the TAO of CHANGE

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Archive for December, 2008

Momentum Magazine – propell yourself into urban cycling culture

Monday, December 8th, 2008

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Now that I can’t ride my bike (because of my injured thigh muscle), all I can think about is – RIDING MY BIKE! I guess you could say I have a severe case of pedal-envy!

It’s even harder since I discovered and devoured my first issue of Momentum Magazine, North America’s Urban Cycling Culture, published in Vancouver, BC. In their own words, “Momentum magazine reflects the lives of people who ride bikes and provides urban cyclists with the inspiration, information, and resources to fully enjoy their riding experience and connect with local and global cycling communities.” That’s a nice bottom line, but what comes in-between the news on riding is exciting and fun, feeding a new collective consciousness.

I happen to catch the “Style Issue” (#35) which was super-fun and inspiring. It shed new light on bike commuting without limiting your self-expression through style. In fact, there’s a whole new world of creative fashion available if you can simply get out of the cultural box. Though some adjustments in wardrobe may be necessary for safety and comfort -and of course, a helmet completes every outfit – there is more room than you think to be yourself while you green around town on two wheels. After all, founding editor, Carmen, says, “I’ve never seen an ugly person on a bicycle.”

I was a recreational cyclist before a commuter, meaning I had my store of spandex, fleece and those ugly polyester shirts with the big back pockets. It was Summer when began my commuting and, at first, I was packing and changing clothes a lot – something that is still somewhat practical if I have an especially long distance to travel. But for my frequent shorter rides, I quickly learned I could be comfortable in my street clothes. At first I felt restricted to pants and shorts, but as Summer heat moved in, I realized that skirts/dresses of most any length were even more rider-friendly. In especially short skirts, I sometimes wear cotton knickers underneath, while my long skirts can be cinched or tied to one side to avoid the gears. I even got used to riding in sandals, though for safety reasons, do so only on casual, non-challenging routes. Most of the time, I just stuff the flip-flops in my pannier.

Along with regular features such as: letters, books, food, gleanings and The Ecstatic Mechanic, this issue had articles on Austin’s cycling culture, bike fitting and “what women want”. The photos were fantastic and plentiful — a new kind of fashion spread! I even scoured every advertisement, which told me about how much I don’t know about the gear side of riding – this stuff is irresistibly cool and ridiculously practical. Check out Momentum online at momentumplanet.com. I can’t wait to get the next issue….AND to get back in the saddle!

Slippery When WET

Friday, December 5th, 2008

I apologize for being AWOL all week. The injury from my fall on Monday really threw me off center, both mentally and physically. I’ve “visited” with many different emotions and thought patterns (a very interesting and ultiimately worthwhile endeavor) and am coming around today. Interestingly, I’ve been moving both in and out of myself, experiencing both self-pity and gratitude, sadness and euphoria, worry and confidence. At the same time, I feel more pain for the world and plight of others…

I don’t know all my lessons yet, but I’m beginning to appreciate rather than loathe the experience – is that growth?!

In the meantime, I have stockpiled a lot of good, green and other news from the week and will be back at daily posting on Monday – “see” you then!

Sincerely,Tao

Fall-out

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Sorry I’m out of commission – fell on some slippery steps (note to all – be careful out there!)

I hope the holiday w/e was filled with good. More soon. Thanks for your thoughts.

Tao



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