Can’t Ride? Do This Instead, Part One

For the past 4 weeks, I’ve been off of my bike.

And it’s killing me.

The weather has been perfect – rain-free, warm but not too warm during the day, low humidity – and all I can do is sit back and watch.

What if you can’t ride, but you love to ride? Here are some suggestions. Got suggestions of your own? Leave a comment!

Can’t ride because you’re sick?

Take a moment to curl up with your panniers and check out some movies featuring famous (and infamous) bike rides:

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – That bike scene is something you will remember forever, and is probably something you tried to recreate as a kid
  • 6 Day Bike Rider (1934) – Featuring Joe E. Brown, who at one point had his own bike club. You can find the movie on YouTube!
  • Breaking Away (1979) – Social tension in a college town leads to obsession with bike racing
  • Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) – Pee-wee Herman just wants to get his bike back! Bike thieves suck!
  • Quicksilver (1986) – Kevin Bacon as a bike messenger in San Francisco
  • Jour de fête (1949) – Jacques Tati’s directorial debut
  • Personal Gold: An Underdog Story (2015) – This follows the 2012 US Women’s Track Pursuit cycling team as they come together under difficult odds. Inspiring, amazing
  • Slaying the Badger (2016) – Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault are teammates, and rivals, in the 1986 Tour de France.

Recovering from an injury, and have some mental stamina?

  • Read about new developments in bicycle technology (Bikeradar, Momentum Magazine)
  • Read up on bicycling history (Franklin Institute, International Bicycle  Fund)
  • Write to business owners to stress the importance of safe, secure bike parking and infrastructure for employees, clients, and shoppers (see this article from Citylab about converting street parking to bike lanes as an compelling argument)
  • Find your local bike and pedestrian advocacy group (mine here in Nashville is Walk Bike Nashville) and offer to write blog posts for them. If you can, donate money to them
  • Write your local, state, and federal representatives to encourage increased penalties for aggressive drivers and to lobby for more bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure in your town
  • Send an email to a friend who rides bikes and ask them what they did on their last ride
  • Call local bike shops and ask if they have any female employees, either working as wrenches or assisting in sales


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