While listening to reports on climate change from the G-8 Summit in the midst of our own drought and heat wave, I'm drawn to my bicycle.
I was inspired by the art cars in the Houston Art Car Parade this May, and I decided that since I don't own a car, I could make my bike into an art bike. A peace bike. It would be the perfect opportunity to ride with a message: peace is green.
The 4th of July was a good target date for getting the bike spruced up, since our neighborhood planned a block-long parade with decorated bikes, dogs and kids. I was the oldest kid out there.
Later that evening, my partner and I rode our bicycles down to Auditorium Shores for the fireworks, and the next day, we rode downtown again to Mellow Johnny's for the Tour de France celebration where others came with decorated bikes, too. So far, the peace bike has had a warm reception.
Having an art bike makes it even more tempting to hop aboard the bike when I've got to go out. It's been fun loading it on the bus, too.
I feel as though I'm following in the wheels of my dad, who still, at age 81, rides his bicycle for as many errands as he can around the town where he lives in Wisconsin. Amazingly, he still rides the 3-speed Schwinn bike that he bought from a college student in about 1959 -- 50 years ago! He rode that bike almost every day to his office at the college where he taught for 30-some years, and used it to do errands then as he does now. He has never used a lock for his bike, and it's never disappeared from where he's parked it.
I am co-coordinator of Sustainable Options for Youth (Nonmilitary Options for Youth) in Austin, Texas. The Sustainable Options for Youth blog describes activities of SOY in the schools and includes information about other work like ours around the country. Wage peace!