Love in the teenies

I’ve noticed lots of ‘love’ messages around recently. Maybe it’s a Christmas thing. This picture is of Carnaby Street’s Christmas decorations. But I’ve also seen ads asking us to love our office (Clerkenwell), love your bank (Earls Court) and there’s the great Waltham Forest ‘heart’ recycling campaign designed by my friend Emily Wilkinson while at Futerra.

According to The Sunday Times ‘love’ is going to be a big theme of the teenies (the follower of the noughties). At number 18 in their 50 trends for the coming decade they pronounce that ‘Love is the new happiness’. They say: “this isn’t about smug, coupled-up bliss – more a big-hearted approach to work, money, family, community, even politics.” Sounds good to me.

As you may have gathered from this blog, I love my bike. This Christmas I haven’t been able to ride for various reasons including icy conditions and the fact that rail-replacement buses and bikes don’t mix. Instead I’ve been seeking mental escapism.

For my older brother’s Christmas present I bought him the latest issue of The Ride journal which I secretly wanted for myself but figured that three days at his would give me ample time to flick through it. Recommended it by a friend and old colleague Dave, a wise city cyclist, I’ve really enjoyed reading every issue so far. The articles are just the right length, the visuals beautiful, the stories inspiring, the contributors passionate people who happen to ride bikes, and the content varied enough that every kind of rider will find something for them.

I found myself identifying most with an article titled ‘The Chase’ written by Tammy Thorne from Toronto who is the editor-in-chief of a bike magazine called Dandyhorse. She describes her love of two wheels…

“I love that I am responsible for my actions and myself. I love that my method of transportation is responsible to the environment we all share, and does minimal harm to an already damaged earth. I love that it keeps traffic flowing. I love that it keeps me fit and sun-dappled. I love the speed and freedom.

I really love all the stops I can make on my way home. I can fill up my pannier and basket with groceries from the market, return library books, pick up dry-cleaning and maybe a bottle of wine for later, and a fresh homemade loaf of bread. I love that I can detour and chase a fixie boy who thinks he’s faster than me. I love that I meet new people and talk to old friends on my commute every day. I love that sometimes I am late for work because of it.

I’ll keep chasing through the city to improve safety on the streets, especially at the intersections and underpasses. But I’ll also chase fast boys on bikes, cold beers in parks and my imagination, to make this city a better, more beautiful and more bike-friendly place…

I love riding my bike. And I love the chase.”

I can’t put it any better. I love all of it too. Bring on love in 2010. May bikes become the new happiness.

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