I voted last week. Instead of voting for a particular slate of candidates, I voted for bicycling. I focused on the ways that cycling can help society (if we let it) and then I voted for the candidates who are most aligned with may way of thinking.
Take healthcare, for example. We’re required to buy it and the cost goes up by astronomical amounts every year, yet as a cyclist I am almost never sick nor do I go to see the doctor much. My insurance premiums are benefitting someone else. So here’s a thought. If more people cycled and chose active, healthy lifestyles, the cost of healthcare would go down. Some politicians understand this. Those are the ones I voted for.
The same is true of oil. We spend approximately one quarter of the federal budget ($1 trillion) on “defense.” I’ve racked my brain time and time again trying to figure out why it costs so much to defend a country surrounded by two oceans and two friendly countries and time and time it comes back to oil. If we use marginally less of the stuff, that frees up billions of dollars from “defense” that can be put to work fixing other problems. Bicycles would resolve the “oil problem.” Some politicians understand this, too. I voted for them.
The social fabric in our nation is strained like never before, but whenever you put diverse groups of people on bikes, everyone smiles and gets along. This is true in Detroit (Slow Roll). It’s also true in Los Angeles (CicLAvia) and just about everywhere else it is tried. There’s just something about being on a bicycle and maybe a little vulnerable that allows us to look at each other differently. Cycling builds better communities. Some visionary politicians see this and believe it and I voted for them.
Cycling can help clean the air. It can put a dent in childhood diabetes. It can make it easier for educators to educate. It can lead to safer communities and more connected groups of people and less sprawl and more vibrancy. It costs almost nothing. I can think of no other thing that can do so much to heal so much of what is broken for so little.
I’ve seen firsthand how cycling changes everything it touches for the better, so I voted straight ticket this year…for bicycling. I’m tired of talking and hoping that someone else will fix things. We cyclists DO things so I voted for us and people who think like us. I plan to make it a tradition. I hope you will too.