On Bicycles and Practicing what I Preach

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ready to bike

Ready to bike – January 2016

 

I ride my bicycle to work several times a week. I have been doing it for almost eight years now. Come rain or shine, sun or snow. I have studded tires for the winter, and if I ask nicely, JB changes them for me, because unlike me, he is super good at maintenance and repairs. It is a great way to start my mornings, and the half hour it takes me to get to work has become my favorite part of the day. (The 45 minutes it takes me to get home again, becasue of a looooong uphill is another story…)

 

JB fixing bike

 

Earlier this spring, when JB graciously switched the tires back from winter tires to summer tires, he warned me and said I needed to clean the chain and gears soon, because they were completely gunked up from months of use in yucky weather, and full of sand and grime and old oil. If I didn’t,  he said, it would be ruined. I promised I would, and after a few more weeks (months?), with the chain becoming increasingly cranky (pun intended) and jumping off the gears, I did. Or at least I tried to. It helped a little, but not much – so I decided it needed more of an overhaul than I was able to give it. Not wanting to admit to JB that I had  procrastinated cleaning it up until it was in fact ‘ruined’, I took it to the bike workshop, and asked them to service it.

 

bike

 

The next day I received a text from the shop, warning me that the repairs would be rather costly, and should they still go ahead and fix it? The repair estimate was about 75% of the bike’s original cost. They were going to have to completely replace the gears, the chain and the entire back wheel. My immediate reaction was, ‘Nah – I’d rather get a new bike’. A nice, shiny, FASTER, and lighter bike.

I got all excited at the prospect of this new bike, I started checking prices and options, and even asked our office’s resident bicycle expert colleague for advice, and planned on purchasing this new bike next Friday.

 

New, shiny bike. Sigh.

New, shiny bike. Sigh.

 

Then my dear friend Jeanette, invited me to go and see a special viewing of ‘Demain – le film’   (Tomorrow – the movie) yesterday – I’ve grabbed the below description from the website:

 

“Showing solutions, telling a feel-good story… this may be the best way to solve the ecological, economical and social crises that our countries are going through. After a special briefing for the journal Nature announced the possible extinction of a part of mankind before the end of the 21st century, Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent, together with a team of four people, carried out an investigation in ten different countries to figure out what may lead to this disaster and above all how to avoid it.

During their journey, they met the pioneers who are re-inventing agriculture, energy, economy, democracy and education. Joining those concrete and positive actions which are already working, they began to figure out what could be tomorrow’s world…”

 

I came out feeling so inspired and motivated and optimistic! There are so many people and communities out there doing so much good for our environment and society – there is hope!

Those of you who follow my blog, know that I have been on a quest for several years now to be more environmentally conscious. To consume less, to cause less harm to the environment around me, to remember that everything and everyone are in fact HIS. That I am a steward, not an owner… ‘Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot.’ And the list goes on.

In the car on my way home from the cinema I suddenly realized that I was going completely against everything I believe in and subscribe to. I was ready to throw away a not even 4 year old bicycle that was broken because of my own negligence and procrastination, and that could actually be fixed! Just because I could afford to!  Ouch!

This morning I sheepishly asked if I could borrow Celine’s bike to work, since she would be taking the bus today. (She has had her bike for 7 years, and it is in perfect condition, by the way…!) And I have decided to have my ‘old’ bike fixed after all. The repairs will still be much less than a brand new bike – especially the brand new bike I had in mind. 🙂

The other lesson learned here was of course:

 

an ounce of prevention

 

And I was reminded of another of my favorite quotes:

“Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. “

No point in just saying it, and not doing it though, is there?

So here goes to fixing it up (here), and wearing it out. I will some day get a new bike. But not this week.  🙂

 

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Showing 2 comments
  • Cherina Gohjerta

    Sweetheart! I am still amazed at how you manage do all the things I never have, like bicycling,… Love to you and this was is a wise and environmentally sound decision :)Love you tons. Mummy

  • Jojo

    Thanks Mummy. I still laugh every time I think of you rolling down that hill and into the canal… 😀