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Gumboot Nation: What happened to bicycle bells?

Also, get stoked for the weekend’s Creek Daze and water conservation tips wanted
roberts creek-COLUMN

Greetings Creekers! 

I don’t ride a bike. I grew up in an area where the only safe place for kids to ride was up and down our short street and my mother judged riding around a cul de sac to be an aimless activity, we were supposed to be involved in more creative pursuits. So I am a walker but cyclists and I have had many interactions over the years. Today I had a terrifying one as a cyclist came like a bat out of hell downhill, whizzing silently by, sandwiched by inches between myself and a passing car. I would like you to note the “silent” part of this experience. If cyclists think that pedestrians can hear them approaching, they are wrong, and on streets with a shoulder on only one side, we are obliged to share. It is not possible to predict if a pedestrian might stray from their predicted path. I myself have a tendency to daydream and meander and had I meandered this morning it would have been game over for me and possibly the cyclist. So here is my question for the week. What happened to bicycle bells? I never, ever see them, or more importantly hear them. Perhaps they should be mandatory like helmets and seat belts and if I can muster the energy, maybe I might start a campaign. Bicycle bells could be “cool,” must-have items. Creative entrepreneurs take note, this could be a business opportunity for you. In the meantime, the old regular ones must be available somewhere, so please get one and use it and make sure your kids do too.

Well, you would be justified in thinking that in the overall scheme of things to be concerned about, bicycle bells would not be high on the list. So, let’s talk about water. It’s at the top. No life without it. Yet, here we are in a drought and according to the figures released in last week’s paper, our water usage is going up, not down. Perhaps people are so tired of reading and hearing about the never-ending controversy surrounding our water supply systems that we have become so numb to the issue. Maybe we have put blinders on and are just forging ahead. I spent the first 60 or so years of my life taking for granted a never-ending source of clean, free water. Now I have to change a life time of water use habits. It’s not easy but I need to do it because regardless of boring water reservoir politics, we are in drought. My water conservation habits need a tune up and possibly yours do too. So, in an upcoming column I would like to print a list. Let’s put them all on it, even the obvious ones because, clearly, we need a reminder. I would like to include the various water conservation systems that people have installed and perhaps links to further information on them. So, send them to me! 

On a lighter note, Creek Daze weekend is almost upon us and it’s a great opportunity to come out and celebrate our good fortune to live here. There will be a stage with lots of great bands and food and craft stalls. If you feel the need for a respite from the action, you can head up to Slow Sunday behind the gazebo. At noon you can enjoy the Ukulele Bugs and at 12:30 p.m. Whirlwind will play some wind music followed by Antonia Robertson and Wanda Nowicki.  

Also, don’t forget the book sale! Hundreds of books at great prices will be put out throughout the day. So, shop early, often and support the library.  

That’s it for this week. Hopefully I will see many of you down at the mandala enjoying Creek Daze.  

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