Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Bike Commuter's Open Letter to the Motorist

Dear Motorist,

How are you doing? I hope you are doing well, so is your family. I am writing you a letter because I wanted to let you know of a few things.
On owning cars
First off, we don't hate cars. Some of us own cars too. As a kid, I am fascinated by it, and wanted to own one someday. See, we don't hate cars, we use it as a tool, as a transport, as a means of getting around. We use them to haul big things that our bikes simply can't carry. We use it to get to places and events when we need to arrive clean and not sweaty. We, bike commuters, however, prefer to use our bicycles more than our cars for a variety of reasons. We wanted to save on money. You see, a majority of us earn incomes that simply could not afford to maintain a car-centric life. You may see us riding our bikes to and from work. You may know us as "Manong" who ride beat up bicycles, with tools of our trade hanging from our backpacks. Some of us, though earning a lot more, just wanted to exercise and prefer commuting by bicycle where parking is way much easy.
On Road Sharing
We appreciate your tolerance on the road. We are slow moving and you see us as road hazards. We thank you nonetheless for being tolerant and sharing the road with us. We appreciate you not blasting your horns to hard. You give us space when passing us. There are other motorists who hate us. They cut us off, splash rainwater at us, generally being discourteous. Thank you for not being one of them. Thank you also for bearing with discourteous bike commuters who do not follow road signs. We do not condone such acts.
On Pollution
We ride on roads and are exposed to the elements. Unlike you, the motorist, we are do not have airconditioning and a roof to protect our heads from rain and the harsh sun. We appreciate if you tune up your vehicles and make sure you don't belch smoke. You may scoff at this, but you air conditioner does not shield you completely from the six common pollutants. Gases, such as carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur, pass through an air conditioner filter. Go easy on the accelerator pedal please.
On the Earth's Future
By default, a cyclist cares about the environment. We minimize greenhouse gas emissions simply by limiting the use of cars for short travel distances. We care not only for you, but for the future of your children too.
I hope you consider the points we want to convey. Again, we want to thank you for bearing with us.
We are human beings too. We maybe your father, husband, son, brother, mother, daughter, wife or sister.

Sincerely Yours,
Bike Commuter

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