As a European, I believe in the power of movement and freedom to travel where ever you want without any borders. However, I am asking myself if the car, which in most cases is the preferred way to exercise our „right“ to travel to and from places, is the result of a lack of alternatives or due to our over-consumerism and the desire to own your own car. I envision an urban life like in Copenhagen or Utrecht, where people rather ride their bikes everywhere instead of having a car as their status symbol. After all, a human on a bicycle becomes the most efficient animal, topping the Andean Condor (Wilson, 1973).
So why is a low cost, emission free, physical & mental health improving vehicle not our standard? Is it our physical ability that is stopping us or the societal condemnation we fear if we show up to any event in sweaty bike clothes? You could argue that cycling is only possible in urban environments and not applicable for rural areas, but maybe it is not the distance or physical strain that is holding us back, but our thinking to prefer far away places over our local villages & forests. Even though my vision of a cycling heaven in every city or a societal change towards a more sustainable and healthier mode of transport is unlikely, there would be many alternatives to every household having its own car(s). But because life sometimes isn’t only about idealism and efficiency, I want to close this with a quote from J.F. Kennedy: “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride”