November 10, 2021

Hey COP26! Bicycles Have To Be Part Of The Answer

Oh, the places I can ride.

If that logically-challenged group making decisions at COP26 were serious about making a difference they would be talking about bicycles, not electric cars.

Yes, there are many reason why "bicycles won't work", but there are more reasons why bicycles WILL work, the least not being that their continued use is supported by the laws of physics, unlike gas OR electric cars.

In my early life a bicycle was my main form of transportation. At 16 years I bought my first car. Walking and biking plummeted as a result.

The song "Yellow Bike" by the performer Pedro The Lion, sum up my feelings perfectly. This song makes my eyes leak a bit every time I hear it.

"But I remember what it was like
Astride my yellow bike
First freedom, second life
All the places I could ride..."

50-ish years later, a bicycle is again the only thing parked in my garage. Except now instead of a golden Mustang bike with a banana seat, I have a black mountain bike.

The thing that hasn't changed, is that I feel exactly the same about riding now as I did then. 

I would surely love for more people to discover the beauty and simplicity of the lowly and faithful bicycle, still the most efficient way in the known Universe to get from Point A to Point B.

Also, I would love for more people to experience the joy of not owning a car

Since giving up our vehicle officially a little over a year ago, I am grateful for the newfound mental space freed up by not having to take care of, worry about, and pay for vehicle upkeep.

I like to do a slow ride right through gas stations just to give the middle finger to Big Oil. I could call my mechanic and tell him how I don't miss him, but good luck and all. 

Oh, the sweet, sweet freedom from the tyranny of the auto industrial complex and supporting government regulations. It is priceless. 

But it is also priceful, because on average, a car owner is in line to save roughly $12,000 dollars a year that they spend just running and maintaining their vehicle.

And I haven't even talked about the carbon savings one gains by trading vehicle for velo. But the oilheads in Glasgow should definitely be discussing this important contribution.

And what about the mental and physical health benefits of riding? Both are significant. So significant that doctors should be prescribing bicycles as an effective treatment for a host of illnesses. 

Support by science. Real science. Not funded by Big Bike.

Post-car, and relying solely on my legs and bicycle for transportation once again, I am living "first freedom, second life" all over. 

Or does giving up a car and rediscovering cycling mean it is second freedom, and third life this time round?

Either way, bicycles have to be part of the answer. A fun, fun part.

Just ask these folks what they think. Or do we even need to ask?

Bicycles and programs (and volunteer operators) worldwide comfortably and safely transport aspiring cyclists that are unable to ride.

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