Rushing To A Red

I ride my bike everywhere, it’s how I get around. As a cyclist, you get a unique perspective on the behaviour of others who share the road. As we all know, there’s enough bad behaviour out there to fuel a lengthy diatribe whether you’re writing from the perspective of driver, cyclist or pedestrian. My intention isn’t to vent but rather call out a behaviour that’s undeniably ridiculous but on deeper reflection reveals signs an insidious mindset.

Even after years of riding my bike, I’m still startled by the sound a revving engine. The roar of the pistons often comes from your blind spot and you feel completely powerless as two tons of metal rips past you. It’s the name of the game when you share the road with faster moving vehicles but drivers often make the daring dash when there’s a stop light waiting for them just down the road. It only takes a few lazy pumps of my pedals to catch up to the stopped car and join the herd waiting for the light to change from red to green. Buzzing off adrenaline, it used to make me crazy that someone would put me at risk in order to make a glaringly unnecessary maneuver. Today, I’ve replaced shaking my hand in anger to shaking my head in sympathy. Why? Because it’s occurred to me that this behaviour is a microcosm of a generally shitty way to live life: blindly rushing around without consideration for your surroundings or the impact on others.

Sound familiar? This isn’t the same as the adage “slow down and smell the roses” or “the journey is the reward” — it’s a reflection on those unconscious forces that fuel an unnecessarily frenetic mindset (i.e. bum rushing the check in line at gate even through the plane is leaving at the same time for everyone) and contributes to a daily existence that always seems to be in a rush without consideration for our own well being or the well being of others.

The takeaway? Take notice of your own behaviour and identify when your brain is unnecessarily on hyperdrive, I doubt it’s doing you much good. In fact, it’s exhausting. The internet once told me that your brain only represents 5% of your body mass but it consumes 20% of your caloric intake. Your brain is already demands a ton of energy so spend your it wisely my friends.

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