Friday, April 25, 2008

May you live in interesting times


Well, Gary Duke just can't get a break. After his (classic!) bike store was utterly destroyed in the big fire in downtown Toronto this winter, he is now being charged $48 000 to finish the demolition.
It ain't easy being a cyclist.

Careful readers know that I moved from Toronto to Orillia this past autumn. When I lived in Toronto, and was riding a lot with theToronto Bike Network, I used to bike about 15 km north on Yonge (i.e. yucky city cycling) just to get to Finch station, where I met the other TBN guys, and then we would ride another 15km or so just to get out of the damned city and hit a country road.

Now, in Orillia, I have a little 1.5km pedal down a street and across a bridge, and it's country roads as far as the eye can see. The only drawback is that a good chunk of them aren't paved, so until I know my way around I might do my exploring on my cross bike and leave the new Trek for when I ride with the bike shop guys.

When I was younger, and writing a lot of fiction, I used to lament the fact that I lived in a boring era, and that I didn't have a chasing wolves into mexico or a Eastern Europe under Communism type of experience to write about.

But every day that passes right now, I am increasingly thinking that our civilization is about to experience an upheaval of societal and planetary consequences. It's like we're living in a tree house, and a number of factors are working together to cut down the tree.

In our lifetime… we will have to deal with a peak in the supply of cheap oil.
National Geographic Cover Story, 2004.

cheap oil

National Geographic. The End of Cheap Oil.
Globe and Mail. CIBC's Jeff Rubin - gasoline at $2.25 a litre by 2012.


The era of cheap food is over.
Economist Magazine Cover Story, 2007.

economist

Economist. The Silent Tsunami.
Globe and Mail. Why grocery bills are set to soar.

P.S. - May you live in interesting times is an ancient Chinese blessing, and curse.

1 comment:

Anil said...

I know you never liked the city all that much Chris, but I think your time in Orillia is making your memory fuzzy. Admittedly, Yonge St. is yucky city cycling, but there is a small level of respect and recognition for cyclists in the city that is largely absent in the "country." Almost everytime I've cycled on a country road I've had a steady stream of motorists telling me to "get the F!#$ off the road" or "this road is for cars." I'll take yucky city cycling any day over that type of ignorance.

Hope to see you soon!