Why Bicycle When You Can Drive?

"/ Life by bicycle in paradise found.

Driving a car is like taking a Valium while on a roller-coaster ride: you’ll be there; you’ll have had the ride; but you won’t have acutally experienced all there is to experience on a roller coaster ride.

It occurred to me last night while riding home in the frosty night air, only a week since returning to Melbourne after a year in the African heat, that without exception I would rather bicycle back in the cold than drive in a heated car.

Life has to be experienced to be enjoyed!

There is untold joy in bicycling about in the cool night air, just as there is in cycling home, with a trickle of sweat between your breasts, in the midnight summer heat.

Traveling by bicycle is to experience everything there is in the world.

In a car, with the cooling up or the heating on, the world is dampened and the day that is there for the taking is moderated and made mediocre. These is nothing exciting about driving to work.

In the confines of your car you can never know just how beautiful the summer breeze feels, just how crisps the night air gets and just how exhilarating reaching the incline of a hill or the depth of a valley can be.

You won’t ever understand the utterly indescribable feeling of your belly being sky high and your body being sub zero, because it’s a you-got-to-do-it-to-get-it kind of thing.

It’s like giving birth to your first child, but never knowing the extremes of that wonder of life because you took a tablet to mask the moment.

It’s like reaching the top of Mount Everest in a chopper: you made the summit, but you got none of what makes it worth the view.

And it’s like watching someone else finish an extreme-sports race while you sit silent in front of the screen.

In fact the science says when we watch TV human brain function drops to a state less conscious than sleep, which you could call a form of coma.

The human state of consciousness is not black and white, on or off. It is indeed a range, from fully conscious to fully comatose, with everything in between, and all measured by brain function.

We can even drop into a state of torpor, similar to hibernating bats and bears: your heart is beating; your lungs are breathing; and your brain can be switched back on, but you’re also almost on the way to dead.

And that’s really just it. Life only becomes lived when you are doing it wide awake: making the choose-able choices; taking the takeable turns; and doing the pedaling as well.

In a car the outside air can be cut off, the heat of the summer can be cooled down and the feeling of freedom reaches only to the 4 doors that confine you.

Bicycling home in a frost bite or a heat wave is like sex with the man of your dreams on a beach in Brazil, minus the condom: passionate, pleasurable and with the possibility of the miracle of making life!

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3 Responses to “Why Bicycle When You Can Drive?”

  1. Read the transcript of your recent interview on The Age. Awesome stuff!!!!THANK YOU for taking the time to do this work!

  2. Thanks for your comments and interest. It’s been a privilege and a pleasure. We’re not working on getting the rest of the series produced, Africa, South America and China, please spread the word to your bicycle networks that support payments can be made via the website.

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