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. 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!