Sunday, March 16, 2008

Why Bike Transportation? Reason #10


[Over the next month or two, I will attempt to define a "Top Ten List" of reasons why bicycling is my choice in day-to-day transportation, roughly in order of importance. Let's get started.]

Reason #10 – "Unrighteous Pride"

Pride is a dangerous emotion.

Ezra Taft Benson explains it this way: "Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We are tempted to elevate ourselves above others and diminish them. The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: 'Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.'"

Cyclists regularly get accused of snootiness. Criminy! They ride around on those bikes like they're better than everybody else!

And why not?

They're convinced they're socially superior to all those selfish car-driving slugs, because Algore says so. He says that by giving up the car, they will help delay global meltdown by a few more minutes.

They feel mentally superior, because they haven't fallen for the Madison Avenue TV claptrap that you need a sweet new car (or SUV or pickup) in order to be happy. Those people in their cars, jockeying for position in the daily rat-race? They kinda seem like scurrying rats in a maze. (The stupidest are obviously the ones who punch the gas, so they can be the first ones to the next stop light!) Plus – it takes a certain amount of mental toughness – call it "will power" – to get out there and turn those pedals every day, when it would be so easy to just turn the key, crank on the A/C, and step on the gas.

They obviously feel physically superior. Those balding midlife-crisis guys in their red Corvettes? Those rugged, working-class "git 'er done" macho types, driving around in noisy pickup trucks so high that you need a stepladder to get in? They look like girly-men from the saddle of a bicycle, particularly on a blustery day!

Prideful sentiments indeed. I'm not saying Reason #10 is a good reason to enjoy the bike-transportation choice… but it's a reason.

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