Thursday, October 28, 2010

a story about awareness

I had a funny, positive experience with a coworker today on the way home from work.

As usual, I was carrying my helmet under my arm as we shared the elevator. We don't work on the same floor so I don't see him much-- before today he probably didn't realize I rode to work.

"Riding home?" he asked. (It was dark outside already, and a bit drizzly.)

"Oh yeah," I said nonchalantly, and gave my usual reason. "I live in the West End, so it's quicker even than taking the bus."

He agreed it would be, as he finished retrieving his car keys from his bag. With a bit of a guilty laugh, he said: "I guess I'll pollute for both of us."

"We'll cancel each other out," I replied with a smile. Awareness is my thing-- I'm not into judging or making anyone feel bad for their choices.

We separated when he continued downstairs to the parkade and I retrieved my bike at the racks. But as I headed off on the road, he was just pulling out as well. While we were stopped at the red light, in different lanes to turn different directions, he rolled down his window briefly. "Thanks..." he said. "For cancelling me out."

I think he really meant it.


  1. That's a really nice story!

  2. I wish all cyclists were as inclusive. It's a lot easier to win favour when you're not judging people for making a different choice.

  3. If I'm asked why I cycle, the environmental issue down on the list.
    For me it's:
    1. Fast and easy
    2. Keeps me healthy
    3. Fun
    4. Cheap
    5. Environmental

    A lot of motorists need to realize that not everyone on a bike is an eco-warrior. Doesn't mean we don't care about the environment, it's just not the 'main' reason we cycle.

  4. True-- the environmental effect is extremely important for some people and maybe a complete non-issue for others. (For me, it's certainly part of my decision not to own a car, but not necessarily why I choose to cycle.)

    I'd say that many people need to become aware that there are as many kinds of cyclists as there are kinds of people. When it comes to reasons for riding, one size totally doesn't fit all.