“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” So the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations states. Nevertheless, some issues need more protection than others. Provocatively asked, why protect something that is universally enshrined in law?
You are not impeded; you become so only by others´ actions and perceptions. The world of transport just represents a wider cosmos of human interaction. The dream of equality is older than cycling.
We live in a world of splendid contradictions. longdistance-cargocycling.org donates (again) to artenglück.de, a purveyor of wild flower beds to save remaining bio-diversity. Generous donation for a common cause with funds generated from plenty of cargo cycling trips.
The results of our actions: expensively compensated. There appears to be a requirement to reflect their impact in the first place.
Ruptures appear, we hit the wall. No fantasys to shape the future of our World. Too many competing narratives.
Today, we tell ourselves stories that we wouldn’t believe in the future.
Entrenched in bipartisanship, unable to sense the emerging space of possibilities. My bike as a silent observer, an epitomised option for an utopian alternative modernity. Contours of those realities already appear to exist, in pictures.
Towers provide orientation. The world over, the sight of a tower symbolises refuge, identification, safety. Seafarers, worshippers, and even the odd cyclist, rely on their dominating impressions.
A beacon provides physical beams of light, a church tower offers hope for religious enlightment; and following the invitation of the latter, a cyclist might not only find sacred comfort, but also more secular distractions right in the middle of urbanism.
However, I observe an intriguingly new breed of towers, popping up at the fringes of urbanity. Slim, with spiritual symbols of its own, it appears they offer rewards of different sorts. The cyclist, coming nearer, feels like having to navigate a sea of four-wheeled gadgets full of adorers flocking to this symbol of a new religion seeking convenience and speed.
It seems, if you follow the welcome pull of one tower, you have to manage another´s repulsion.
Perhaps the voices of those who kept asking whether my initiative was economically viable and who would pay for my experiments were very loud. Or the new just didn’t want to come into the world.
It seemed to me that in 2021 I was moving in a space of efficiency, where a constant “more of the same” commercialized the cargo bikes; a drive for efficiency that requires you to optimize existing systems. We are happy about cargo bikes in the cities, but actually those very inner cities cry for help; cry for a new thinking.
But there was another space, that of functionality. In there, cargo bikes are a multiplier of sufficiency and regionality. But apparently there were no doors from one room to the other.
In a system of me (A), the public hearing (B) and the narrative (C), which moved in the field of tension between a sportiive recognition of cargo cycling, the search for commercial realization and an integral claim, surprising results emerged:
B is stubborn; B thinks A and C are messing around. B is unsure who is leading: A who focuses on sportive recognition, or C who stresses an integral claim? C is completely on the side of A.
B complains: “A doesn’t manage to put the matter into words so that B understands it”. A’s behavior makes B angry. A invited B to come along, gets a swatter.
What is needed?
For C: put your fist in your pocket, explain, offer. For B: A and C can do what they want. For A: A would have to dissemble if it got involved in B’s language