Electric Bike ReportCommuter Bike Store Fuji CambridgeRideKick Electric Powered Bike TrailerMiiR Bottles one4oneXtracycle Bike Cargo Kits, Parts and AccessoriesCygoLite Bike Lights: Engineered to ShinePlanet Bike: Better bike products for a better worldBike Bag Shop -- Grocery, Shopping, Market PanniersOrtlieb Bike Bags & PanniersChrome Bike Backpacks and Messenger BagsBanjo Brothers Affordable Cycling GearBionX: Electrify Your Bike

Jen and the Art of Life on Bikes

by Ted Johnson

Bike commuting is a lifestyle change that some of us take to easily. Others require time before we warm up to it. To paraphrase Shakespeare, “Some are born cyclists, some become cyclists, and some have cycling thrust upon ‘em.”

I came across this three-part video of Jenny Lee, interviewed by her husband, Freddie Lee who runs Freddie’s Modern Kung Fu In Evanston, IL.

Jenny Lee had cycling thrust upon her.

Living simply, including not owning a car, is part Freddie’s philosophy, influenced by Tao, Zen, and Buddhism. It took Jenny about five years to ultimately embrace life on bikes. In these videos, she openly discusses the rough road from being “addicted” to her minivan to realizing that her family of six is better off without it.

The video is totally safe for work. Really it is. But you might consider whether you want to explain to your boss or coworkers why you are watching a video of an attractive, fit, half-dressed couple lounging on a bed.

Jenny Lee

Click the image to go to the YouTube video

If you want to play it safe, don’t watch the video, and read these quotes instead.

On giving up the minivan:

I thought it would great that we could take the kids everywhere [in a minivan] because we have four kids, and him and I. So that’s six people, and the minivan holds seven seats. … But when we got the vehicle it was different. We didn’t really go anywhere with the minivan, because with the four kids, they were all so little, they’re so hard to go anywhere. … What was more fun was that we had bike trailers. … We actually spend more time with the kids biking than being in a vehicle. We weren’t really using the vehicle to the point that a whole tank of gas actually lasted us for about, up to six months. Can you believe it?

On quality of life without a vehicle:

It’s a mental change. … I was just too addicted to my vehicle. Once we got rid of the vehicle, I felt that I could never adjust to it, because I always wanted some backup. But it turned out that I’m fine without it. Life is more stress free.

I sent an e-mail message to Freddie, asking for a photo of his family on their bikes. If he sends me one, I’ll update this post. Until then, we’ll just have to make due with the screen shot above.


Geeky Ironic Footnote:

I found this video thanks to one of my Google Reader feeds. It’s from a Web site I’ve never visited before called Social Marketing Hub (and I’m intentionally not linking to it). It appears to be a scraper site–one of the scourges of the Internet–that makes money by copying content wholesale from other Web sites, and inserting pay-per-click links into the content. In this case, the text was copied directly from Freddie’s YouTube descriptions, and here are some screen shots of the ironic hover ads that were placed over Freddie’s passionate philosophy of living without a car.

Ironic Hover Ad

Ironic Hover Ad

 
Burley nomad 229

3 Responses to “Jen and the Art of Life on Bikes”

  1. Chrehn says:

    That’s a dang-good video about bicycling.

  2. Ted Johnson says:

    I was starting to get worried by the lack of comments. Then I noticed that the video on YouTube has about 200 more views than it did yesterday before I published this post. Now I understand…

    Here’s the embedded video, so you don’t have to leave our site to see it.

  3. Karen says:

    First of all, we should never, ever underestimate the power of an attractive spokesperson. I think she repeatedly makes an important point: fun! What is fun about a minivan? Nothing really. She and her husband have fun with their four kids hauling them around in bike trailers. The whole family having experiences together. Just going to the grocery store becomes fun, an adventure, “instead of just driving”. One change for Jenn, giving bicycling a try, has created multiple lifestyle changes in terms of simplifying family life, becoming more self-reliant, and having more money to do other things besides maintaining a car. I think this is a strong message because it acknowledges where a lot of people actually are, especially women and mothers.

Leave a Reply