Cycling Along The Way...

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Silver City, NM, United States
Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?

Friday, August 16, 2013

TEXTING WHILE DRIVING...Watch The Video, Please.

"Today you are You, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer than You."
~Dr. Seuss

"We are always doing something to cover up our basic existential anxiety.  Some people live that way until they die." 
~Joko Beck, Author, Zen Teacher

Chose two quotes for this post today.  I watched Werner Herzog's short documentary about texting and driving...and the consequences.  Yes, the video is here for you to watch, should you decide to.  It's well done, with a powerful impact, yet, if my sense of these things is similar to anyone else's, shortly after watching it, the impact will diminish quickly for most people.  In no time, those who watch it will move on with their lives in their own way, trying to deal with the constant existential anxiety that permeates life.  That's why I chose Joko Beck's quote.

The Dr. Seuss quote is something very different, in my mind, because it's a truth that is self-evident.  People can debate existentialism.  No one, however, is "Youer than you" than you are.  Events in life prove this day after day.  Those people killed in Egypt.  Irreplaceable.  Sure, the population there, and in the world, will continue to grow, biology works that way, but THOSE people are irreplaceable.

For me, that's the impact of Herzog's documentary.  The manner in which the people who are affected in this video is cyber.  But the fact is, the people who are killed by those cyber junkies are irreplaceable.  We all must die at some point, but like this?  Well, yes.  That's life.  The strange and myriad ways in which we kill each other or die is unlimited.  Don't drink and drive.  Don't drive when you're tired.  Don't drive for so many hours at a time.  Don't climb that mountain.  Don't cross the street without looking both ways first.  Don't jump out of that plane.  Don't go off to war.  I could go on.

As a cyclist, I realize that I'm at risk every time I get on my bike and head out onto a roadway where there are vehicles that can kill me in a heartbeat.  To be killed by someone who's texting?  How ridiculous.  What could possibly be so important that somebody has to be texting and driving?  Surely there's a technology to disable mobile devices unless a vehicle is stopped and in park mode?  True, we can't be saved from everything.  But this is very feasible.  My realization of the reality of being killed by a driver of a vehicle comes from the very nature of sharing a roadway with said drivers.  I accept that.  Eileen knows that, should I be killed while touring or just out on my bicycle, it's one of the ways that I'd want to die.  Doing something that I love to do.  No, I don't want to die because some person, no one different from me or you, did something stupid, but it happens.  We can reduce unnecessary deaths caused by this new, cyber form of stupidity and enjoy the very uniqueness of the person, who wasn't killed because you opted not to text someone while driving, for a bit longer.  My hunch is that it'll take legislation to be enacted that will force the auto makers to install a blocking device rather than rely on the goodness of human beings.

Ok, here's the video.  Do yourself a favor and watch it.
Now, how do I choose a song to exit from this post?  Damn.  Here goes..."Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry.  Really?  Yes, really.  In looking back at my younger days, I knew that we, like those today, liked to have a good time, took unnecessary chances, and did stupid things that sometimes resulted in someone dying.  Several friends of mine are dead because...well, for no good reason, I can assure you.  But what we were doing then seemed ok at the time until we realized that life can change in a moment.  The existential anxiety and the irreplaceable reality of another human being.