Bike hugger, bike lover

Andy Graves - Albuquerque, NM

Bike hugger, bike lover

This year marked my 16th straight of bike commuting. When I started, I was a poor undergrad with no car and my bike was my wheels. From home to class to work to food to parties and back. From sweaty summer days to freezing winter nights, Minnesota biking is not for the timid. Through graduate school, biking was my release, whether in the mountains of Alaska on lonely weekends or during escapes from the library in sunny California. Sure, I could drive a car, but why?

There was one thing for sure, over 20 moves during those years across 5 states, if there room for only one item, it would be my bike, which became bikes and more bikes. Exes have questioned the bike fetish and have since become the past.  One thing has remained a constant. The bike. Although there have been many, they'll always be two wheeled, pedals and a chain, powered by me, with the bugs in my teeth, hair slicked back, pants rolled up, calves burning, scabs healing and freedom. Do I love my bike? I couldn't live without it. Here's to the next 16 years. Ride wild and free.

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