That’s certainly true. I’ve just read in the Cycling UK ‘Cycle Clips’ Friday newsletter (in which the new episode of The Cycling Europe Podcast gets a mention…) that Chris Boardman (who gets a mention in the previous post) has sold his car. I lived without a car for about 5 years when I lived in Reading and worked in Henley-on-Thames. I managed just fine but it was always – and it remains – a struggle to persuade most people that normal life is possible without having a car sitting outside your house. I remember the caretaker at the school in Henley asking me one morning if I was still cycling to work as if it was something out of which I would grow. It took a move to Yorkshire and a decision to become a supply teacher to persuade me to buy a car again but during lockdown I do wonder why I pay for an annual £350 service, hundreds of pounds of petrol, insurance, repairs…
I digress. It’s not easy being green. But it is possible and since the start of 2020, Caroline Burrows has being writing a daily poem on that very theme. Recently she has also been producing a video anthology of the poems, inviting different people to read one of her poems on camera. Last week she asked me and I was happy to oblige with verse 65:
My old panniers and a discarded rack,
I put on another’s bike, then out on the cycle track,
They need some sewing and a little repair,
But it’s all good as new with some love and care,
It’s not easy being green; It’s good to mend stuff and share.
I’m determined to minimise the number of times I use the car in July and August. I’ve successfully not used it for three days. Around 59 to go. It’s not easy being green. But it is possible and it is worth the effort.
Caroline Burrows – who you can follow on social media @VerseCycle – appeared in episode 013 of The Cycling Europe Podcast:
P.S. I drive a 2014 Mini Cooper, not a vintage Mercedes Benz.
OK, this is what you’ve come here to see. I give up…