It's Like Riding a Bike

With a will to try and a good sturdy bike, people (re)discover the joy of biking.

It’s no myth. Many of the people riding CaBi bikes today haven’t ridden a classic like this one. But I am betting there are some moms, dads, bosses, and friends that could tell you more than a tale or two about where their bikes took them and how much trouble they got into on them many days (aka years) ago. At a small pop up event at APAH's Marbella Apartment Complex in Arlington a few months back, Nathanial, who is a 70-year-old retired grandfather, got to rediscover his childhood adventures all over again as he maneuvered a CaBi bike through the parking lot. Nathanial had an aha moment of, “wow I can still do this, and I’m having fun,” which are pretty awesome words to hear from someone who thought their biking days were long gone.

But here’s the really cool part, he didn’t have to buy a bike or pump the tires full of air because the CaBi team takes care of all things related to the bike. All he had to do was pick a bike, adjust the seat, choose a speed to ride on—there are only three—and start pedaling just like he did as a kid. Pedaling the sturdy red bike got him moving forward and feeling young again.

While holding an event at Arlington Mill Community Center in South Arlington, we met a husband and wife who gave us—and the bikes—a curious eye. Shelly recently had knee surgery and was eager to see if the pedaling would help exercise her healing muscles. Shelly admitted it had been over 20 years since she’d been on a bike, and her husband said it had been even longer for him. The low bar frame of the bike made it easy for her to get on and off the bike, even with her ‘new’ knee. After practicing getting on and off the bike a few times, Shelly and her husband began pedaling around and quickly realized how fun and easy it is to ride a bike. Shelly also found a way to exercise her healing knee.

At the same event, I met a family of four who admitted they had been curious about the bikes for quite a while. The sons who had ridden bikes before, were teenagers—16 years old is the age minimum to ride—but mom quickly admitted she’d never ridden a bike.

With the encouragement of her sons and help from her husband, she embarked on her first ride. Wobbly and uncertain but equally determined, she pedaled along and began to gain confidence riding while balancing and moving forward. And just as she got in her groove, she grabbed the brakes and came to a stop. While hopping off the bike, she giggled and asked to try again then went for two more rides.

We took the bike back to the dock and set it in place, and then showed her how to adjust the seat and easily get on and off the bike while it was still docked—a fun hack for anyone who is a little intimidated by the bikes.)

As her sons grabbed a cupcake, she and her husband both signed up for Capital Bikeshare and vowed to keep practicing so they could all ride together..

Don’t these stories make you want grab a CaBi bike and start riding? We sure hope so!

With over 4000 Capital Bikeshare stations throughout metro DC, it is easy for you to grab a bike and ride with ease, so find a station nearest to you and start pedaling.

For anyone new to riding or that wants a refresher course, visit the Washington Area Bicyclist Association for a list of cycling classes, for all ages and levels.