Did I mention interruptions? We’ll get that delivery finished. I’ll also finish the set of tasks that its early arrival set in motion. Just not today.
Meanwhile, however, I need to make a few comments about a couple of ways the world is knitted together. I’ve just read a new post on Nake-Id Knits. The larger topic is what we as individuals can do to make the world a better and more peaceful place. Titled "One Weapon in the War against Complacency," it’s accompanied by a photo of a bicycle.
There’s a lot to be said for bicycles. My daughter and I bought two of them about three weeks ago. She bought one, let me ride it when we got it home, and I had too much fun just moseying down to the park and back so the next day we got a second. When I tried out her new bike and then when I got on my own, I felt like I did when I was a kid, going to the library or a friend’s house. I didn’t feel like I had too much to do, which isn’t a sensation I’m familiar with these days.
They are scratch-and-dent Diamondback Maravista hybrids in aqua. These are not competition or touring or racing or mountain bikes, the most popular types around here. These are bikes for riding to the grocery store, library, or coffee shop.
We’ve discovered that we can get to many places. We live in a city that has a number of good bike trails, most of which have been constructed for purposes of recreation, not commuting or errands. A new bike-and-walking path just opened near our house that’s a bit different and makes this shift in our transportation choices feasible. It runs along the railroad tracks, putting a long-needed north-south corridor in place as an alternative to major arterials where it’s either illegal or idiotic to ride a bike.
At least a decade ago, I participated in Bike to Work Day even though I had to use a road bike (and was sore for a week afterward) and needed to pedal a round-trip circuit of 22 miles breathing exhaust on the side of a state highway. There was no alternate, safer route. I felt noble and mostly enjoyed the exercise, but the experience didn’t turn me back into a regular bike rider.
When I was driving a different old car than we have now—one that used to break down a lot—I carried rollerblades with me. If the car broke down on the way to work or an appointment, I’d transfer it to the repair shop under its own power or AAA’s, put on my rollerblades, and continue on my way. The problem again was a safe place to travel. Even when bike lanes are marked on the roads around here, the spaces for bikes are too narrow for me to relax and enjoy being person-powered and are completely unprotected from traffic.
We are in the process of publishing a book by Donna Druchunas about Oomingmak Musk-Ox Producers’ Co-operative and about knitting with qiviut. Unlikely as it may seem, my discussion about bicycles relates directly to this project, which we’ve been working on for several years.
Some of the towns where the co-op knitters live are seriously affected by changes caused by global warming. Newtok even needs to relocate because of radically increased beach erosion. In 2002, the Department of the Interior estimated that the land under Newtok would be completely gone by 2010. Now that’s a major interruption.
I can’t fix the problem with global warming.
One thing I can do is honor the fine work of some of the people who live there by helping to publish the book about their exquisite knitting.
And I can do just a bit more by indulging in the pleasure of leaving the car at home for some errands now that I’ve got a bike that’s fun to ride and a reasonable trail that will get me where I want to go.