Monday, October 25, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Here's a little piece I wrote a few months ago about why I bicycle that I thought I'd share here
Instead of driving a car, I get to places, do my exercise, de-stress and enjoy my surroundings - all by bicycle.
Life is all about choices. Quality of life is about having the power to make your own decisions.
When you hop into a car, you are handing a lot of decision making power over to other people. These people can't always be trusted to make the best choices.
You're letting others decide what good or bad things happen in order to accommodate your choice of getting around.
Someone else decides, for example...
- where oil is extracted - will it be a pristine environment and what dangers are involved if there is a mishap?
- how that oil is processed - the resources that go into the process, how waste is handled, and were humans and wildlife endangered during?
- what safety and environmental violations will be involved with extraction and processing of oil? - there seems to be always some violations
- what toxic fumes are emitted from the fuel you burn in your car and how these effect you and others.
Of course, when you ride a bicycle, you often still have to hand some control over to others
- how the materials that made your bike were extracted, manufactured in terms of environmental damage and treatment of workers
- how the waste in the manufacture of your bike was handled
- how the spare parts and bicycle maintenance products are manufactured
But none of these items go away when you drive a car. Instead, the resources involved in manufacture, maintenance and disposal of cars is a far greater burden on the environment - more resources required, more waste generated, and more space required. It is generally a lot easier to research what goes into at least the waste stream and the treatment of workers when you purchase a bicycle. Bicycles are also a lot easier to keep going for years and years - many people still ride around bicycles that were made in the 1970s, just replacing spokes, chains, tubes, and tyres as required.
When you ride a bicycle, you get control over how the vehicle is fueled and the impact that has. You can choose to eat food you grew yourself with minimal water and land requirements, and perhaps organically. You can choose how efficiently you ride the bicycle too as there is no need to ride at the speed limit.
Bicycles are freedom. They are the most inexpensive form of transport next to walking. It is the form of transport with the most options for when and how you get somewhere, which is freedom. It means you are almost entirely off the fossil fuel and gym membership bandwagons - freedom. Just riding a bicycle makes you feel free in a 'wind in your hair' way. You aren't trapped in a metal cage. Freedom.
Bicycles are democracy. You vote each time you get in a car, and you also vote each time you get on a bicycle. You are making a choice, and riding a bicycle is the best choice. Vote now and vote often.
Posted by Maree at 11:52 AM
Friday, October 1, 2010
|A quiet country road early in the trip with a lovely wide shoulder of perfect bitumen - July 2010|
|Free camping on the edge of Pyranees State Forest - mid July 2010|
|Free camping at Lake Lascelles, Hopetoun on one of those rare days with glorious sunshine - early August 2010|
|An early morning shot of Lake Lascelles - early August 2010|
|The first 1000 kilometres, in the Mallee region here with a long straight stretch of road - August 2010|
|The Grampians looming up ahead - late July 2010|
|Late afternoon, my first glimpses of the Murray near Mildura - mid August 2010|
|Murray River golden sunset - mid August 2010|
|Woorlong Wetlands: This just looks like the end of the world to me - Mid August 2010|
|Free camping near Psyche Pumps with me trying to be stealth with fallen branches - Mid August 2010|
|Kings Billabong next to free-camp spot, just before a hail storm hit at sunset - Mid August 2010|
|Murray River flooding and fallen River Red Gum at Echuca (this tree was standing at what was the waters edge before the floods) - Early September 2010|
|River Red Gum carnage near the Goulburn River at Seymour - Late September 2010|
Complete galleries available at http://picasaweb.google.com/mareebiketouroz