I’ve finally sold my truck and for the first time since I was 16 I don’t have a vehicle. But how is the mindful fisherman going to go fishing; you ask. I have a bike and I can carry everything I need in my backpack! If I want to bring a lawn chair to the river I can use my bike trailer to haul the extra gear. No problem. Also I can get anywhere in the city from my house in 20-30 minutes.
So because I have a very good bike I am not in a hurry to buy another vehicle. I have decided this summer I am going to take advantage of some alternative transportation options. I will bike, ride the bus, walk and when I need to my lovely fiancé has a van (#MotionWagon).
Sigh… I wish that before I had sold my truck I had taken all the garbage out of my garage to the dump. My old BBQ and a bunch of construction garbage is going to annoy me all summer! But oh well…
So far not having a vehicle has been an awareness raising experience. I realize how disenfranchised a person who doesn’t have a vehicle is! Luckily for me, I am tough enough to ride my bike in the rain and strong enough to keep up in traffic and dodge cars that have a hate on for anyone lawfully riding in the bike lanes. But there are many citizens of our city who aren’t tough enough to ride like that! Getting out of my truck has opened my eyes.
For the record I am an avid supporter of the idea of bike lanes. Do I think the city did a good job? No. Was it a good idea to tear up all the lanes before anyone could actually try them out? No. The mistake was in the lack of planning and consulting with cyclists/motorists and also the hastiness of undoing everything.
Another thought I have while riding my bike around the city is about all the vehicles with one person in them. These people are essentially alone in a crowd. For me that is the worst kind of loneliness. Hearing voices and seeing faces but having no human contact compounds the negative impact of loneliness. This is why I support Paul Harris and the initiatives to make Red Deer more pedestrian friendly and walkable.
I walked 2 blocks from my business (City Motion Fitness) to a coffee shop on Little Gaetz (Dose Coffee) and bumped into 2 people I knew and had friendly conversations. Out of those conversations came plans for a games night and lunch together.
So, I encourage you to be mindful of how your environment shapes how you think, how you feel and the relationships you have with others. If I had drove by in my truck I wouldn’t have had those conversations.
|The Motion Wagon|
I think often about how environment impacts quality of life. A city designed for cars means people will spend hours and hours each day sitting alone in an idling vehicle waiting for lights to change. A city designed for alternatives to cars dramatically improves quality of life and builds relationships.
Here’s to sustainable development and building a community for people!
Lets get the conversation about biking and walking in Red Deer going, use the hashtag #BikeRD #WalkRD! Share pictures and thoughts on this subject with me.