I’m thinking the bike will save the world.
Think I’m crazy? Maybe so, but I think they are an important piece in the puzzle of community happiness. Think this a ludicrous statement? I personally don’t think so. Let’s look at where where we are now and what our obesity and depression rates are and then come back to the table and talk.
What tribe chose this place anyway?
Most of us in the major cities located in The United States actually live in or strive to live in the suburbs. With very little critical thinking beyond the concern for our supposed safety, playing a role when we chose our domicles. We chose these developed un-healthy, semi-functional, in some cases ultra-private living territories we call “suburbs,” “Gated communities” “ranch developments” “estates” etc. “neighborhoods” or “just plain housing tracts.” These all function within and are part of the “sub-urban” experience. To live in a “sub-urban area” means to live below or “away” from the urban or “populated” area. Nevermind that the syntax became de rigour somewhere around 1982 thanks to a little more than “B” movie starring Tom Hanks and Carrie Fisher., but what were we trying to get away from? People whom we deemed untrustworthy? people of questionable influence? the freeways? the real or perceived crime? Some would say yes. Yes to all of it.
With nose held high
Nevermind that now ‘The “burbs” have become as heavily populated as those unfortunately shunned seemingly lower class urban areas. The ‘burbs’ still holds it’s nose high and carries on with it’s air of self importance. It smacks of faux privacy and self importance. The children of those tribes that migrated to the burbs after making it in the city or coming from rural areas as farmlands went bust, were sold or went corporate, are all grown up and quite tired of the sleepy nonchalance, ultra privacy and ultimate disconnection that is ‘the burbs.’ They are taking on the city and it’s unpredictability, it’s surprise, and yes it’s grittyness. That means the people, the streets the problems and the promise. They are concerned about connection over privacy and in walking instead of driving. Yes the city is congested at times and that is where bikes come in. Agile, easy to fix, store and wildly real with the wind in your hair, people are moving about around you. Journeying in and around the city and as a result becoming healthier. Many traverse to the town center on theirs, locking them up, meeting friends purchasing the days meats and vegetables and toting a knapsack full of foodstuffs for the night’s and next breakfast’s meals.
Getting rid of those “Horseless Carriages”
With more daily exercise be they daily jaunts into town for errands or pleasure rides carrying greater distance, the move toward abandoning those horseless carriages spewing filth into our precious air, and opting for two wheeled romance, the connection, daily movement, surprise, dichotomy and the sheer unpredictability of a riding a bike, we are poised to become healthier and ultimately happier. We know that exercise creates a remarkable increase in the ‘happiness’ chemicals serotonin and dopamine and what better natural way to keep those in balance or increase them than to ride? Bikes are being welcomed back into our lives as devices of health, wellness and symbols of personal assertiveness. Look out suburbia as we migrate back to the cities for cohesiveness, affiliation and take our bikes with us for happiness.