Welcome to the Ascent
Cycling in the early 21st Century is quickly regaining the popularity it enjoyed at the beginning of the 20th Century. It’s easy to see why. In an age dominated by technology, riding a bicycle is a return to simpler experiences. Much of our new technology is designed to be used while stationary and bikes give riders the chance to get out and move. That’s not to say bikes or cycling are bereft of technology: the opposite is much more the case. Each year, the components that go into making a modern bicycle are changed and often improved by technology. Constrained by only desire and checkbook, riders can choose computer controlled shifting or carbon fiber frames, forks and handlebars or even bikes powered by electricity.
Bikes also offer riders the chance to gather and ride together. Whether the Sunday family run, the Saturday morning club ride or the competitive rides that take place nearly every weekend across the country, biking can very much be a group activity. Some riders find, even later in life, that racing or being competitive is in their blood.
In a society consumed with finding green ways to do things, cycling is an instant fit. Many people now commute to work, enjoying all the benefits of cycling and ‘saving the planet’. A large number of cities have created roads with bike shoulders or even lanes and most have at least some form of bike trails. Cycling here in the North State, particularly in Chico is an integrated activity. While students in any and every university town ride, many others commute by bike here.
Of course, biking is a great way to attack that sedentary lifestyle that so many of us live. Whether you get out only on that Sunday fun ride with the kids or you commute five days a week on your bike, riding will raise your metabolism and burn calories. At the very least, cycling will help you burn off that Friday night out desert.
Lastly, it offers the rider a chance to challenge themselves. You might climb singletracks in your local mountain bike park or ride the local hills on your road bike or join that club and participate in time trials or ride a century. Even while it can be a great group activity, at its core, it’s just you, the road (or trail) and the bike. Every hill you climb, every mile you ride is your ride, your accomplishment.
Riding a bike takes in the best of our modern times: technology, community, ecology, and helps you work on your physiology! It also harkens back to a simpler time of enjoying nature without an iPad in your hands.
Ascending Paradise is primarily my story, my rides. I live in the State of Jefferson (more commonly known as Northern California, or the North State) somewhere above Chico on the Skyway. It’s also chock full of reviews of everything bike-related. Hopefully, also, your comments and stories. You can buy bike parts here, straight from some of the biggest suppliers.