I see you run commuting, riding to the grocery store, and walking to places unknown purely under your own power. I observe your subtle acts of social change as I move through the city, and this year you inspired me to write you a valentine.
Active transportation seekers, you are changing the landscape and I love you for it. We are dominated by drivers and vehicles, and you choose a path that invites us to consider our environment differently. You move along at the same flow of rush hour traffic and by your very presence plant a seed that there is another choice.
This is an act of pragmatism, not of activism, you might be saying.
I argue it is both of these, and more. I recall my first forays into active transportation – the learning curve that comes with dialing in gear, commute times, and discerning traffic flow. Figuring out how to forge space in a city that still embraces motorized transport.
Active transportation isn’t always easy. In my experience, even when the active transportation routine settles into the norm, it never becomes easy. Simple maybe, easy no. Active transportation takes a can-do attitude that adapts to frequently changing circumstances.
You adopt new ways to anticipate drivers and investigate all route options available in hopes of the quietest safest path. Even then, some defensiveness is required, and the space for active transportation seekers runs narrow at best.
Weather presents its own challenges and discomforts. You know what I’m talking about – bone chilling cold, pouring rain perfectly timed for the commute home, and those days that offer headwind from all directions.
Weather also serendipitously rewards the active transportation seeker. These moments shower over our bodies as no glass or metal separates us from them, and reinforce our active transpo commitments.
Through good and bad, you persevere.
Thank you for being out there to transform the transportation profile one pedal stroke, one footstep at a time.
Happy Valentine’s Day, active transportation seekers. I hope we get even more people on bikes and two feet this year.