War-Free Pedaling

Paige Woodruff - Wilmington, NC

War-Free Pedaling
I don't know the ethics behind the manufacturing of my particular bike, ordered off bikesdirect.com, but I bike because I can't stand my own skin when I'm at a gas pump. It became a very strong conviction to me that the reason consumerism, including the use of fossil fuels is able to happen is because there is a demand for it from the masses. I have environmental organizing friends who taught me that the corporations are more responsible for the destructive system we're living in, but I can't shake the fact that it's all of us who keep on consuming. Sure, I'm not to the point where I've started growing my own food, so I buy all of my food from a grocery store or farmer's market. That uses oil too, but the car just had to go. In Wilmington, N.C. where I live it's not uncommon that the cars are atrocious. Cars are just atrocious. They can't help it. The biking community has made strides, but is still not respected here. So when I ride my bike I feel like a candle shining my light to anyone in cars that sees me. I'm not funding a war when I pedal my bike, but I suppose there is a war of sorts. It's a war for the planet.
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