Biking with a purpose

How I Started Biking

 

“As easy as riding a bike…”

I’ve heard this saying a lot after I moved to the US a few years ago, but I am not sure I agree with it. Yes, surely, once you know how to balance the bike from keeping momentum, it seems like a skill that’ll never disappear no matter how long there is between your bike rides, but there’s so much more to biking than simply just that, and that is why I love it so much!

From the moment my dad took off the training wheels and let go of the stick he was holding to assist me in balancing the bike, I’ve enjoyed riding thousands of miles on two wheels. Growing up in Denmark meant that, from the age of six, I biked alone to school and back home again every day. As I grew up, watching the Tour de France every summer on the TV and seeing the riders fight up these majestic mountains, my interest in where these two wheels could take me to continued to grow.

Biking Beginnings

 

I started racing my bike to school, cutting down the time it would take for me to get there day by day. I started taking my bike for adventures around the countryside in Denmark, from road bikes to mountain bikes, even triathlon bikes. As Tyler Pierce (The Vegan Cyclist) would say, “Ride all the bikes, bro!” I love that quote because it resonates so well with what I believe in. I often hear from people who hate biking, because all they’ve ever really tried is renting a city bike to commute to work. If that’s you, I challenge you to get yourself a cheap road or mountain bike, take three to four hours out of a weekend, and head towards the countryside from wherever you live. Explore! When you go through a place on two wheels, you see things and appreciate your surroundings in a completely new way. Feeling your heartbeat increasing as you climb that hill, and the satisfaction of cresting the top and feeling the wind in your face as you accelerate down the other side is unlike any other feeling.

The Cycling Community

 

To me, cycling is not just a means of transportation. It’s my meditation and a way for me to detach from the stress that comes with working and living in a city like San Francisco. Cycling has led me to amazing communities, one of them being atlasGO. While cycling can take many forms, I, as a triathlete, often end up biking hundreds of kilometers per week alone, showing off the miles logged on Strava after each ride. Being part of atlasGO has opened up a completely new global community for me. We’ve created monthly group rides where I get to share my love for cycling with other people in my area who have the desire to get out and feel the fresh air on two wheels.

 

Biking Is For Everyone

 

Whether you are completely new to cycling or if you’re more advanced, the cycling community is welcoming, simply because we all want to share this amazing activity. Now, when I’m done with my rides, either solo or our group rides, I get to contribute to great causes through the challenges set up by atlasGO, meaning that it’s not just me who benefits from being out and being active, but I get to have an impact for people in need.

Biking really is for everyone, and even if you’ve never done a pedal stroke in your life, it’s never too late to get on with it. After all, it’s as easy as riding a bike, right?

 

Mathias Høgh-Hansen

atlasGO ambassador

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