Minimalist Travel: An Ode to My Bicycle

One of my favorite things about living in a new city is exploring all it has to offer. Fayetteville is filled with cycling enthusiasts, and the city has certainly made it easy to bike-commute. The “Razorback Greenway”extends through three cities, providing miles and miles of trail ready to be conquered. The trails have their own stop signs and stop lights at major roadway intersections. Bike commuting has never been more appealing or accessible for me.

I recently started as a Graduate Assistant in the Agricultural Communications department at University of Arkansas (U of A). The parking on campus is horrendous. As such, I havent even applied for a parking pass (we’ll see how this choice fares, come winter). There are plenty of public transit options, including a university bus shuttle. My lack of parking pass encourages me daily to make healthier choices and integrate new modes of travel.

However, my bike is my “best friend”. Truly. Each morning I wake up a little bit earlier to enjoy yoga and some breakfast. I hop into some lightweight techwear that will survive the ride, my camelbak and saddlebags, and buzz up the greenway 4 miles to campus. My goal in traveling on two wheels is to incorporate daily exercise without worrying about making it to the gym with my busy schedule. By biking to class I get to be in nature, bask in the sunshine, feel the wind in my hair, and interact with fellow cyclists.

When I get to the office, I lock up my bike at a carousel underneath my window, so I can keep an eye on it while I’m working. Talk about cultivating a relationship with your vehicle! I used to laugh at my friends in high school who were constantly washing, waxing and detailing their cars. I never felt that coonnection until I purchased my current bike a couple of years ago. It carries me through my day, and I spend an inoridnate amount of time wondering if it’s okay (bike theives abound on college campuses, right?!) and itching to hop back on at the end of the day.

With the exception of the appaling lack of work-ready techwear for women, I’m pleased with my decision to bike commute while attending U of A. A daily 8 mile ride is just what I need to calm my busy mind. Plus, it saves me plenty in gas money!

Over the next few months (years?) I’ll be chronicaling my experiences on two wheels, including the types of techwear I invest in for riding. I dislike changing constantly, so I’m going for the sporty office look (again, not much on the market, SHAME on you, techwear companies!) Thankfully, I work in a casual-ish grad office. I’m aiming for easy tank/ shirt layering, throw on a blazer and be done type looks.

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