For whatever reason, the other night I found myself in the middle of writing a longish, frank, open-ended conversation or “post” on Facebook. This was not something I planned or edited but after an initial burst of energy I discovered I was three paragraphs deep into what my friends would only really consider a rant. I read what I had written, and realized I had more to say, that my feelings were important for me to share, but that they also demanded something extra; an introduction, an explanation, and hopefully, an epilogue (although that part will be written by us all). This is my best attempt to that end, I don’t expect to hit the mark and I don’t expect everyone to read, comment on, or even acknowledge some what I have to say. I understand that the subjects I’m talking about are controversial, but I hope it is clear that I do not mean to impose, to blame or to implicate with any of my words, and that hope is best reflected in my effort to frame the essay with this title.
We’re all in this together, our civilization has grown for hundreds years to create our present situation, our complacence does not equate with guilt, indeed it’s just the opposite, as our current understanding of the principals and habits of this broken system allow us an advanced perspective to it’s biggest problems and best possible solutions. Dream Big, Demand the Impossible.
It’s that time of the year again: the days are long and the nights are plenty warm. Unless you’re in Colorado all the snow has melted and it’s time to get out on a bicycle tour. I’m not much into telling people how to have fun, but I’ve recently had a few friends and readers reach out in regards to any advice I might have for getting out on your first long-distance tour.
Trying to speak in absolutes and give sound advice can be hard, everyone is different and we’re all coming to the table with different levels of fitness and varying expectations. Despite that, I’ve managed to comb through my experiences and come up with some basic ground rules to share with anyone getting ready to hit the road – my top ten bicycle touring tips. This advice applies to anyone regardless of age, gender, experience as well as solo or group rides. Bicycle touring has given me some of the greatest experiences of my life, it’s changed the way I see the world both literally and figuratively, and it’s my belief that if we all had the opportunity to share this experience, the world would be a better place. As sappy as that sounds and as seriously as I can take bicycling, all it takes is a few pedal strokes to remember why you had this idea in the first place – because riding your bike is so damn fun.
What’s the difference between addiction and habit? Both can be damaging to yourself and those around you. Both can be hard to break; even if you think you can stop whenever you want, sometimes knowing when is the hardest part. With addiction, part of recovery is surrounding yourself with a community that supports your new direction, but what do you do when addicts are everywhere? Where do you go and how do you cope when the habit you’re trying to break is embedded into every aspect of society, every part of community, movement and mobility?
It’s been years we’ve spent without an automobile, but there isn’t some sort of oasis we can retreat to. Automobiles are ubiquitous, they’re everywhere, and when they don’t provoke apathy, they insight anger and frustration. But perhaps the most insidious part of their omnipresence is the temptation. No matter how hard you’ve worked to change your habits, no matter how long since you’ve broke the addiction, the temptation is always there, just as far away as the turn of a key.
Transitions exist on a range of varying scope and size. Sometimes they’re small, encompassing mere moments, a brief lapse before you’re headed off in a new direction. Others take longer, years perhaps, decades, even lifetimes. Some of these transitions happen easily, even naturally, while others are forced to come about. It seems like a law of nature that the bigger transitions are necessarily slower, often more difficult, and they usually have the biggest impact.