Respect Your Wheels

Imagine, for a moment, that you’re a pedestrian through and through. You’ve never owned a car, truck, van, or SUV, and you’ve worn holes in the soles of your Foot Locker shoes from walking everywhere you need to go. Because of this, your range is severely limited. You can’t always get where you need to go, you’re often late, and walking to and from a hard day of work leaves you exhausted. Then, as if by divine intervention, or black magic, you’ve been a car and the ability to drive it. How do you feel? If the answer is not “incredible, thanks for asking,” I”m a bit disappointed. After all, a set of wheels is instrumental in our modern worlds for just about everything. Have we as a society lost track of that basic fact? Have we ceased to be grateful for this technological marvel that so recently revolutionized all of human civilization? I think we have.

Speaking as someone who only recently upgraded from pedestrian to cyclist and has still never owned a car due to poverty, I can say that people are entirely too indifferent to the fact that they own and operate what would look like magic to our recent ancestors. The automobile, in and of itself, was like catching lightning in a bottle. The reinvention of the wheel, both literally and metaphorically. To add to the grandeur we all take for granted, cars, for the most part, are fueled by the remains of long dead dragons. Well, dinosaurs, but who’s counting?

To avoid ranting and raving and rambling any longer, let me summarize thusly: Next time you get behind the wheel of your ride, remember that we’re not all so lucky, for one thing, and also that the machine that grants you near limitless freedom is the result of some truly spectacular engineering that took us as a species thousands of years to stumble upon.