No Country for Self-Driving Bicycles

On the bicycle path, Summer 2019

Bicycle with Mile 14 marker

Mile 14

In the fall of 2018, I won a day’s free bicycle rental in a raffle sponsored by our local park district. Excited at actually having won something, I visited our local bike shop to claim my prize and climbed on a bike for, I’m guessing, the first time in 30 years. After a few wobbly turns around the parking lot, I found my stride, and by the end of the day the bike and I were inseparable.

No one, to the best of my knowledge, is predicting a future of self-driving bikes, that is bikes programmed to head for a specific destination, with our human role only to get on board and peddle. That mentality won’t work. The freedom to choose the round-about-route or to have no particular destination in mind at all, to change directions on a whim, to stop and start, to explore along the way is what biking has been for me this summer.

Field of Corn

Field Corn

Where I live in the Midwest, we’re lucky to have an old inter-urban railroad track which has been converted into a 20-mile long bike trail. It runs between farmer’s fields planted to corn and soybeans, past a couple of truck stops and the local speedway. Ground squirrels pop up out of burrows they’ve dug in the gravel, rabbits scatter in front of my bike, and this morning a mink crossed in front of me and disappeared in the underbrush.

Modern farm buildings

Scenes along the bike path, Modern farm buildings


Cell Tower on a Farm

Cell towers are very common additions to farms


Old sign for Speedway

It’s not all farms…

Drainage ditch

Draining the fields

Gravel road along corn field

County Road



You might like these blog posts:

Dramatic sunrise photoPainterly Skies



Sunrise, October 1, 2017  Sunrise


Ripples in the water

Magic in a Clump of Cattails