To be honest, the ride was nothing special: too hot in the valley and too foggy in the hills but still there were wonderful scents of oak and redwood in the air and the sensation of those wonderful endorphins along the way. What was really special was the feeling that we were doing something concrete and immediate to address pressing and serious problems in our world: all, while we relaxed on a national holiday.
Cycling is uniquely suited to such a purpose. There are lots of solutions out there to address traffic, health, and environmental problems. However, there are none that work on all three at once while being so cheap, effective, and fun. And few that anyone of us can start on right now without anyone else's cooperation, stimulus money, or legislation.
Say what you will about global warming, jobs, and the economy, but the Gulf disaster shows that using oil to get around does a lot of undeniable harm regardless of the other debates.
One just has to trust their own senses to know it is true:
- We see the harm from the drilling in the Gulf.
- We hear the harm from the never-ending noise of combustion engines across every city.
- We taste the harm from the tailpipe of every passing car.
- We feel the harm from the tarballs on our skin at the beach.
- We smell the harm when we pass the refineries.
With this in mind, my wife and I biked like we do a lot these days but did added meaning on the 4th of July. We could think of no better way to celebrate America right now than to help reduce the oil consumption that is so clearly hurting America in massive and profound ways.
God bless America with millions more cyclists everyday.