He may be cranky, but the Bicycle Crank has a soft spot for the way people talk about their bikes. One of his favorite questions to ask other cyclists begins with why: Why do you ride the bike you ride? There may be some overlap among the variety of resulting responses to the question, but most of each answer is distinct from other answers. Some have to do with all the miles a rider has logged on a certain bike, others to do with the qualities of a bike's frame or the attributes of its components, still others to the places a bike has taken its rider, or its utility, its coolness factor or some combination of fit, comfort, joy, freedom, adventure and emotional familiarity that eludes articulation.
As Bike to Work Week draws toward its conclusion at Friday's Bike-in Party starting at 4:30 p.m. at Tenney Park, the Crank put the question to bike commuters including retired Madison schoolteacher Dave Medearis (sixth cousin of the dude writing these words), UW-Madison pedestrian-bicycle coordinator Chuck Strawser, Home Savings President Jim Bradley, and photographer Darryl Jordan.
Hearing each extol the virtues of their bikes, notes the Crank in a remarkably uncranky tone, "makes me want to get on my own bike and ride."