The forecast is for rain all week and its time to bike back to work after the Christmas break so I have to remind myself why I do this. I wrote this a few years ago, but it still applies.
WHY I RIDE MY BIKE TO WORK
Besides the house, the car [and the gas used to propel it] is the biggest consumer item in a typical North American household. It is also the biggest polluter in an average North American household. It is my privilege and responsibility as a Christian to be a good steward of my wealth as well as of the earth entrusted to my care. Since shelter is a basic human necessity, maybe the car should be the first thing to chop off the consumerist block. But a car is a necessity in our society! We can’t live without it! Or can we?
Someday I’d like to try to live without a car in our society, but we are a typical family with four busy kids age 7-18 so we aren’t quite there yet. It is always good to start small so my wife and I decided when we got married that we would only own one car between the two of us even though we have always both worked outside of the home. It was difficult when I was doing youth ministry, we were carting our four kids off to various events and had evening church meetings and such. It didn’t become easier when our oldest son got his driver’s license and now we have three drivers instead of two in the household, but so far we’ve lived quite well. How do we do it? We carpool. We plan carefully. We take the bus. We limit our activities. And I bike to work.
For me personally, biking to work every day [20 km round trip] has become an important part of my daily routine. Here are my top ten reasons why I bike to work.
1. It gets me going in the morning better than a cup of coffee.
2. It slows down my life and gives space for praying, thinking, reflecting and debriefing (much better for the soul than sitting in a tin can getting road rage).
3. It saves a whole pile of money we use for better things than supporting oil and auto companies.
4. Food is my fuel which I consume anyway and besides, food tastes and smells better than car fuel.
5. There is no speed limit; I can go as fast as my energy source will allow.
6. It gets me in touch with the surrounding environment and breathing God’s fresh air (other than automobile exhaust, but if more of us bike there will be less…).
7. It is good stewardship of the body. It keeps me in good physical health.
8. I see and recognize people on the way instead of everyone hiding in their metal shell.
9. It is good stewardship of the earth. It causes no pollution.
10. It’s fun.