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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This Just In: Cycling Is Fun

The more time I spend immersed in cycling blog-o-land, the more I learn about how to ride better. Unfortunately, I also learn more about how cyclists are being treated unfairly in this or that place, which bums me out. I also find myself diving into the very complex world of cycling advocacy which, frankly, is a quagmire. Don't get me wrong; I think people working toward what they believe will make things better is important. If you take the time to look into such matters, you learn that there are many conflicting agendas among cycling advocates. In my opinion, the people who seem to be gaining the most ground right now are those interested in separating cyclists from other vehicular traffic. That bums me out too, because I have come to believe, through ongoing experience and careful reading of smart people's work, that I am better off (more safe) as part of the general traffic flow.

Some might say that if that is the case I should join the cause or fight or whatever and make my voice heard. Perhaps a better me would do so. However, I don't. I don't follow local developments and try to shape whatever our planners are cooking up. I don't affiliate myself with any cycling groups at all. This probably indicates that I am just selfish and lazy. All selfish and lazy people have highly developed rationalization skills. Here is my rationalization for not wanting to engage my community in these matters:

I love riding my bike. It brings me joy, soothes the spirit and feeds my soul, if you'll excuse the hippie-speak. Cycling is really Fun. It is fun even when I'm tangling with traffic. I don't want these things I value so highly to be diminished or watered-down by too many thoughts of how things should be. I'm having a great time just the way they are. I don't want every time I saddle up to represent a political act. In a life jam-packed with stuff to get done, I commute on my bike because it is a chance to have some fun, by myself, on the way to work and back.

So, this blog will remain a lightweight in terms of cycling advocacy. I'm finding that writing it and relating with the people who read it very fun too. Maybe someday I'll get burned by my own apathy, get ticketed for good riding practices or be forced to ride in lanes or paths by law. That would suck, for sure, but I guess it is a risk I'm willing to take, because right now, Cycling is Fun.

Yer Pal,



Keri said...

Keep it joyful.

You are indirectly fulfilling an advocacy purpose by having fun and being fun and funny. Don't underestimate the value of that. Just be you. Your blog is a wonderful place to come and laugh and feel joyful.

cafiend said...

Keri is right. The most important thing a cyclist can do to support cycling is RIDE. I'm afraid the political nature of every public act will follow you anyway, but just ignore it. When the more avid legal minds come up with proposals that affect cycling you can vote on them. You don't have to join the sometimes infuriating discussions that go into formulating them.

Our best tool to increase ridership is to show the fun.

KaliDurga said...

I've felt the same way for a while now, but couldn't express it until you put together the right words for me. Thank you.

Now if Spring would just come along so I could get out and experience some of that cycling fun. (Don't bother telling me that I could get out there now. I realize that other folks cycle in cold and snow, but I am a weather weenie. So there.)

Rollz said...

If you want to create an apathetic commuters club in London I will join. As long as we don't have meetings or do anything.

Rantwick said...

Thanks very much all commenters so far... that's some nice stuff you've said.

Kali - re: weather - I consider myself officially told. I'm starting to wish for Spring and skinny tires myself.

Rollz - I hereby announce the inaugural sentence of the London Apathetic Commuters Club (LACC). As President, also declare The club will now be prorogued indefinitely due to lack of initiative and/or interest.

Tracy W said...

Couldn't agree w/ you more! I've had those same thoughts myself.

Eliot Landrum said...

*sigh* I have been feeling the same way.

Steve A said...

When I'm stuck in the cyclocross mudpit and fall on my face, I shall try to remember Rantwick's proclamation. Bored cyclists do develop an odd sense of fun in the winter. Hmm, perhaps that was Rantwick's secret agenda when he mentioned "quagmire." He's a closet cyclocross fan.

Rantwick said...

Steve - I've never followed cyclocross or been to a race, but it sure looks like something I would enjoy... now to just lose thirty pounds or so...

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