Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by BADGER.BRAD, 31 Dec 2018.
Mine have wheels, not legs.
I sympathise with your position, and struggles.
Although I do still have to drive for work I try to limit it, and am seriously considering some kind of electric delivery vehicle.
Having been switched onto environmental stuff over thirty years ago, I've spent what I consider an unfair amount of time deflecting all the jibes about eco-warrior, tree hugger, sandal wearing ya de ya.
It is tricky trying to do the right and 'green' thing.
Especially in a society, and economy that would have us endlessly consuming, and vying with each other for material status of some kind.
If there is anyone to look back in a hundred years I'm sure they will marvel at all our polluting, and profligate use of resources for our own convenience.. With the same kind of disbelief that we now have for people who thought that slavery was justifiable.
We seem to have lost all sight of how much is 'sufficient'
Or any ability to comprehend, or care about the long term consequences of what we do now, for future inhabitants of the planet.
I don't suppose we'll be in time to reverse all the damage we have done, but I'm still hoping, that we might find a way to let ourselves down with some grace.
Tricky times approach, on many fronts.
While I was out yesterday in driving rain and howling wind, with gusts almost blowing me over, I was thinking "I'm cycling to save this"... oh, hang on, no, I wasn't.
I ride a bike because that's what everyone did where I grew up. A bicycle meant freedom, independence, mobility, range, exploration, adventure and fun.
I remember using my big brother's bike when I was still way too small to ride it properly, so I rode it by putting one leg through the frame to the other pedal. When I was nearly tall enough, my brother screwed a couple of wooden blocks on the pedals so I could reach. When I got my very own bike it was the most exciting day of my life and I've had bikes ever since.
I get that there are environmental positives from using one but that's a happy by-product rather than my motivation for cycling.
Indeed, one cannot participate in civilisation without in some way being complicit in the destruction of our planet. But one can minimise the harm they do by questioning what is normal, and what is good. There is research that suggestions if everyone kept their spending at or below $12,000 USD annually (per person) then we may have some hope of averting the many crises that are heading our way. Frugality is key to minimising our impact. Senseless consumerism is part of the problem. The problem with our culture is that our social status is closely aligned with our earning/spending prowess and goods consumed, rather than cultures of old where we earned our status and place in our social groupings based on what we gave to each other (and those things need not cost anything).
That's so refreshing to read , thanks . It makes a lovely change from 'Why won't somebody else do something about it'
Exactly - i get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from my work - which hopefully contributes to making the world a better place - even if sometimes it's quite hard - knowing its useful keeps one going on the dreary days.
I don't make a vast amount of money - but enough - and thankfully - most of my outside-of-work entertainments, and pleasures - cycling for example?
- are relatively low cost - and low impact.
How lucky am i ??
Well yes of course, luck comes into it - but also no small amount of conscious design for life, and making forward looking choices around these things - so that 'status' or perhaps a better expression 'self worth' and life satisfaction, come from within - it doesn't require so much validation from the outside .
I think the results of this poll are slightly surprising, but also great news for the environment. Less than 1% cycle only because of the environment and the majority don't care at all. It shows that people (albeit ones on a cycling forum) like cycling because it is cycling and you don't need to wear a hair shirt and be a tree hugger to help the environment, it is just an accident that cycling is good for the environment.
Thanks for saying this: It is remarkable how often I get told I'm "Lucky" to be "able" to live without a car, and how often this judgement comes with a quite aggresive, self justifying response as well. I've decided people say this sort of thing because it is an easy way to dismiss our way of life as 'luck' so they don't have to think about changing theirs. In fact we can live the way we do partly because of the decisions we have consciously made, and accepting that some 'normal' activities will be difficult or impossible.
That said, you'd have to pay me to own a car again. I'm looking at future employers very carefully indeed and really hoping I can get away with not using one of the wretched things ever again...
Couldn't do well without a car. Plane fare from Casper to Denver costs more than Denver to New York or LA. One intercity bus and it ain't cheap. Bus system very weak in town, no passenger rail, and cabs expensive. We do batch our trips and only drive somewhere a couple of times a week, running errands back to back. To rephrase Mr. Twain I can't afford a good car so I have 4. However, my Brompton fits in all of them and I can take it with me. To give an idea of how big and unpopulated Wyoming is, it has 1000 sq. miles more than the UK and less than 600,000 residents. Last I heard there were more pronghorn antelope here than people.
@12boy wow I understand the need for a car somewhere like that, you have the place almost all to yourself, that does have its appeal.
I live in Lambeth, which is one of 32 London boroughs. Lambeth and its neighbourly borough Southwark have a population of about 630,000, squeezed into about 20 square miles. You can't fart here without someone knowing about it.
I've been driving for over 25 years but have never owned a car. I just don't need one in London, and its more hassle than its worth. London is polluted enough, and I'd love better air quality, so I'm glad that one of the happy side effects of cycling is the only emissions come from me....even if its so densely populated some poor soul may end up smelling it, sorry folks. A bike is still the best way to get about here. I've been name driver on a few other peoples cars over the years, and am a member of Zipcar the car club if I have to use one.
Having said that, where my parents live in rural Mid Wales, 200 miles away from me, realistically a car is must. Public transport is sparse or non existent, there's not even a mobile phone signal, so going car-free even on this tiny little rock is a lot easier in some places than others.
I didn't set out or claim to be an eco-warrior, but I don't like that phrase. It seems to imply giving a toss about the planet is extremist and can only be brought on by force, which is ridiculous. Not giving a shoot about the planet should be seen as the extremist and ridiculous view, so we obviously still have a long way to go to change attitudes. Ignoring for a minute the climate change deniers and those that still think the earth is flat , we're much more aware now than we were. It was not that long ago there was no such thing as recycling, unless you had a compost heap in your garden. Things have come a long way in the last 20 years, and I'm happy to try and make things better.
In addition to never owning a car (I do have numerous bicycles but they're OK right) I've not been on a plane in 10 years. I was vegetarian for 18 years. I do eat chicken and fish now, but don't eat red meat. In fact have only ever tasted it once in all my 46 years so far. So I guess I'm well on the way to being a yogurt weaver, pass the hummus and the tofu sandles. I must be doing pretty good in the eco-Top Trumps
Yes what is that about ?? it seems far more crazy to think that looking after home planet isn't the biggest priority - i mean where else are we - and all the other critters going to live??
There's also this idea that not flying, and reducing your car usage as much as possible, and trying to be greener leads to untold misery, expense, and sacrifice.
I go to some wonderfully pointy bits of Europe by train, every year, in the summer to go backpacking, and you can chuck your bike on a train and get anywhere in the uk to go riding, in less than twelve hours.
Attitudes have changed somewhat in the last thirty plus years that I've been involved in 'ecological efforts' - for me those have been mostly but not exclusively in farming .
There is more awareness nowadays - but still a lot more collective action is needed - top down - and bottom up
- politicians won't shift unless the electorate make them.
- so we have a lot of work to do on that front - and then of course politicians are lobbied hardest by them biggest baddest boy, polluting industries - who don't really want to see progress - or change - especially if it affects their profits .
Sometimes i feel like chucking it all in - but if you can find your tribe of change makers - and have some fun whilst you're doing it too - then it makes it worth carrying on .
p.s. @booze and cake - The incontrovertible evidence that the earth isn't flat ???
If it was then cats would have pushed everything off the edge by now
@mudsticks the cat example is genius, I'm amazed that's not proved that argument beyond all doubt
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