“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.
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
… on the other side of the fence“, goes a popular saying.I decided to check it out in The Netherlands.
Both sides of the border: Green, lush meadows; flat land, at least in the north, in Friesland. Where’s the difference? My interest in the sweet specialties of our neighbours is pretended; actually, the food is only a side issue of my request to cycle sensibly again: When it comes to cycling, the Dutch are actually greener – in the truest sense of the word!
A biker’s paradise – the paths are wider and the surface smoother. A permanent embodiment of a real appreciation as a road user.