There are two types of people in the world: Doers, and talkers. Talkers are brilliant at coming up with big schemes and discussing them for hours and then coming up with bigger schemes and discussing them for hours. Doers get stuff done.
I went to a cycle event on Saturday morning at 8am, organised by my friend Claire, who is a doer. Claire is sick and tired of how we as a country are dead set on ignoring climate change, she is annoyed that the council claims to want to make Wellington carbon neutral yet seems to do nothing about it but come up with grand schemes for sometime in the future. Our council, on this issue at least, are talkers.
So Claire organised this bike event. She invited the local Mayors and councilors and a bunch of cyclists and people like me who are normally too terrified to brave our streets on a bike and we were meant to catch the train from Wellington to Petone, then bike back. Basically Claire wanted to show our council and our Mayor what it is actually like for cyclists in Wellington (paying a full adult fare for carrying a bike on a train so that your daily train fare for one person is more than the cost of driving and parking, having to bike along one of our TWO roads out of the city on the half meter of road allocated to bikes while trucks and buses whistle by at 100kms an hour, having cars honk at you because the lights for cyclists last literally 10 seconds and you end up right in their path… You get the point)
So our Mayor came along before going to pull a publicity stunt at the major bike the bays event on later in the day. She was asked to give a speech about biking in Wellington and despite being part of our land transport committee or whatever it is, and despite campaigning successfully on the back of a Carbon Neutral platform for two terms running, the best she could come up with when asked why the council was allowing our bike paths to remain so substandard they pose real risk to bikers was ‘well we talk about it at every meeting. I can assure you, it is brought up at EVERY meeting.’
I can tell you that one of the proudest moments I have had recently was looking at all these people who talk the big talk and spend their lives convincing people of how much they are going to do some day, and comparing them to MY friend, who simply got her act together and did it.