In an era plagued by war, hatred and intolerance, it’s easy for one to proclaim what it is that they oppose. It has changed from “Peace” to “Stop War!” We have moved from movements to opposition efforts. It has shifted from “I will stand up for what I believe is right”, to “I will protest and picket over what, to me, is wrong. “ These days, it seems, we have become opposers, haters and doubters.
I, however, would very much like to still believe. I would rather love than hate and I would rather smile than frown.
So, I will tell you what it is that I believe in. It’s not incredible or even that revolutionary. It might, however, change the world.
It’s a bicycle. Two wheels, handlebars and pedals. Mine is a Specialized racing bike from 1996. It is made out of carbon fiber, which makes it light. It has fourteen gears and a sticker that says, “You’d look hotter in a helmet.” It was given to me by an old boyfriend. It’s black but when you look at it just right; it’s purple. It’s fast and I wear a bell on my backpack that says “I love my bike,” so that I can ring it as I pass by joggers and dogs. I believe in my bike. I believe that it’s still a thing of beauty, in a society characterized by media and machines, to have something that I can choose to power with coffee and a cookie or a plate of linguine. My legs don’t require oil and as such, don’t require war, drill, baby, drill or pollution. The wind that enters my lungs as I get my “cardio for the day” doesn’t require halogen lights or an elliptical machine. I am not plugged into anything. For a year now, I have been a dedicated bike commuter in Denver, CO. I go slow in the winter and still fall sometimes. I sweat in the summer and crunch leaves with my tires in the fall. In the spring I feel a chill on my way to work and a pleasant warmth on my way home. I live in the concrete jungle but I believe in my bicycle. I stop at stop signs and patiently sit as engines idle beside me at red lights. I feel immense joy as my dog jogs next to me, grateful that I can finally keep up. I carry my groceries on my bicycle. I get honked at, yelled at and sometimes spit at. People, for some reason, don’t seem to believe in bicycles like I do. Perhaps that they just believe in cars more. That’s ok, there’s room on the road for all of our beliefs.
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