Friday, May 14, 2010

Bike the City #4 (The Approach)

Biking is a novelty, a tool, a lifestyle choice and a devotion to simplicity. There is a common connection shared by those who move at a different pace. I met another cyclist recently over a drink at Local 44 in West Philadelphia.

J. W. moved to Philadelphia from the cycling epicenter of Portland, Oregon 5 years ago. There the city is credited with envisioning a progressive plan that has gotten 4.2% of the working public commuting by bicycle. That number is higher than any other major us city and Portland is frequently recognized for it's steps towards cycling and urban sustainability.

It wasn't until at age 32 when driving across the country to Philadelphia with his wife did J.W. get his drivers license for the first time. "I wanted to be able to share the driving with her over the three days", he told me "it just seemed to make sense." Until that road trip he had easily managed to live a car free and bicycle based lifestyle. Now settled in West Philadelphia he shares his passion for pedaling with their 2 year old son. With a kid seat on the bike and panniers J.W. has found Philly to be pretty bikeable and once again continues to be entirely car free.

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