So I have a friend in Portland. We call her Lapis. And she belongs to a group of…well, I’m not sure what you’d call them. Bicycle performance artists? Bicyling badasses? A synchronized dance troupe? Anyway, they’re called the Sprockettes, and they are an excellent thing to see in action.
This week, the Sprockettes were featured on NPR, which is a pretty excellent thing. I’m very proud of her both for creating awesome performance art and for being on NPR, a long secret aspiration of my own. Which isn’t actually secret anymore, now. But you should check out the story and the images of the ladies on Flickr, because I think you’d agree with me that the Sprockettes (and the Zoobombers) are a pretty awesome thing.
Lapis is also a pretty mean flute player, and has been known to bicycle while trumpeting, something which may result in a ticket in some parts of the world, I’m sure.
It’s not every day that your young woman is featured on NPR, is all I’m saying. So go check her out.
She’s also an active pro-bike activist, and I think that’s an awesome thing to be in this day and age. Many people seem convinced that they cannot survive without cars, and that life would be simply implausible without one. Having lived without a car for over six months now, I can testify that it is not, in fact, impossible to live without a car.
In fact, most of the time, it’s totally awesome. I don’t worry about insurance, I don’t care about parking, and I don’t really give a fig for how much gasoline costs, except that it gets passed down to me to some extent when I purchase produce. Life is simpler and more elemental without a car–I get out and see my community more. A car seems to me now like a crippling liability, rather than a valuable asset. If only more Americans thought that way.
It’s curious to me how car ownership has become such a status symbol here. I struggled greatly with giving up my car, because I thought I was dependant upon it, and I was afraid I would be somehow naked or lost without it. Instead, I feel more clad than ever before, interacting with my world rather than walling it off behind glass and steel. At this point, I can’t imagine having one full time, although I could see participating in a car share at some point.
So the next time you see a bicyclist or pedestrian and you’re driving, I hope that you stop and wonder whether you needed to drive. You could have set aside more time and walked, after all. Or bundled your trips into one day, rather than multiple sets of inefficient errands. You might have smelled some nice flowers while you strolled down the street, run into an old friend, or seen something amazing.
You’re missing so much…won’t you come join us?