Sunday, August 25, 2013

Round & Round We Go Cycling Through Life

THE CYCLE of life sometimes includes letting go of long held attachments.

I called this drawing by my daughter Penelope Puddle Grows Up because the character looks older. And although her playful spirit remains, she has set aside her much-loved umbrella and is learning why balance is bliss on a bike.

Things we cling to naturally drop off as the years go by but sometimes they grow. The drawing brought to mind society's dependency on gasoline powered vehicles and the need to stabilize an attachment that has grown out of proportion. Highways and country roads overflow with cars and trucks spouting harmful emissions. To minimize the effects and to promote health, my neighbouring city of Vancouver is peddling the idea of being one of the most bicycle-friendly places on the planet. My blogging friend, Carol, is ahead of the curve and has been city cycling for years. You can view her fantastic photographic journey in and around Vancouver at bikesbirdsnbeasts.

When I dust off my bike (it is not quite as unused as the one pictured below) and go for a spin, I feel like a free spirit venturing into places automobiles dare not go. I am more in touch with the terrain and my environment.

I still get in the car and drive to Crescent Beach for my walks unlike the cyclists taking on the steep hills surrounding the town. Big city or small, up hill or down, it is clear bicycles have taken off as a mode of transportation. They are parked on lawns and in racks wherever I go and I see people of all ages relying on their personal energy to move the rubber down the road.

Competing with cars for our affections and space on the road, bicycling has been quietly growing since the early 1800s. In the latter part of that century, science fiction writer H.G. Wells became a passionate cyclist.

Romanticizing his experience he wrote, “After your first day of cycling, one dream is inevitable. A memory of motion lingers in the muscles of your legs, and round and round they seem to go. You ride through Dreamland on wonderful dream bicycles that change and grow.”

Wells is also sometimes credited for saying, "Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race."

Song writer and musician, John Lennon, actually slept with his new bicycle. He said, "As a kid I had a dream - I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bike in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it in my bed."

It seems bicycles and cars developed at close to the same time frame. In fact, the first automobiles looked like tricycles and side-by-side bicycles. But as unlikely as it sounds perhaps bicycles will one day win the race to become a top form of travel. Bill Nye (known as the Science Guy) made an interesting point when he said, "Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There's something wrong with a society that drives a car to workout in a gym.”

It will not be easy to give up the keys to a craze that started so innocently. Read about the vintage cars that charmed us HERE.

To see more sights from around the globe visit Our World at the sidebar.

Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle to view more BC scenes.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. Haha! I never knew John Lennon actually slept with his bike in his bed as a little boy. How cute.
    Love the image of the overgrown bike!

  2. Great post and photos. Cute reference on John Lennon.

  3. wow that picture is absolutely gorgeous So love the flower dress .
    I used to bike all the time when in Holland. Here it is too dangerous but I am sure it will come back in the near future
    one of my best friends son lives at the moment in Vancouver and absolutely loves your city

  4. Oh, what a fun, delightful post!! I love it and great captures, too!! The picture in my mind of John Lennon sleeping with his bicycle is the best! Thanks so much for sharing the fun!!

  5. I think your last quote sums it up well. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  6. I can see you chugging up and down the hills there.

    We are really lucky to live on a kind of plateau here, so I can bike with only a few rather large hills to climb...but going to our little town is too dangerous for me, the Hwy is super busy.


  7. What a fun post i love it. Y our photo's are beautiful.

  8. I enjoyed this post and your daughters drawing. Wonderful photos, thanks for sharing.

  9. I enjoyed this post so much. I love the Penelope Puddle grows up drawing by your daughter. I think bikes look good incorporated into gardens when they aren't used. I need to ride my bike more but I have some physical issues and the hills around my neighborhood make it hard for me.

  10. I live in a very bike friendly state (CO). We are avid bikers and enjoy riding both in the mountains and in the city where there are miles and miles of paved bike paths. A few years ago when m husband got a new bike, he put it in bed on my side as a joke. The drawing is wonderful!

  11. Oh, what a lovely drawing! My kids have slept with so many things - they still do occasionally: keyboards, basketballs, kickbikes...

    And you're so right - it's time to get off our dependency on cars and gasoline. Over here in Europe, people are good at cycling or taking public transport to work/school. And gas is very very expensive!

  12. what a fun post ... especially john lennon sleeping with his bike. love bikes in the garden.

  13. This post is so enjoyable and I love your daughter’s drawing, pedaling with bare feet. Bike riding is good for environment as well as for our mental and physical health. I stopped pedaling since I moved to my place on the rolling hills. Instead, I often use public transportation, bus and train, and walk to the nearby station and supermarket. Take your time, and enjoy detour sometimes.

  14. This was great! The letting grow and growing up doesn't mean abandoning all youthfulness but in finding a place for the fun in all things.

  15. Most interesting ! Enjoyed this post and learned a lot.

  16. Super post. I hope you are correct that bikes will become more and more popular but I fear SPEED is what modern society is all about. And the more powerful cars become the less safe it is to travel by bicycle, I fear.

    I wish the Mayor of Toronto wanted his city to win the prize for most-bicycle-friendly city!

  17. Well, Penelope, thank you for linking to my blog, but I must say, you found information about bicycles and cycling that was brand new to me. The H.G.Wells quote and the John Lennon stories really stood out for me and the drawing by your daughter was absolutely magical. There was so much fun in this post but also some stellar research! Now, I await a picture of you and your daughter on your bikes, riding side by side along one of our beautiful Vancouver bike paths. I volunteer my services to take the photo if you like :)

  18. You have another kind of cyclist down the road from you, and he has the next generation already following in his footsteps. Jonathan has already been in a mountain-biking competition. Scares the wits out of old Auntie Kay, of course.
    I've only ever owned one bicycle. It was the ugliest bike in the world and I named it Susabelle. We were quite poor then, and Dad got an old OLD bike and painted it for me. It was truly awful but it got me from A to B. However, I never wanted another bike. (I've never told Rob about Susabelle. He might think I don't appreciate Dad, although of course I do.)
    I must tell Rob about John Lennon sleeping with his bike. He could relate to that.

  19. Over the past few years, I have seen a rise in the number of older women riding bikes and I love it! Don't feel like the Lone Ranger anymore. I enjoyed this post.


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