Monday, March 19, 2012

The Crazy Ones

I had planned all day long to do today’s shopping by bicycle. But by the time I was ready to shove off, clouds had gathered in the gray skies—clouds that could easily let go a rain shower or two.

The thermometer read 55° F. I began to rethink my idea of riding my bike to Andy’s, the grocery north of town. I could drive my car instead.

My Subaru sat unused in the garage. Even this short trip would spew a lot more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than bicycling. 

I thought of my adult children both of whom are, by choice, car free. I’m on spring break; I have plenty of time to ride. Rain or no rain, the exercise would do me good. And it would do me good to know that today I made a small effort to shrink my carbon footprint.

I zipped on a jacket, rolled my Riv out of the garage, and pedaled to market. As I approached the bike rack, I saw two other cyclists loading their bike bags with groceries. Seeing them pleased me.

Perhaps they saw the pleasure in my face, for they were both friendly. We cyclists stick together. We had a conversation about shopping bikes and the pleasures of riding. We three were surrounded by perhaps a hundred shoppers who had arrived by automobile. None of the car drivers seemed to take pleasure in each other's company.

“It’s so cold,” said one of my new friends. “We must be crazy to ride our bikes.”

I didn’t feel crazy to have chosen my bike, especially in light of what scientists say about climate change. On the contrary, I usually feel, if not crazy, then at least in active denial of reality when I get behind the wheel of my car and twist the key in the ignition. I felt sane, actually, and happy to be among new friends.

“Well, maybe we're crazy,” I replied. “But maybe the crazy ones are the people who drive their cars.”

My new friend smiled, “You may be right. Maybe they’re the crazy ones.“


The Solitary Walker said...

Stay crazy, Dan ... it's the only sane thing to do.

spldbch said...

I've notice the same kind of congeniality between runners. If you pass another runner while you're out for a jog, you always smile and wave, at the very least.

Alden Smith said...

Yes, stay crazy Dan - cycling is good.
Very,very good - not just for the cyclist but also for our planet - which as your earlier space shot shows, is fragile and reaches out in interconnectedness.

Dan Gurney said...

Robert, Alden, et. al. You know, I have been riding more and more. It is a good way to get errands done, that's for sure. I even put some fenders on my bike so I don't have to worry about the rain.