Bicycle With Dignity

This is partially inspired by a good friend of mine who thinks that bicycling is not “dignified”.

Now I do feel that cycling is as another friend puts it, “a humble form of transportation”, and I love it for that.

But to cycle does not mean to lack dignity.

For one thing, I am learning about dog training, and one thing is that the pack leader is the calmest and moves the slowest.

In fact, there’s something to be said about not needing to speed around all the time. There were two examples that further bolster this point.

The first is the road that I work on which is super high speed despite the fact that it’s the only game in town for hundreds of workers who work in buildings along it. Thus, though it is on the average a minute or two faster to drive to work each day, it’s several orders of magnitude more dangerous, louder, and more annoying for the rest of other 478 minutes in a work day.

Each day, I see cars waiting and waiting for the road to clear then speeding across the four lanes, praying for dear life. Everyday.

What a way to live.

I am a huge fan of living one’s life to the fullest, neglecting safety, and taking risks, but I think that in this case, the risk is pointless. For one thing, it’s not a risk that anyone has a choice about. Secondly, people don’t really realize how dangerous it is. This is the one place where people die a great deal, but there are no warning signs and no worry of liability for making things so deadly.

The second example is where I was cross a street, in the cross walk, on foot at the start of the light at a pretty fast pace that I walk, and an officer yelled at me to “hurry up”.

What he meant is that as someone momentarily outside of a car, I was a lower class person and should thus scurry out of the way of the motorists who would in turn get out of their vehicles and also become of my caste. I guess this is why people insist on driving across the street. 🙂

In both cases, I feel that it is more dignified to not have to rush across the street like a scared animal. Rushing around, even inside a car, to me is unseemly.

Shouldn’t we have the fundamental human right to travel as slow as we want?

Of course, this seems absurd until you note that there’s a whole organization, MADD, who wants to eliminate drunk driving. While I feel that saving lives in this manner, more people die through speeding than through drunk driving. Shouldn’t we focus on the bigger issue, too? Thus there should be a MASD: Mothers Against Speeding Drivers, who would save just as many lives if not more.

Thus, I feel that riding a bicycle can be done with perfect dignity.


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