I’ve only done a modest amount of biking, and my biking since I moved to DC was curtailed when my bike got stolen. AHA! Bike stolen=DC bad=cities bad, you might think. Okay, go ahead and think it, I’m going the other way today. The stolen bike thing I changed into a formula. The formula is: Bikes Get Stolen. I’ve had bicycles stolen all my life from various places, including the crimeless burg I grew up in. It’s because bicycles are just so lovable.
Except in New York. Oh, they steal bicycles there too, but the city is experiencing a new love/hate relationship with bicycles since the now-evil Mayor Bloomberg followed DC’s lead in encouraging bike riding there. This is CHANGE for NYC, and the hard-fought ecological equilibrium between the reckless drivers and the reckless pedestrians there is being upset by a new swarm of reckless bicyclists. There is some of that here in DC too. This is not a non-issue. Because bicyclists have an understansable incentive to Maintain Momentum, this semi-imperative causes them to put drivers and pedestrians and themselves in peril. I worry most about pedestrians in this equation, because I tend to be one and pedestrians are, all in all, the Best and bicycles can do a LOT of damage to one. But New York will get used to bicyclists and I have gotten more vigilant about watching out for them, and maybe they will even learn to behave someday.
But still and all, I’m putting the mushrooming cloud of bicycles into the plus column of Ways the World is Getting Better. Anything, pretty much ANYTHING that lessens the comfort-and-convenience culture of ensconcedry in large can-like vehicles has to be a step toward living life out in the actual world that our bodies were designed to engage with. This recent story about a somewhat exteme example of a guy and his 35-mile bicycle commute is an interesting example. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/from-mount-vernon-area-to-rockville-man-relishes-his-two-hour-40-minute-commute/2013/10/19/15f8eee8-1bd3-11e3-a628-7e6dde8f889d_story.html He doesn’t talk so much about the environment or the execise or the scenery, all of which I’m sure factor in. But his quote of “I am happiest when I’m out there turning the pedals,” just shouts Joy of Living, and all of us should at least think about having some of the same.