A Zen Teacher saw five of his students return from the market, riding their bicycles. When they had dismounted, the teacher asked the students, "Why are you riding your bicycles?" The first student replied, "The bicycle is carrying this sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!" The teacher praised the student, saying, "You are a smart boy. When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over, as I do." The second student replied, "I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path." The teacher commended the student, "Your eyes are open and you see the world." The third student replied, "When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant, nam myoho renge kyo." The teacher gave praise to the third student, "Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel." The fourth student answered, "Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all beings." The teacher was pleased and said, "You are riding on the golden path of non-harming." The fifth student replied, "I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle." The teacher went and sat at the feet of the fifth student, and said, "I am your disciple."
Weekday and weekend rides have started although at present we haven't been riding according to the club schedule. Club schedule rides will resume in May. Until then, check your club email to see who is riding and where.
This tragic event happened today in Belfast, Ireland.
Shortly thereafter, the Belfast Bicycle Club received this email:
Hello. You dont know me. I googled for belfast cycle clubs and found your web-page,
Maybe you have heard that a truck hit two cyclists on Ormeau Road during morning rush hour today, killing a 42 year old male cyclist. I dont know how badly injured the other cyclist was.
I quite often cycle this road, at the same time of day as this accident, to get to work. I nearly did cycle down there today, but as it happens I took a bus, and then when the bus was diverted I took a taxi because I had to get to an appointment. My taxi driver commented that "cyclists should be banned from the road". This really amazed and offended me, and made me want to protest for trafic courtesy and improved cycle paths in Belfast.
I wonder if it would be possible to harness the feelings that this accident will doubtless raise in the community to organise a mass cycle to work day next friday, to honor the dead cyclist and try to raise awareness that cycling is an enviromentally friendly tranpsort, saves congesion, and bikes have a right to be on the road.
I am not an "activist" type, but if there are others in Belfast who feel like I do I'd gladly join with them next Friday in trying to raise awareness of cycling road safety. I'd personally love to see as many cyclists as possible cycle down this stretch of Ormeau Road next Friday morning (I know a handful of cyclists who would jon me). And I suggest wearing flourescent safety clothes and black armbands.
This email struck me as so powerful...a strong reminder that as cyclists, we are all in this together, regardless of where we live. Please take a moment for some silence for this fallen rider from Belfast.