I’m Not Making This Up
I started riding again because I realised that doing the same thing, but expecting different results is a pretty workable definition of insanity.
It suddenly struck me about four years ago that sitting inside a tin box going no-where fast, and expecting everyone else to get out of my way wasn’t working. And that expecting more roads to be built to ease conjestion wasn’t going to work either. And the global warming stuff that I’d started to read was also scaring the sh*t out of me.
I had to start moving from being part of the problem to being part of the solution. That might sound a bit Us (good) & Them (bad), and maybe it is. I do still drive, but only now on longer journeys - most of those trips to clients and for errands within about 10-15 miles of home are now by bike.
I’ve found that I actually enjoy those trips that I used to drive. At the same time, I’ve lost what was the beginning of my middle-age spread, and can fit into jeans that I used to wear when I was 20. I’ve also seen via the wonders of the Internet that there are places where most people ride rather than drive. These places look like nothing short of the Promised Land, though as I said, I’ve only seen them on the Internet. It could all just be an elaborate hoax.
OK, so here’s another one of those challenges for you. Get some friends who don’t cycle (you DO know at least one person who doesn’t ride a bike, don’t you?) to watch these two videos.
Ask them which presents the more realistic way forward:
That’s “Mat’s Commute” by Mat Barlow at Bikes Belong.
That’s Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry auditioning for Saturday Night Live. I’m reminded of something my mother used to say when we were kids - “If you have nothing good to say, then say nothing”.
Riding a bike to work, the shop, with your kids to school, or even (without the kids) the pub. Trust me, it’s better than driving. And I’m not making this up.
Thanks to Alan at EcoVelo for the pointer on the Bikes Belong film, and thanks to Carlton Reid via Twitter (@carltonreid) for digging out the link to the Congressman’s video and its transcript on Bike Portland.