21 March 2014

The Cycling Clergyman Installment #6 or 7: You Can Do This Too!

First things first.  Now that the snow has melted, for the most part, from the roads you have no excuse not to ride to work, for errands, or pleasure.  I have been peddling for my pastoral duties now for nearly three months, with the aid of the bus and a few parishioners I've been able to fulfill all of my pastoral duties, picked up some much needed exercise, and gained some intimate knowledge about my community, especially the potholes.

So what are you waiting for.  April is 30 days of biking month here in Minnesota, why not take the challenge?  Here is a sharp little video to help you along.


I have had to take a break from my 40 days of Lenten prayers for the earth.  Why?  I couldn't separate my anger from the prayers.  I am aware of anger and the psalms, but it's not that, in fact I am praying those psalms instead.  This will take some theological wrestling on my part (post-Easter).

Perhaps you recall when the new cathedral was built in Los Angeles.  They purposefully built it next to a highway, highways being the rivers of the 21st century.

I often think about that statement, roads as the rivers of transportation today.  I think it every day I ride over the I35Wbridge (35W, a transportation misnomer, for only North South routes are to be labeled in odd numbers, but in Minnesota I-35 splits one corridor to MPLS (35W) and one corridor to St Paul (35E).  I still bristle at this.  Nevertheless, every time I cross 35W (I live in Mpls) I envision the terrible river of traffic.  Terrible because it is a river that at times overflows, but most of the time barely trickles. 

Imagine in half the cars on the road were replaced by mass transit and bikes?  What if the hauling was primarily done via rail?  What if Americans were more intentional about the way we planned our days and managed our trips?  What would the river look like then?  

We'll never be a car free society.  We need autos get from A to B, because not every place is accessible via public transit (have you ever tried to get a week's worth of groceries on the bus, or a couch, or a few 2 x 4s?), and there are emergencies (like when a kid calls sick from school, a parishioner is about to die and wants/needs you there to pray with/for them, & etc), and what about state parks (can you imagine hauling a week's worth of camping supplies on the bus to a state park?  can you even get to a state park via public transit?)  Yet, if we could change our habits slightly we could make huge differences concerning the burning and usage of fossil fuels.  

Maybe Mpls could reclaim a few lanes of 35W, maybe "the river" could be covered with green, thereby linking the communities.  

No comments: