day 2 of the copenhagen climate summit
This is how I will go, at the St. George and Bloor crosswalk, standing in front of cars by my bicycle, gesticulating and refusing to let them pass.
There was a man today. I rode behind him, and maybe four other bicycles, for two blocks. He was clearly getting agitated at the cars – I can understand that. I get that way sometimes, being cut off and squeezed to the side of the road so often that every passing car makes me more angry and resentful of how much of the road they own, how pampered they must be in their new model cars living in the downtown area of a city where driving a car is very much a personal individual choice, and not a necessity.
He lost it at St. George and Bloor. “Why aren’t you taking the TTC, you rich fuck? What are you doing in there, killing the rest of us?” I wanted to stop and try to lead him away, “Hey there, brother. It’s ok. Let us live another day.” But what if that’s all that keeps him going, this hard little pit of anger. And he rides all the major arteries of the city, with his outdoor gear and backpack, chasing down packs of bicycles and riding slowly behind them to widen the space they have, keep up how close the cars and willing to cut them off by. He is performing a civic service riding in all weather conditions. keeping butts in seats because we abide by herd behaviour, riding because there are others doing it. (non high-strung angry people help too, more)
I hate that book I read in elementary school, where a character who cared so much of seabirds freezing in oil that he joined the sea shepherds is portrayed as a social/mental deviant.
Someone showed me the new google earth that has high enough resolution for my hometown in China. There are ticky radio box things that links user-uploaded photos with locations on the map. Everything looked horrid. There were so few people, just cars. I could barely navigate my way from one set of grandparents to the other. There are 20 story condos now. I hated everything. Shenzhen is my nightmare.
Another added to the list of projects: A People’s History of Bicycles.
The founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 was a turning point for the bicycle industry. The Party decided to promote the bicycle as the people’s vehicle and started a massive production drive. Bicycles were taken into account in city planning and those who used bicycles to travel to and from work were given benefits. The lack of a public transport system was solved! China’s first Five-Year Plan included the growth of the bicycle industry by 60 percent, and by 1958, China was producing more than a million bicycles annually. [emphasis added] – source