My Bike Takes Me Places That School Never Could

A couple of weeks ago I attended a panel on immigration: descriptions of undocumented workers, mothers and fathers, taken away in the middle of the night and their children turned over to the foster care system. I turned on the radio in the car the other day and heard a discussion of whether waterboarding is torture, followed by a image_503.gifdetailed description of what it feels like to be brought to the point of near drowning. I was talking to someone on Sunday who said he was trying to decide whether to hold an event before or after the US bombs Iran. “Wait a minute,” I said, “what do you mean, ‘bombs Iran’? You don’t think it’s really going to happen do you?” He just gave me a look. After he left I went online and found a description of the 30,000 pound bunker-buster recently tested in the Nevada desert. Oh great.

All I can say is, thank God for my bike.

I’m not a prodigious biker like most of my housemates, but over the last couple of years I’ve come to think of my bike as my main form of transportation. It’s nothing special, but the more I ride it, the stronger my body and the more extensive my range. I ride my bike downtown now, to the bank, to the library, to the coffee shop, to friends’ houses, to Food Not Bombs, even to the dentist. Next on my list: learn the bus system and start using the bike racks in front of the buses. When I ride my bike regularly I can feelbike-shed2.jpg a difference in my legs every day. I see things, I meet people, I get my blood pumping in a way that doesn’t happen boxed up in a car. Most important, even a short bike ride helps to restore my equilibrium.

There’s not much else to say. Sometimes the world gets hard. There are days when the best possible thing you can do for yourself, your friends, and for the whole universe is just to get on your bike and ride.

The green patch above and lots of other great bike-related and just general good stuff-related stuff is available from Microcosm Publishing.

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6 Comments

Filed under collective living, the big picture

6 responses to “My Bike Takes Me Places That School Never Could

  1. JW

    Bicycle! I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike. I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I like. Get on your bike and ride!

  2. The title of your post is also the slogan on a purple sticker that adorns my bike frame. I like to imagine students reading it as my bike sits outside my classes, locked up. I got the sticker at Monkeywrench Books here in Austin…

    It’s so true too.

  3. Happy riding! While I admire the fact that you are using the bike as a primary means of transportation I encourage you to ride more without a destination. It’s so peaceful to just get on a bike and cruise and cruise and cruise.

  4. Beep Beep Honk Honk

    That’s the sound of the other cars as I wiz past them on my bike. I’m a bit of a junky when it comes to riding and I love the freedom that it gives me. As you said it’s nice being outside on a bike rather than trapped in a car — everyone looks so unhappy while I ride by smilin and dancin to music I’m listening to. Plus as an added bonus riding my bike is an easy stress reliever — or thought provoker … great post!

  5. Ditching my car and opting for the bike instead was the best decision I’ve ever made. Hands down. I say this even though I’m not the fastest or athletic rider.

  6. As a cyclist AND a teacher I can’t help but feel a twinge of pain at the graphic but ultimately it’s a true statement. I just hope as a teacher I’m able to get kids to be open to the joys of riding a bike even while all of society seems to be telling them it’s time to ditch walking and biking and skateboarding for the automobile.

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