It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention, and this is certainly true in my case. I did not come to my present assignment with the idea of becoming "The Bicycling Vicar." The idea just gradually developed.
The Vicarage is only about a mile away from the Church, and so in the beginning I imagined I would walk as needed. This was especially true as my wife and I discovered that our budget could support the purchase of more than one car, but not the maintenance or running of the second one! A member of the congregation is an avid cyclist, and so with a loaned bicycle (and what a bicycle it was—all aluminum frame, 17 gears, quick release wheels, etc.) I found how pleasant it could be to bicycle between the Vicarage and the Church, as well as around the Parish. Parishioners and members of the community seemed truly stunned that someone could actually use such a method of transportation for anything other than a hobby, and I began to get to know the people and places along my routes.
I also discovered that my loner bike, a forward-tilting, long-distance, road model was not well-suited to my needs. True, it got me where I was going like a Japanese bullet train, but I was looking for something intentionally slower. Something upon which I could be easily flagged down or with which I might amble along side streets. After all, I was discovering that part of the joy of bicycling in ministry is that you are accessible to people in a way you are not in a car.
So The Bicycling Vicar was born. I searched about with the help of friends for an upright, easygoing bicycle. I am now more than comfortably settled (see here for more information about my bike). I still turn heads biking about in my collar (I have had requests to do so in my cassock, but it gets really hot here), but I am here to stay. Next time: the perils!