Bicycle Bafflings

I just saw a grandmother ride by on a bike, carrying groceries, through the rain. What!? The bicycle & how it is used here in Sweden, baffles me. Well, it is not so much that it is being used wrongly more so that it is being used regularly. Everyone uses a bike to go about their day. That is foreign to me.

I was raised in a bike riding family. My parents met on a bike ride so you could say it is in my blood to pedal on two wheels. My family would take a week long bike trek each year for our family vacation. It is through this upbringing that I became a professional cycling fan. I cheered Lance on through several of his victories. In high school I worked at the local bike shop, selling & repairing bikes. I was so engulfed by this sport that I briefly looked into pursuing a career in the bicycle manufacturing trade. Biking was the epitome of a great weekend. Load up the bike, drive to the loop, ride for a couple of hours, load it back up, stop for a bite to eat, ignore all the stares since you are still wearing your cycling kit, get home, unload the bike, take a cold shower, then call it a day!

Now I am in Sweden and caught speechless when I see an elderly lady pass me on a bike in her Sunday’s best. I wonder where is she going? To a race? To her grandchild’s race? Surely, she is out of petrol in her car? Or is she just one of those crazy cat ladies that wants to end the war over oil, so she rides a bike?

Nope, to ride a bike here, is natural. It is crazy to see the first couple times but slowly I am getting used to it. Perhaps one day I could help a grandmother cross that street, but of course, in the bike lane.

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