This could have been written about here.
Where I live right now is one of those small cities where no one uses a bicycle, or few enough to say no one. I cannot understand how or why so many cars and trucks go by the house. I’m not on a main highway. Sometimes, this constant barrage of traffic gets to me. I do not like living in a world of noise – but what gets to me the most is that it’s almost 90 degrees out and STILL WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE ON BICYCLES?
Nope, not in this shit hole. Ain’t nothing changing but the demand going up for fuel. 99.9% is a pretty bad statistic, but if you sat by and counted the cars and bicycles going by, you’d have that number.
A young lad skips out of his house, able bodied and strong, with a low watt smile on his face, no thought of responsibility for what he’s about to do. He gets in his car and GOES somewhere. This is the diseased disconnect we have – that we (the collective, self not included) equate GOING somewhere with starting up and operating a massive 4 wheeled power plant with incredibly complicated systems running and regulating it. How did our cities become hot hells of pavement with all these rolling power plants blasting heat and filling the air with toxic fumes?
Yes, youngster – that’s what you’re doing. You’re not only getting your body from your home to your friend’s house, or to the store, or to work – you’re spewing filth into the air. You’re consuming 10.000 times the amount of calories you should be consuming to bring YOU there. Do I have this right? The idea is to get yourself somewhere, and the car being brought along is only a result of that action, right? Because it looks like the idea is to drive around every day.
When I live in boring shitty places full of boring shitty people (I didn’t choose this place, it chose me, and maintenance camp still rages on with more and more to do – the endless gopher pounding game) I start to lose faith in humanity. When I hear the news that China is buying up cars faster than we are replacing them, I get a shudder. Where are we going? Going somewhere? Do they want to become like us – oblivious insensitive people who are defined as CONSUMERS first and foremost, driving to and from work with music blaring, never thinking for one second that this blaring noise may be disturbing someone in the houses you are passing? In a car, people are empowered to disturb the peace like never before – with loud FART exhausts, blaring ‘music’, and horn honks whenever you please. I fell asleep about 12 times and was re-woken up by people driving by after midnight blaring their fucking stereos.
The whole of all the oceans could be covered in oil, and still these people would be gunning it to get home, singing to their blasting radios, in time for a certain TV show and the comfort of self poisoning. If it was one person acting in such a manner, an intervention would be called for – but this mentality is pervasive and fed continually by those agents who wish for us to remain, first and foremost, the CONSUMER, and maybe a person too sometimes.
It’s tough enough being one of the only cyclists in a sea of cars and trucks. It truly sucks when someone yells at me to get on the sidewalk, and then gets through the next green light so I can’t run up and assault this person verbally, because that’s what yelling out of a car is – it’s the most cowardly form of verbal assault – it is a ‘hit and run’ with words. Knowing there is nothing I can do about it, it continues to occasionally happen. This time, the dipshit yelling out of his red cherokee to tell me to get on the sidewalk didn’t realize that indeed I WAS at that time on the sidewalk. Dumb fuck.
“No harm, no foul” is my policy – so if a vehicle doesn’t give me enough clearance and passes a little close, I ignore it, unless it accompanies monkey howling or threats. The horn honking is upsetting – do you assholes who drive cars realize how loud the horn is right beside your car, asshole? Some fuck in a black truck recently blew a fucking TRAIN HORN at me – not only was it a fucked up thing to do, my ears were ringing after that.
Shame is what I feel, but not the shame of one of these losers that rides a bike because he had the license taken away and can’t wait to get it back, or one of these kids that feels ashamed to be on a lowly bicycle and is working towards getting a car so he can finally be _______ because when you get a car your life becomes live-able, according to these people.
I feel shame that my country is under the incessant grip of an omni-demic disease I call car dependency. I feel shame at the land, water, and wildlife that has been laid to waste by the roads we’ve built to allow this disease to progress. I feel quite ashamed that no one wishes to address or recognize this collective condition for the disease that it is, and to take steps to heal from it. I say there should be a ’school of not driving’ and now I’ve got some screws loose. I say “We should ride bicycles to work” and I must be some east coast liberal fuck coming up here to change things.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason why people aren’t choosing to ride a bicycle and continuing this destructive and expensive activity of taking the 150 hp power plant along is not as complicated as some might make it out to be. PEOPLE HATE EXERCISE. That’s it, that’s the reason. They avoid exercise as much as possible, and therefore they avoid health. They avoid healthy eating along with avoiding the exercise – and in the minds of 99% of people here in Shithole USA, the bicycle is associated NOT with going somewhere but with that dreaded thing exercise.
People aren’t in a ‘learning stance’ to find out this revolutionary concept of riding a bicycle to go somewhere when all they see is other cars being driven, the occasional cyclist, and hear stories of being assaulted and yelled at by those crazy people on bicycles. Because we’re all crazy eco-nazis to them. The message of getting this one ship we are all in to STOP SINKING is lost in a sea of emotional reactions and re-affirmations of fucked up ways of life. If the government cared enough to want a change, they would have funded schools of not driving long ago. This is what we need, philanthropists – we need a SCHOOL to train people to fix a tire, ride a bike, and most of all to BELIEVE in it. Fat chance of that happening. Around the corner from me – a driving school and a funeral home, a McDonald’s and a gas station where not one item inside is locally sourced. Ain’t nothing changing.
The people that hate exercise lay around and fuck more often than those of us, we few, that like to exercise. Therefore, they have more children. Laziness is on the rise, not on the decline. You and I might be making a difference, but the prevalent mindset and behavior set sure is making it hard to survive any other way but theirs.