Monday, October 29, 2012

Bike the way out of disaster

I thought about writing my views about the novelty of the bicycle. Once I heard or read that the bicycle was noblest invention and even though I knew that it was quite an understatement, I had not stopped to think of the reasons for it. I suppose you can come up with them the more you use a bike and study the subject. This next post and the pictures that you will see will show you what I am talking about.
The novelty of the bicycle comes from: 
  • The inexpensive way in which it can take you places
  • being the most personal vehicle
  • the fact that, like a book, only takes you as far as you want to go
  • its environmental impact or respect for it
  • its efficiency - energy per mile yield
  • last but not least: it is one of the only vehicles that when it cannot longer carry you, will  allow you to return the favor.
  • it will always wait for you
  • its comparative extremely low need for maintenance
  • the fact that you are its fuel
All these images of the Tsunami in Japan are clear examples of what I just described.   When all else fails, a bicycle will deliver. It will deliver you and your cargo, but if it takes you to a place where its access is denied, then you can carry it  across and keep going. 
Very few times has it been said that the success of a bicycle lays on the the fact that its only fabricated with the most minimum  components needed to take you from point A to point B. No windows, no motor, no extras. Only you and a few tubes and cables. That's all it takes for a bike to carry a person.
No matter how many bicycles you ride or if the entire population of this planet decides to ride a bike each. You will not be able to count a single CO2 molecule in the air from its emissions.

 Of course, it can be argued that to produce all those bikes it will take electricity and gas and coal and whatever else you use to power the machines that weld and shape the bike. I say though that it does not matter. With that minimal energy used you are producing a vehicle that does not suffer the cultural effects of age.
A bike is always a bike. You could have given Michael J Fox a bike to go back to the future and he would have had less problems for the bike would have fit right in. That gives you an idea of the agelessness (if that's a word) of the bicycle.  An instrument unaffected by radiation, immune to gas shortages, and invisible to ambiguity. No other country better than Japan can attest to the disaster and radiation combined effort to bring a country to a halt. Yet after every one of Japan's disaster aftermaths such as the atomic bomb and the Fukushima tragedies, the bicycle remains to provide unconditional support.

Photo by Reuters

Photo by Associated Press

Photo by Associated Pres
Photo by Reuters
Photo by AFP
Photo by Christian Science Monitor
Thanks to: Associated Press - Japan, The Chicago Tribune, AFP, Corbis, Reuters, The Christian Science Monitor

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