other cultures & personalities.
    Lastly I have never promoted my blog, so I am pleasantly surprised as more folk join me for the interweb ride.

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    1. Yes! I sometimes have ideas during a ride that really aren’t related to cycling per se, but it was the bicycle ride that allowed the idea to emerge. And the connection to the larger community of cyclists has been so rewarding! I never imagined this type of interaction with others when I began writing, and it’s one of the best parts of blogging.

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  3. I’m just starting out in the whole writing about bikes adventure, but right now, for me at least, it’s a way to keep me fresh. I like mining the connections between the surface experience of riding a bike and something deeper and more universal–what that is, I’m not sure yet 🙂

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    1. “I like mining the connections between the surface experience of riding a bike and something deeper and more universal…” Me too. For me, what that is can change somewhat from ride to ride, or depending on where a person is in his or her life. It’s such a rich thing to explore and the bicycle helps us get there, I think.

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  4. I think I write because I am moved to: something in my riding or reading sparks me off, and then I need to write. Also, my partner sometimes encourages me to write when I feel discouraged…

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    1. I was listening to a writer talk about her work, and she said that she had stories in her that she just needed to get out. It didn’t matter who read them (at least, not at first). It was all about moving those stories from the inside to the paper. It’s so great you have a partner who encourages you to write. I think writing can really help move us to a more constructive place.

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  5. those of us who blog, write about our passions.
    and for you, it’s bikes.
    and for me, i really enjoy your blog posts.
    especially the ones where you greet the cows.

    x

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  6. Funnily enough – thinking about this, I have no idea at all why I write about cycling. Sometimes a particular ride nags away at me for some reason, and I can’t shake it until I’ve written it out. The writing takes place whilst I’m on other rides – I just have to recall it when I’m back to jot it down. Maybe I need a way to write and ride at the same time (I’ve certain read whilst riding before…..). N.B. The website I link to is not mine, but I have written the odd thing for it. P.S. – I really like those comments above, I just can’t “like” them for some reason…

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    1. “The writing takes place whilst I’m on other rides-” this really only started happening with me recently. It’s sort of weird to start hearing a narrative take shape in my head, but I like it. Definitely helps on a long brevet during the challenging moments! Like you, I’ve also found that a ride feels sort of unsettled in my mind so I’ll write about it to see what’s there. I’m actually doing that now with a ride I did last year, and writing actually did aid in my uncovering something about my feelings toward that ride.

      On an administrative note, I don’t know why you are unable to like them… I’ll look at my settings and see if anything can be done on my end.

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  7. i write for the same reason i ride: it keeps me sane. i’ve been a professional writer and editor, gave it up because it didn’t produce enough income. now, i have income, but i NEED to write. so i come full circle.

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    1. Great circle! I need to write too, Robyn. My work requires pretty technical writing, and while I have learned a lot from doing it (and still do), it’s a pleasure to free myself from those constraints and write about my outside interests and passions.

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  8. Biking has improved my life so much that I feel the need to share with others, especially women. I’m on a personal mission to get more women on bikes and am playing a long con with blog readers to get them all on bikes some day 🙂

    Plus, biking can be such a microcosm of life, the joy and pain and overcoming of fear. It’s truly living and I think its natural to want to share that.

    Lastly, if I make ONE driver think more kindly of cyclists I will have accomplished something major in life.

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