Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Random Thoughts

The Vatican has declared that Catholics, especially the clergy, should start blogging about faith. This has come as something of a surprise to some, especially as the Vatican is not exactly the center of hip modernity. I thought it was a good idea.

It would have never occurred to me back in the 80's to write about my bicycle. There would have been very little to say about it had I done so. These days, though, it makes perfect sense. The people of the world are beginning to realize that something that seems fundamental is starting to shift, that we all need to become more self sufficient. Riding a bicycle is a very public way of doing just that. Writing about it is a way to formalize this experience and give others a language and network to express that formalization.

What will we think of all of this in 10 years? Will it have made a difference to do all of this writing? Will we have shared enough information? Are there enough people who read it and think about it and act on it to make writing about bicycles and how they shape the way we live worth it?

I think yes. I see it in my own life. Everyday, I experience something I would never have before had it not been for my bike, my camera and this blog. The fact that writing about riding my bicycle has brought such amazing ideas to my door from all over the world, not to mention the amazing people who think this stuff up, is a modern day miracle.

Onward bicycle bloggers! Ride and write on! Sorry there are no pictures this time.


  1. About year ago I had a dream that I saw a bicycle in a Nordstrom ad. I won't be shocked when I see it (or something similar) in real life.

    North American cycling will be normal in 10 years.

    Nice post, as always, Adrienne!

  2. Until searching the web last year for pictures of vintage bikes I had no idea that there were so many riders-for-everyday-life in this country. It's been invigorating to read their stories and see what catches their eye on their daily jounrneys. I love blogs like this one.

    And I think you're right: there's something widely powerful about writing about riding.

    Thanks for this thoughtful post!
    Emma J

  3. I think you nailed it as to why bicycles are all over my internet. I wonder if other things are out there too - cake making, gardening, hiking... Bikes are all over my interewebz!

  4. This is a very interesting topic to think about. 2 things come to mind.

    First, your comment re the Vatican doing something so modern reminds me of the "Lubavitch" movement of orthodox/hassidic Judaism. This is basically a branch of Judaism that is just as strictly observant as "regular" Hassidic Jews, except they make it their goal to use whatever contemporary means necessary to attract young non-observant Jews back into the faith. They blog, hold yoga classes, organise creative arts and crafts - whatever is the latest thing they gladly do it. And it works unbelievably well to attract the young generation. So possibly the Vatican has the same idea in mind.

    Second is the issue of all of these bicycle blogs and whether they make a difference. When I first began "Lovely Bicycle!" in April, I never meant for it to attract many visitors, or to last more than a few months. I was away from my husband for work for a couple of months, and I thought I would write down my occasional musings on my quest to buy the perfect ("lovely") bicycle that would be suitable to my lifestyle. Somehow this attracted readers, and it just felt right to keep going even after I returned to the US and bought my bike. And it just went from there. Now I have an average of 600+ readers a day. Every week I receive emails from people telling me they bought their first bike or began riding again because of my blog, and it feels... *weird*! I never intended to be an activist and do not see myself as one. But the bicycle thing has a force of its own, and I think this force transcends my intent. It is all very bizarre, but interesting. And so I keep going.

  5. when I lived in the busiest international crossing piece of heaven, and rode my bike, I always thought id be really cool if i could figure out a way to film it and submit the video of a commuting teenage outkast to the internet. fast forward 15yrs and we now have the instant gratification to communicate each other and meet for a coffee locally, as well as see what other bikey people are up to around the world.
    pure awesomeness, amen.


  6. Yeh... I had no idea that anyone was as goofy as me until I read bike blogs... I've learned everything I know about contemporary cycle culture through these blogs, I'll never be as cool as some of these guys of course but at least I know what's going on out there.
    I have been inspired to take action regarding equity and bicycle advocacy primarily due to what I'd learned from reading blogs. I ride an xtracycle... I had to import it into Australia from NZ back when there were no Australian Distributors. I would never have heard of them if it wern't for cycle blogs. The world is changing quickly... I hope we can glean enough from these blogs before the power is turned off.