Monday, March 06, 2017

Activism And Downtime

Some folks think breaking glass on the sidewalk is funny. I don't.
I've been commuting to work on pretty much the same route for over a decade now, and I've seen my fair share of things. Glass, debris, odd ball things, and dead animals. The thing that gets my fur to stand on end though is the glass that people deliberately break on sidewalks and bicycle trails.

I just nearly destroyed a brand new Panaracer Gravel King SK last year because someone thought it would be a good idea to smash a liquor bottle smack dab in the middle of a corner which is blind coming from a lower elevation side. I've seen glass busted up on sidewalks in my neighborhood where kids are playing and where people walk dogs.

Not cool people. Not cool.

So, I have a Facebook friend who lives in Des Moines, and she commutes by bicycle. She posted a bit about how she cleaned off a bicycle trail where someone had busted some glass. After a bit of back and forth, she inspired me to do the same thing. So, Saturday I took my son, a dust pan, and a whisk broom along with a couple of plastic shopping bags and we cleaned off some sidewalks in our neighborhood.

That danged clear glass is hard to see!
I don't want to make it seem that I am some kind of do-gooder, special guy because I did this. What I am trying to do is to get someone else on board with being an "activist". I know that often we hear the word and think, "marching in the street, protester, weirdo anti-government type", and maybe that's okay if you are doing that. But that's the point- doing something

It is easy to bitch and moan about trails being rutted out, that you don't have a bike rack to park where you want one, or to be like me and bitch about glass on the way to work. It is quite another to put your gripe into gear and act on it. That's what activism is. Doing something about a problem.

So, thanks to that Facebook friend in Des Moines for showing me I was being silly for not actually doing something. It was easy to do, and solved a problem for me, and I was able to use it as a teachable moment for my son as well. Bottom line- get off yer butt, kwitcher bellyachin', and do something about it. It doesn't have to be a big deal. Just doing something is better than talking about it and doing nothing.

But please- don't go about trail maintenance on single track without speaking with those tasked to oversee the trails! They would love your input and even more so- your work efforts- to make a difference. Nuff said.

That was pretty much the extent of my weekend's cycling activities as I contracted a head cold Friday or so and by Saturday evening I was pretty much toast. Of course, Sunday it was awesome outside for cycling, but I had to sit it out on the sidelines. Gotta rest up, kick this in the booty and out of my body, and then get after it.

In the meantime, I'll just take it easy and sip on another Lemon tea with honey whipped up by Mrs. Guitar Ted to aid in my recovery.........

1 comment:

S Sprague said...

And our kids teacher gives class credit (they have a classroom economy) to all the students in class for picking up garbage around our river parkway or anywhere in public areas. Our boys have been to organized trash pick up days at the parkway and parent supervised random pick up days on the parkway. You've given my more places for the boys to clean up around our neighborhood where they bike.

Thanks GT!