Throughout my time biking every day, and especially now that I barely bike at all, I was discomfited by the moral aura of the act. Whenever I tie myself to biking, either in doing or in planning, some people get a little shifty eyed and tell me about the time they used to bike miles and back to work. It is the first thing they mention after I tell them what I do.
I can understand the need to tie their interests to my interests. God knows I’ve done that often enough. I’ve flagrantly pandered with amateur facts to Geologists, Criminologists, Library Scientists, Sailors, Spelunkers, Cybersecuritates, and Bridge Engineers, to name a few. But I get caught short by these salad days of a biking youth. They seem to be pleading for forgiveness.
I am not your mother superior nor your confessor.
I am not looking for a confession nor handing out dispensations. I didn’t bike for moral superiority, even if I did bike for moral reasons, among others. I had a lot of time to think in Atlanta about how my lifestyle of proximity, economy, and personal mobility could be brought to the entire 400 thousand Atlantans, the 4 million in the metro, and the 300 million in the US, and I still couldn’t manage it. I’ve only this year figured out how to let it compete, and yet it is still not competing. Ideas are bunk without implementation.
Biking in America is hard. I bless myself and anyone else who does it. I understand well the reasons why anyone would;t. I just want to make an America where it is as easy as turning the key in the ignition.