Those who wish to control their own lives and move beyond existence as mere clients and consumers – those people ride a bike.
–Wolfgang Sachs, of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and the former Chairman of Greenpeace, Germany.
I have long found it strange that we talk about “driving” cars and “riding” bicycles, when it fact it seems to me the opposite: when we operate cars, we take a more passive role, sitting (or slouching) and working the controls; whereas on a bicycle, the operator sits, stands, works every second, pedaling, and making micro-adjustments to balance and handling and interacting with the outside world directly. No glass, plastic or metal separates the cyclist from her surroundings, and every shred of power and maneuvering is her own. Therefore I think of us more as driving a bicycle while we ride in cars. And that is part of what Sachs’s statement, above, means to me.