December 20, 2011

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Dear Kathleen,

I chanced upon this site. Do you remember me from Chandigarh days?

C S Yogananda more than 2 years ago

(R)Evolutions Per Minute

Thanks so much for stopping by, Darcy, Nancy and Liz. I love when this blog becomes a conversation.

Liz, for what it's worth I absolutely think you should start the movie the way the trailer starts. You get to the biking soon enough, but the relationship and the reality of young kids and busy lives sets the stage for what's so magical about cargo biking.

I had tears -- of compassion and joy and complete understanding -- in my eyes when I first saw the trailer for (R)Evolutions. Your words as the kiddies pad into your room were so real and raw and resonated loud and clear: "I don't think I could love my kids any more..." That's such a beautiful beginning.

Thanks for telling our story!


P.S. I also love that you're wearing 'serious' biking shoes.

Kathleen more than 3 years ago

Soul-saving Cargo Bikes part 2

...Todd asks “Is the goal here to save souls or get people using cargobikes instead of cars?” Well to me they are often one and the same! To understand how this works you might have to put it in context. You know the joke that goes: “What’s the worst thing you can you do for the environment? ...Give birth to an American child!” Might be funny if it were not so true. The US system is rigged against anyone trying to live with low/no negative environmental impact. More so if you are trying to sustainably raise peace-loving, articulate, healthy kids. My twins were born the day after Obama’s historical victory in the 2008 Iowa Caucus and I was so full of hope on so many levels. I did not expect that over the next four years the US-led war/recession/climate change/takeover by the super-wealthy etc would cause me to wonder out loud if the world was falling apart and curse the day we bought our (now worthless) house on US soil!

This is why the opening of the trailer I made for the project is what some viewers have called “a downer”--“Get to the fun bike riding sooner!” they say. I tell them I wanted to be true to my experience and illustrate the transformative power of the bike (this is, after all, what inspired the (R)Evolutions per Minute project): no matter how chaotic/hysterical/stressed-out/overstimulating/conflict-ridden or just plain difficult our morning has been-- all three of us just light up and beam smiles once we start rolling down the hill on our Shuttlebug. My kids love it because it’s a blast. I love it because it’s a blast, and simultaneously —this is where the ritual becomes almost a spiritual experience—happens to be “the right thing to do”: for the planet, my town, my budget, my body, my mind, my kids. In a word: good for the SOUL. Thing is, I believe we all walk around everyday weighted down with a soul-wrenching awareness-- conscious or not—that the culture’s gone bad and we are in some way responsible. Our bodies know. In fact when you look at kids in cars vs kids on bikes it makes you wonder if perhaps—just intuitively—their little bodies have got all the tough answers already figured out.

Liz Canning more than 3 years ago

Soul-saving Cargo Bikes

Thanks Kathleen for the mention here. Love your post.
Given that Todd Edelman lives in a northern Europe city where the bicycle has been “demystified”—as Mikael Colville-Andersen (of Copenhagenize and Cycle Chic) likes to say—I’m not surprised that he would question the possibility that riding a cargo bike with kids or simply bike commuting year-round is for some in the US not only a dream come true, but a life-changing, physically empowering, spiritually enlightening and politically radical thing to do!

I suppose someday this intense bliss might be diluted by cargo bike gridlock and fighting for a spot in the bike lane or having to obey traffic lights shaped as little tiny red and green bicycles (Can you imagine? Wouldn’t it be wonderful!).
For the moment that is unfortunately not our concern. I am focused instead on channeling the great energy generated by this collective cargo bike epiphany into a crowdsourced documentary project that could spread the word. More info/get involved here:

Ross Evans, inventor and CEO of Xtracycle, added this to a Facebook group discussion on the mission of the RPM project: “A mentor once told me that people buy things for emotional reasons and justify them with rational reasons. I believe that RPM has already shown the potency of the seemingly small group of people who “get it.” Historical efforts to get people out of their cars have been based in logical andrational arguments or anger and accusation….I place my bets on these things making the biggest difference - Inviting people in to a world they didn't know existed through heart warming, inspiring, moving and beautiful imagery/video/music. Then helping them with the steps and over the hurdles of getting started and turning on their friends. It will grow from there -- and that is why I believe in the RPM project!”

Back to everybody’s favorite global bike advocate, Mikael Colville-Andersen: “Im not into cycling,” he says, “I’m into creating livable cities and the bicycle happens to be a fantastic tool for achieving that.” He goes on with a long list of the many significant practical benefits of a healthy and widespread bike culture. But what does he use to promote this? Photo after photo of sexy women in heels, hot suited men and beautiful families on bikes. These are romantic images that represent freedom, independence, authenticity and—to Americans—a boldness of character. Great advertising, as these are things our culture—or souls--are starving for.
(To be continued in second post...)

Liz Canning more than 3 years ago

The dream is a dream!

It doesn't matter what your dream is, as long as you're making it happen! OUR dream was cycling from one end of the world to the other, but I totally understand that not everyone has that dream - the important thing is that you live your dream whatever it may be!

I can so relate to the way you described the freedom and the wind in your hair. There's just something about a bike...

Nancy from Family on Bikes more than 3 years ago

Lovely Thoughts

Thanks Kathleen.

You gave me lots to think about.

Darcy more than 3 years ago

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