Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Tall in the Saddle
And I have been really enjoying it. I notice how fast it is. That is, compared to the speed at which I walk. Not fast compared to the speed at which other people cycle. In fact, I am constantly amazed at how they all seem to whiz by me and on ahead like they are in a mad dash. Not me. I'm a nervous pedestrian and passenger and I gave up driving a car. But on a bike I feel strangely safe, so long as I am going slow enough that if I got 'doored' it wouldn't even hurt that much. That's my comfort zone.
I'm talking so much about cycling both because I am so excited to have out my cute, bubble gum pink cruiser to show off around the playground and water cooler, but also, because it is one of the points made by Tom Hodgkinson, the dude who wrote the book I'm reading, 'How to be Free'. He says if you live in the city, ride a bike instead of transit or car, that way you are in the city, but kind of flowing through in it a happy, free way. He says sitting crammed in the subway with unsmiling strangers will not improve your sense of feeling free.
Also, he talks about creating versus just being 'consumers' and what an awful role we are put in these days, as being constantly advertised to as consumers. He says:
"To free yourself from the cycle of work-spend-debt-work, simply stop consuming and start creating. The money system has created an internal division inside all of us between the producer and the consumer. Every day the ordinary people of the country are referred to as 'consumers', which is a terribly avaricious word. Think of the other meaning of 'consumption', a deadly disease of romantic poets, which consume the body until expired, having been sapped, drained, used up, emptied out. To be a consumer is to drain the world, to eat it, to stuff it into our faces, to wither it, to dry up its resources, to mine it of all its bounty; in short, to kill it. But being a creator or a producer, that is the very opposite."
It's also a very funny book, and he highly values the importance of food, drink, and tobacco but otherwise says we don't need much besides friends. Okay, time to wrap it up and hit the road on my pink rocket.