Sunday, March 26, 2006

Invisible or blind?

I've been reading magazines on biking and on paddling lately, and trying to write articles for 'em. Sold one to WaveLength Magazine, and hope it'll be the first of a new series of articles. How can ya tell I'm a freelance writer, eh? Well, they say write what you know.
The bicycling magazine I was reading lately had an article on invisible bikers. But by the time you get most of the way through the article, the author has realized that there really is a community of people who use bikes to commute, to work, to improve their lives and to make a difference. And it's not that these are invisible bikers. He finally realized that these people are perfectly visible, out there, working in the same real world in the same city he lives in. The reason he and his friend bikers don't see them: the rich bikers are blind. The people really using their bikes are low-income, and the author realized he just hadn't been seeing the people who were using cheap bikes all around him. And he felt like a complete shit.
Is there an answer for this reversible blindness?
Well, it wouldn't hurt to promote a local bike shop/repair centre. Bicycleitis on Bay Street (1 block west of Shelbourne Street) is a great little shop. They not only sell affordable second-hand bikes as well as new, they have a "free tree" on the boulevard. Haul those old clunkers out from under the deck and give 'em to these guys or some other repair shop like Recyclistas. Wheels on the road, eh? there is no excuse for anything else.

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