Yesterday, I wish I had cloned myself or simply timed my day more effectively. As it was, I attended a school event that I am writing up for this coming week. That meant I missed WABA's New Year's Resolution Ride. So here's the report from Shane Farthing himself: http://waba.org/blog/author/shanewaba-org/
I'll be curious to see how this effort fares. Already I've seen comments in the blogosphere of cyclists who feel they're being blamed for the actions of others, etc.
I understand the frustration, but that reminds me of my days in a classroom when my (9th grade) students would complain about how I insisted on some basics: no cheating, no rudeness. Of course I'd get the "..but other people do it" argument, and lots of questions like "But why should we do x if other people won't?"
I'm grateful that for me the answer to that question is: because what I do matters most of all, to me. I mean, why wouldn't I want to be able to say that I behave in a way that --when I see it in others--I admire?
Sure, I screw up, but why not make the effort and succeed in small ways? I consider it payoff enough when a motorist shows me courtesy, when we can exchange a smile, a nod, a thumbs-up. We live in a community that I would like to see become better, safer, warmer.
Two sets of lyrics come to mind: Joan Armatrading's somewhat guarded, "Kind words and a real good heart, don't mean you get respect." And my imagined response from Elvis Costello in the song, "What's so funny about peace, love and understanding?"
Yeah, I know. I'm such a sap.