General Ride The Talk

Three days before I leave

Well, it’s now Monday and I leave on Thursday morning.

It’s hard to imagine that just over 5 months ago I got this idea that I needed to do this thing.

It’s been a roller-coaster ride with lots of soul searching, many pauses to wonder if I can actually do it and magnificent support from all and sundry.

In 3 days now I will actually be “on my bike” and riding this vision I hatched in February. Every time I think of the enormity of doing this I quail a little inside until I realise that this is something that, if I DON’T do, I would regret for the rest of my life. I don’t know how much difference I can make but it is worth trying anyway. And it has only ever been through trying that anything worthwhile has been done. Individually, our contributions to reducing our carbon footprints mean only a little but, collectively, when enough people become engaged, then it certainly makes a real difference and this makes it all worthwhile.

None of this is rocket science; a lot is simple common sense; other stuff is just re-learning what we seem to have forgotten and giving a bit of thought to how we live our lives. Much of this will also contribute to building community – that “certain something” that seems to be lacking in the fast pace of modern life – and that is worth striving for in and of itself.

At times I wonder what it will take to turn this carbon intensive lifestyle we live around. Then I come across a group of people that are working selflessly towards creating the kind of society that has the potential to lead us out of the Age of Oil. Such a group are the people involved with the Alternative Technology Association – this organisation has been working quietly towards a sustainable future for the past 30 years. For the past 22 months, I have had the honour to work with them and add my small talents to the mix. Last Thursday was my last day with them for 5 months or so and it was an emotional time for me …but I know they are with me almost every pedal along the way.

These people work tirelessly towards a sustainable future with its members in the forefront – early adopters – adding their experiences to the wealth of information available from this small but growing organisation. They are in the vanguard of change – change for the better. They show through their own experience that there doesn’t need to be a lowering of lifestyle in order to live within a carbon ‘budget’. Their membership is walking the walk and there can be no better example than living the life you know is possible.

Some live ‘off-grid’ (this used to be called ‘going feral’ but is now becoming recognised as a consciously low energy lifestyle) being self-sufficient for their energy and water needs. Others simply live a life like the rest of us but using sometimes less than a quarter the energy and water of their contemporaries. However they do it, they show by doing that it IS possible and this gives me hope that we can still turn this high carbon lifestyle that is common in today’s society around.

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