Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bike Commuter From Shannon

Back in early January after a mid week post work courier meeting I was commuting home in the darkness way deep on Commonwealth Ave when I passed a random bike rider. As I rolled by I blurted out, "I never see anyone else on my commute!" The rider looked over and said, "You just never know." A few miles later I passed an unrelated second rider pictured above saying the same thing, "I never see anyone else on my commute!" His response was the same as the first, "You just never know."

At that point I dismounted and started talking to George Edwards a die hard bike commuter from near Shannon in the country of Ireland. He was on his bike wearing a classic Yellow Captain Gordon the fisherman rain slicker grinning like he had just won the lottery. As it turns out George has been coming to America from Ireland 6 months out of the year for about the past decade. He explained to me that as he got older the cold, wet and windy winter became harder to deal with so he comes to the QC in the fall and works at a restaurant until spring when he flies home for another 6 month revolution. His only transportation here in America is his trusty steel Bicycle.

I have seen this Irishman on his bike regularly since that night as recently as last week when he told me he was flying home soon for the summer. I told him that it was a positive thing I saw in him and wished him well on his travels. Just before we parted I snapped the above picture of him proudly holding his bike and in his right hand clutching the latest edition of the Irish Emigrant. As I took the picture I felt like it may very well be the last time I would see George Edwards but he has left an impression on me that I will always remember as a positive force on a bicycle in the drab urban world that has become my existence.

4 comments:

jen said...

Nice story!

AloneTogether said...

genious.

Jordy said...

total!

Jeff Stevenson said...

Hi. Please join the Bicycle to Work! LinkedIn networking group. Members pledge that they will try to ride their bicycle to work or on an errand at least once a week. Although the benefits should be obvious, let me outline them here.

Right now people in the industrialized world are facing two very grave problems: obesity and a growing scarcity of oil. Compounding this problem is the new food shortage brought about, in part, by the conversion of food cropland to bio-fuel crop production. Most people feel powerless to help, but there is one thing that we can do. Ride our bicycles to work.

If everyone would agree to ride their bikes to work one day per week we could cut oil consumption by as much as 10-15%. No one would argue that riding a bike burns more calories than driving the car. Although popular politically right now, most bio-fuels consume more energy than they produce. We would be much better to eat those bio-crops then use our own energy to transport us around.

So spread the word. Make it a movement! Bicycle to work one day a week and do your part to cut back obesity and the overuse of oil and precious cropland.

Just go to my profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreylstevenson and you can click on the group to be included. While you are there, don't forget to ask to link to my network of more than 8,000,000 like-minded professionals. I accept all invitations and look forward to meeting you.

Jeff