Americans are using bicycles for transportation and recreation in record numbers as the fitness and green movements, as well as high energy costs, spur a two-wheel revolution.
Wearing a black Jil Sander skirt matched with an elegant Velvet T-shirt, Lucy Wallace Eustice is pedaling her bike to work on a day as clear as Baccarat crystal. Her four-mile journey takes her along a bicycle path, one of the nation's busiest, that parallels the Hudson River on one side and the Manhattan skyline on the other side.
To get to her SoHo office in the middle of the city, she weaves through side streets, dodging UPS trucks, squawking taxis, and workmen perforating roadways with jackhammers. Ms. Eustice could easily take other methods of transportation – the teeming subway system or one of the New York's ubiquitous cabs.
But instead she chooses her silver Globe commuter seven-speed – even on cold days. "You are free when you're on the bike," says the fashion designer, whose bike, appropriately enough, has chic saddlebags. "You belong to yourself."
Yet a sense of emancipation in a city that can feel claustrophobic isn't the only reason Eustice bikes to work. She sees her ride as the equivalent of a trip to the gym and relishes the fresh air and "solitude." On weekends, she and her husband, John, and their two children often bike in the countryside as a family outing. "You gotta love your bike," she says.
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