Archive for February 25, 2011

Cycling Environmentalism

Posted in Going Green on February 25, 2011 by bethleasure

Greener Pastures

47” It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best…you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through…”                Ernest Hemingway, Author, Bicyclist

Hemingway wrote, rode, advocated


Open-air enjoyment is our passion, but the earth and others benefit from our bike riding. Congratulations to us who ride more and drive less! Even passively we contribute to a cleaner environment, reduce emissions, economize fuel, take up less space on roads and for parking, promote public health, and are safer to pedestrians than motorists.

Active efforts for conservation include: trail creation, cleaning, and recovery; rides raise awareness and funds for environmental causes; and advocate groups who inform and cooperate with transportation authorities.

Cycling environmentalism goes beyond rights to ride on streets. Our growing bicycle commuter constituency is part of 48smart growth, assisting in a philosophical shift from expansive urban planning and economic development to improving quality of life. Bike use helps contain urban sprawl by reducing vehicle miles traveled, especially in conjunction with mass transit and walkways.

Going green for us can mean a few other simple choices. We already reuse our water bottles, saving plastic. Use your stuff until it’s worthless, then decide how best to recycle. HHHang your shorts out to dry – saves the chamois and your electric bill, use energy-saving bulbs, go paperless with event registration, recycle bike electronics. Some kid-hauling cycling parents are using bike trailers for shopping. A ride to the local market with a backpack was part of my euro-racing experience that transferred state-side. Most of us are already eating locally-grown produce and less processed foods…now if I could only find an authentic fresh patisserie! Cycling already knows about the value of greener pastures.

Prayer for Cycling Environmentalism

“You lead me beside green pastures, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.” 49Psalm 23:2-3


We are glad for a Go Green trend. We confess our food garbage goes from jersey pocket to roadside sometimes. We ask for reminders to honor the earth and tangible support for cycling conservationism.

Ponder What can I reduce, re-use, or recycle? Affirm I can go green by using the bike to run an errand on an active rest day instead of the car, and I can ride my Scooter! Watch increased commuter miles cause training time to go green.

47“A Bicycle is a Splendid Thing,” Hemingway’s Source for Bartolomeo Aymo in A Farewell to Arms by Mark Cirino in The Hemingway Review – Volume 26, Number 1, Fall 2006

48“John Holtzclaw: Cycling Environmentalist,” posted July 17, 2007 on Bike Commute Tips Blog A San Francisco-based consultant in transportation, urban development, energy consumption, and air quality, Dr. John Holtzclaw is chair of Sierra Club’s Transportation Committee.

49This is my paraphrase from two versions: Holy Bible, King James Version public domain and The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson