Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bike Culture

I like this Xtracycle sticker. It's good to be proud of how you roll. I'd go one step further though. Bike culture is already here. I see it everywhere I go - on the streets and online. If you are reading this you are part of it.

I'd like to feel like I am pioneer. That I am part of something new, but the reality is the bicycle has been empowering humans with freedom and mobility for more than a hundred years. From the start bicycles carried our loads, got us to work and put a smile on our faces. My discovery of the joy and usefulness of the bicycle, first as a child and then again as a young adult, is just another echo of that shared experience.

I suppose I am part of something new - the online cycling community that has sprung up with the advent of global computer networks. I'm proud to continue a velocipede tradition. Joining with people like you. Taking our love for pedal powered conveyances into the internet age.

With the rising costs of fossil fuels and a growing awareness that the dominant car-centric culture isn't sustainable - nor particularly good for us - the status and awareness of bicycles in our society is likely on the upswing. That's great! I'm excited to see more and more people realizing how wonderful life can be from the saddle of a bicycle. Life is indeed beautiful.

There is an inherent truth in cycling that needs no words or explanation. Put someone on a bicycle that fits them reasonably well and the bicycle will teach them everything they need to know. Turning the pedals provides an instant karmic pay back. Demonstrating your thoughts and actions shape your world and your world shapes your thoughts and actions. Perhaps we need to update the old Zen koan from "...before enlightenment chop wood and carry water - after enlightenment chop wood and carry water..." to "...before enlightenment ride bicycle and lube chain - after enlightenment ride bicycle and lube chain..."????

Keep the rubberside down....

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