I’m sorry, but someone else is going to have to save the world.
I’ve handed in my Eco-Warrior badge for the winter, packed away the bike in the garage and bought a car for myself.
No more will I feel the wind in my face of a morning on the six mile ride to work, no more wet shoes tramping across the office carpet, no longer do I need a squirt of deodorant under the armpits as I sit at my desk, for now I will not tilt at the automobiles queueing down the main commuter route that I take every morning for now I join them, encased in a metal box oblivious to the world outside and I watch the cyclists pass me on the inside and think, “Yes, I used to enjoy undertaking 50 or 60 cars every morning”.
I have succumbed to the reasoning of my two daughters, especially the youngest one who thinks that the busy commuter routes of this city are no place for her dad to be riding a bike during rush hour, I daren’t tell her that actually its very satisfying to weave in and out of the slow moving traffic, to push your way right through the centre of a long queue at traffic lights and position yourself right at the front of the queue, you have to use a lot of self control not to offer a rude signal to the car that was formally at the front of the queue until you arrived, just because you can.
I collect my new/used car on Thursday, until then I have use of a spare company car, a rather modern Volvo that thinks its funny to switch off the engine when you stop in a queue of traffic, it tells me its something to do with saving the planet, it calls itself “DRIVe” with a small “e”, presumably because the “eco” bit of stopping the car engine for ten seconds at traffic lights is a mere pin prick in the ecology of the planet, a few grains of carbon saved, whereas me on my bike, I fill the world with sweat and a huffing-puffing noise as I ride uphill all the way back home (6 miles uphill, I’ve counted them all).
Until next summer then, the bike, and my legs, take a well earned rest.