My bike, my power

I have been thinking about this for a while, unsure at how thoughts could be organised and shared.

And then, it hit me… a lightbulb moment.

My bike, my power!

Recently I have become more aware of my transition from someone who cycles, to someone who becomes  – in effect – an activist… cycling, community, the built environment, a more sustainable lifestyle… you name it.

But I have noticed I have not been the only one.

MrC is discussing more and more the barriers, both physical and cultural, that stops the UK to embrace utility cycling by providing adequate infrastructure, looking at the successful examples of Denmark and the Netherlands. The latest excellent post is “Dutch pick and mix”.

The gorgeous ladies of Let’s go ride a bike are discussing more and more the progress of their cities’ infrastructure.

Miss Sarah’s, of Girls and Bicycles, posts are strongly based on the belief of good integration between the bike & public transport.

Tina of City Girl Rides has been heavily involved with the Occupy Movement in Oakland, her blog has progressively evolved into a wonderful read of energy, enthusiasm and belief in a fairer and more sustainable world.

This list is long, but I’ll stop at these examples.

The reason for this long list is that I feel, on a personal level, cycling has given me back the power, the ability to do things for myself. The freedom, that so many discuss, that the bicycle gives to go from A to B positively affects all other aspects of life.

When we drive, or we sit on a bus or in a crowded train we become passive to everything that happens around us. Passivity is an ugly beast, before you know it affects everything… we stop questioning anything.

Being on a bike, whether fast lycra-ed or fine clothing slow-cycling, your body is moving, you breath in oxygen, you get to feel the rain on your face, your adrenaline rushes as you tackle traffic.

Your car becomes your world, you isolate yourself. Even stuck in traffic, but with the radio on and the heating keeping your feet warm you may think life is not that bad. But when you are on your bike, you interact with your surroundings, the potholes, pedestrians, drivers and other cyclists too. You are faster than a pedestrian but slower than a driver, you have time to take it all in and mull it over.

And you ask… Why should I be satisfied with this? But then it’s not just potholes, it goes beyond simply that… and if it is just potholes you may be getting fed up enough to try and do something about it.

In these last two years my bike has been my trusty companion and played a pivotal role in my shift of what it is that I search in life and most importantly of my own perception of who I am and what I can achieve. And for that I have to be grateful to my bike, there’re no two ways about it.

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9 responses to “My bike, my power

  1. It’s amazing what bicycles can do. When I really started to bike as transportation/commuting 10 years ago, I had no idea how it would change myself and my outlook on the world. I never would have guessed that I would attempt to cross North America by bicycle, or lead historical themed rides, or be involved with local bicycle advocacy/activism. (I also wouldn’t have guessed HOW MANY bikes I would own and/or covet, but that’s a different story!)

    Great post!

  2. What a wonderful post, LC!
    I absolutely agree with you. The change that a bicycle makes in you life is perhaps subtle at first, but then you realize that it’s very huge 🙂
    Now I only blog about bikes in my Catalan blog (nuresmacat.wordpress), not the english one. And that’s because this type of things are difficult to express in a foreign language ;P

    • Thank you Ian 😀 Although not sure about living the dream… it’s a bumpy road – pardon the pun! But I must admit it’s taken a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin (if that makes sense) and I think my bike has certainly helped me with that, helped me to become more confident in the person that I am 🙂 x

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