Sunday, 18 May 2008

Positive thoughts

Weblogs provide excellent reading around the subject of bike culture, bike use , cycle sport or cycling technology. There's something for almost everyone interested in learning a little more about cycling. A lot of the blogs have a similar slant to Psychalist in that they providing examples of good things about cycling in the hope it rubs off on people. They provide a perspective that perhaps counters some of the negativity that people think about when considering whether to use a bicycle more, and then don't.

The many scare stories and negative press can easily make any of us think that cycling is fraught with dangers and drawbacks such as having your pride and joy pinched, damaged or getting injured etc. Sure, bad things can happen and do, but only in a proportionate way to any other activity. Strange but true, drivers and passengers don't generally consider the worst scenarios when travelling by car but would do so when asked about riding a bike. Indeed many discount the dangers of the road and don't wear a seat belt.

It is shocking to hear of a tragedy on the roads. Nearby, north of Blackburn, there have been too many tragic incidents in recent months. I'm shocked and saddened to hear of car or cycling crashes or any other road traffic incident. The local paper this week had stories of one motorcyclist and one cyclist killed. Both apparently were experienced riders.

This type of news, though shocking, should not stop anyone partaking of an activity. It should perhaps focus their mind to potential dangers but in a positive way. By making the right decisions and reducing danger we can all learn to enjoy riding in a safe manner. These relatively isolated incidents are unquestionably serious but relatively rare. All the successful journeys are not reported so it is easy to get a skewed perspective. It makes being positive more difficult but not impossible. Understanding these incidents is one thing but dwelling on them fosters an unbalanced viewpoint.

Dave Moulton, an ex-pat retired bike frame builder, recently posted about the power of positive thinking and provided examples of what happened to him when he was thinking negatively and positively. These are not just examples for riding bikes but for all aspects of daily life. Philosophy with a cycling angle if you like. Well worth a read.

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