Periodically, though not often, I think that maybe I should get me a bicycle – again.
I am conscious of and distressed by the contribution of massive internal combustion engine usage and its role in climate change and all sort of other hideous environmental ghastliness like the Tar Sands, pipelines, the selling out of our national soul and pristine coastline to greedy Asia and all sorts of other unconscionable nonsense.
Yeah, I think, I should get me a bike. Good for my health, good for the earth’s health, cheap transport, t’would make me immune to the near criminal price-gouging behaviors of government-sanctioned big petro, and a host of other justifications for such a decision.
Yeah, I think all those things, and then I get in my car and drive around for a bit until the feeling passes.
‘Cop out’, or worse, I can hear you thinking – well, I can’t really hear you thinking because that would make me psychic which I am predominantly not – but you get my drift. I am not oblivious to criticisms of my unwillingness to take such a vital step for the sake of the planet’s well-being.
I used to have a bicycle. But, I sold it about a decade ago. It was one of those 10-speed things with a little narrow ball-crushing seat – such seats evidently do even nastier things to girly-parts, but I wouldn’t know about such matters. But, I let the bike go for a couple of reasons, the basic ones being it took up space in the garden shed because it was, like, never used, and because of the excessive traffic on our roadways and drivers being such inconsiderate assholes.
Indeed, motorists are only surpassed in their assholeishness by certain elements of the cycling community, and are devoid of that cyclist sense of moral superiority. Not that all cyclists have a sense of moral superiority – just most. No, I josh. Sort of.
But there are elements of cycling that distress me. For one, in a physical conflict a motor vehicle, the cycle will lose. Secondly, don’t go down Comox hill faster than cars go down Comox hill because there could end up being ugliness when the road levels out down below and normal cycling speed must be resumed. Normal cycling speed is relatively slow. Even those dorky green lanes don’t make cycles go faster and they certainly don’t make them any safer in terms of contact with motor cars.
Oh, and my final reason is, being a person of moderately decent sartorial taste, I would never, ever, ever, ever want to wear any of that hideous cycling garb donned by too many Lance Armstrong wannabes, minus the steroids, I hope, but certainly not possessed of any garment decency understanding.
And finally, I want to make a comment about kids and cycling. It’s obvious they don’t teach safe cycling rules in schools any longer – they actually did when I was in school – when I see the dangerous behaviors of kids on streets with at least ten times the traffic that existed when I was in school. .
For one, you see the tiniest tots wobbling along on their little cycles. I mean, these are infants not much past the pants-peeing stage of their lives and they are out there vulnerable to the tiny dick drivers of big Ram trucks.
Another thing, kids, you ride in the direction of the traffic, not on the other side of the street. And finally, you never, ever ride on the sidewalk, though I see kids doing this all the time.
So, no, I think I’ll stick with my car or walking. I enjoy both.