Now I was starting to put together some things to bounce off John Burkes quote and in doing so stumbled onto this from the One World, Two Wheels blog from the man himself. And figured instead of just saying about the same thing just not as good, why not use his words...
'There is an old proverb that says “may you live in interesting times.” And I believe we do. For the first time in our nation’s history, the average American child has a shorter life expectancy than his or her parents. Inactivity and obesity are compromising our health. Global warming is threatening our future. Congestion is eroding our patience and our mobility. These are truly interesting times.
Looking at these pressing issues; global warming, escalating obesity, increasing congestion - there is one common answer. The bicycle is a cure to much of what ails us. Its is an elegant, yet simple solution to many complex problems.'
The thing I really like about where Mr. Burke takes this idea of a simple solution is that if you break down his 3 pressing issues of global warming, escalating obesity, increasing congestion, it essentially effects every part of an 'average' Americans life of the individual, the community and the world as a whole. Yes, stating American is intentional.
_ obesity = the individual
_ congestion = the community
_ global warming = the world
Sure, depending on where you land on the political spectrum the idea of global warming occurring or not is debatable, but I would then turn that into consumption. Especially in this period of 'economic downturn' we have experienced, we as Americans can not afford financially or personally to live the way that we have been. The 'American Dream' has brought forth a reality that has fostered a Fast Food Generation[s] that demands everything now, viewing everything disposable. How does the bicycle fall into this? Well, it's not hard to see that it goes against the 'everything now' mindset, some times going as far as taking the long way. The amount of money saved riding [maintenance] compare to driving [gas, insurance, maintenance] is drastically less even if one has totally drive-train failure.
The congestion argument is often seen better in larger towns and cities but I think we can all relate at some point to sitting in traffic due to an accident or overly-cautious driver, or even waiting twice or three times in a turn lane as we make are way to the intersection even to make the turn. On a bike, route selection grows tremendously. Crossing intersections is never longer than waiting for the light to turn. And more often than not, the ride only takes a few minutes longer.
The obesity point is pretty much a no brainer... bicycling is exercise.
So I'll leave you with the video below, it's a short film from our friends on the west coast called 'Claire Rides a Bike'. Show's a great transformation [WARNING: Adult Language is used] Enjoy.
Now get out and ride... and start to change YOUR world.