Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why I Bike (To Work, Sometimes)

I have such a backlog of half-formed posts.  One thing biking (and running, for that matter, started doing a lot of that also) does is allow time to think through and compose various blogsays.

Mozilla totally thinks that's a word,"blogsays," even though I just made it up.

Right now I am scurrying to finish a major overhaul of a short story I wrote a long time ago for hopeful publication (actually, it's just so that my query letter will in fact have a real story behind it), so the backlog won't be coming just yet.

The trouble with composing while biking is that I mostly compose bike-related posts.

There are three reasons I bike what I think is a considerably distance in considerably traffic to work, and they are not necessarily hierarchical.  One by itself isn't enough, two together make me feel vaguely wistful if I end up hitting the snooze alarm on any given day instead of doing it, and three together are why I do end up doing it.

1)I am concerned about climate change and think I have a moral duty to try to do what I, personally can do to help us reduce our collective carbon emissions by the scientifically-advised amount in the scientifically-advised amount of time.  I hear people argue that what one individual does matters not at all in the face of tons of individuals probably never doing what many individuals ought to to make a difference.  Like my 1 ton less CO2 a year does a damn thing to alter climate change--but to me; the moral obligation remains the same.  If everybody waited for everyone else to do the right thing before doing it for his or herself, then any will or vision to create a world that is better than the world that currently exists would be essentially nonexistent, and that would be a terrible world indeed.  (Is riding my bike to work really that heavy?  Symbolically yes, because the moral imperative of climate change is just that heavy.)

2) I want to reduce the amount of money I spend on gasoline by a noticeable amount.  If I only bike once every now and then, the amount isn't noticeable.  If I do it once or twice a week, I can save about one fill-up a month.  If I do it whenever humanly possible I can save any more, and sometimes I have that goal.  When it's not below freezing outside in the morning.

3)It's frikkin' awesome!  I feel great afterwards.  I'm physically stronger for doing it regularly.  I feel more alive and connected to my community.  And you know, it's just fun, even (with the right gear) when it's not all that warm outside.

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