joi, 22 septembrie 2011

cycling in Bucharest is a utopia


This is in English because everyone everywhere should be able to see thing my way. I want you to see my street view.
I began cycling to work almost everyday 3 years ago. At first limiting myself to this, later expanding my interests to mountains and bigger tours through the country.
I love cycling and I love bicycles. They are slender works of art and the most elegant way to get around.
At first, not having much else to compare to I was very impressed by the amazing time I could do on my bicycle compared to the bus or even the subway. With time I got faster and faster, more and more fit, but also I got sick of it. Of what? Of choking to death each day in smoke, stench, insults, aggression and ignorance from the stupid cattle mankind has turned into since the invention of the car.
This city is filled to the brim with cars and everyone's choking in their cancerous stench.
With time I got to know the best part of cycling: the great outdoors! The soft clean air hitting your skin and filling every alveole in your lungs with oxygen. The smell of flowers and grass. The time! Taking your time is the best thing about touring, because, without the confines of a noisy tin can around you, you see everything: the fields full of green and flowers, bushes, trees, young and old, birds, nests, rocks cliffs, beautiful mountains around you or the sea. Every kilometer is a book you read carefully, not missing any of the fine details. You can smell all the perfumes nature throws at you and stop at any time to take the picture of a hawk, drying his wings in the wind after the rain.
Then there's the silence. When you are free from all the loud artificial sounds you can hear nature. You can hear the wind, bird voices, leafs shaking, raindrops. The only thing that timidly brakes this silence is the rolling of your wheels and the occasional clicks from the rear hub. Sometimes the silence is so deep you just need to stop to enjoy it.
For 3 years I struggled, hoping things will get better. They are only getting worse. There are barely a handful of cyclists I see each day and many of those keep to the sidewalks. Every place is choked with cars, not only the streets, but sidewalks too. This city has become one giant stinking parking lot. Many mornings not even the right edge of the street is clear so I need to take the sidewalk, slowly waiting behind people. But it still stinks of smoke!
I look sometimes at these mindless tools waiting for hours behind the steering wheel just because they are are brainwashed into thinking that is comfort or to scared of other mindless tools like them to leave that tin can keeping them captive.
Then there's the desperation, the rush to make up for each second before stopping again, to occupy the last bit of free space, even if that means risking to kill me.
That is it! I fucking had enough of all you cattle!
Do I give up now and keep the bike just for the occasional tour in the country? You can't do good tours untrained and the 20km each day was ok training.
Do I keep doing it until I die of lung cancer or heart disease? I don't want to die because of what I hate most!
So I have thought of a solution: I will try to go to work from 6AM from now. I don't know if I can do it but it's my only chance.
I tried with a traffic mask, the best one there is: the Respro Techno, but it failed miserably because, in keeping all the fumes out it slowed down the air so i couldn't breathe.
And all you people with your biking events and gatherings, I doubt you will ever do anything for this unfortunately stupid city....
Sorry...