Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The new "i generation"

As you may or may not have learned, I am a high school English teacher in a small, mostly rural town in northeast Kansas. Perhaps you may not realize, but this is not a place where adults ride bicycles. At least it's not common. If an adult rides a bike, it must be for recreation, not as a viable transportation source.My students, as you might imagine, have inherited their parents' attitudes about the bicycle: it's for kids; it's a toy; don't ride a bike when you can drive; driving is a rite of passage into adulthood; only liberal kooks ride bikes.

Well, generally that is the attitude I encounter. I'm somewhat of a novelty. However, the students gradually are becoming at least curious about how much I ride and why. It could be that my example may possibly lead some of them to begin questioning why they're driving: because it's easy; because it's the "cool" thing to do; because a vehicle is an extension of my personality; because I want to fit in; because I don't know any other viable mode of transport.

If the students are slowly, grudgingly, mockingly beginning to ask questions, it could be that in the years to come students here in Kansas might finally catch on to the benefits of cycling. After all, Kansas is ideal for cycling.

With the technological innovations coming at us all in ever increasing frequency, and with the emerging green culture, it is one of the best times to cycle. So much immediate information is available at our fingertips, the cyclist rarely need feel out of pocket the way they may have felt in years past. The palm size communications systems available out there, which also make calls b.t.w., allow a cyclist to take the world with him or her when they cycle.

The i-generation gives to culture, and to the environment, and to family. The i-generation also takes care of themselves. Remember, there is no "I" in team; but, there is in bike!

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I welcome your positive, relevant comments and questions. Also, I welcome the opportunity to form a network of like minded individuals by sharing information, links, etc.