The Fast Lane has been one hell of journey and a truly educational, inspirational, emotional and even spiritual experience. At first, there were the journey’s features - with rather huge daily distances to be covered, winter conditions and hours of riding in the pitch dark. I just madly love to ride my bike and see the world pass by, so no big deal about that. On the bike, I take nothing for granted and I value every single meter of the road whatever that road is, hashtag never stop riding. It was a beautiful road anyway!
Mostly, it was the mere fact I travelled with three other people that made the whole journey so highly intense. By the way, we barely didn’t know each other from before. We were riding for the same great cause and I was very much aware we shared to a very big extent the same social and political beliefs - lefties on parade!
But still, as the road, days and evenings passed by, it became obvious we were all very different - that was both a very interesting but also confrontational and particularly confusing observation. I could run from the others, but I could not hide. The interplay of four different temperaments, with different aspirations in life, inner driving forces and even raging egos (in particularly my own): in the heat of the moment, the tension was on the edge. Even in the Fast Lane microcosmos of four like minded cyclists, we all had our own truth, we all experienced and appreciated our own reality.
In the context of the demanding physical challenge of the bike ride itself and in the face of those differences between me and my great Fast Lane team mates, I got a tremendous opportunity to learn from the others, to mirror myself, to reflect upon myself and upon how I stand in this world, to recognize my own inadequacies, to rediscover and celebrate my own driving forces, to show and express empathy and compassion, to live, to love, to share! Claim the Climate Fast Lane was unprecedented food for thought.
Despite all the differences, at the end of the day and the end of the journey, the dust settled very quickly and feelings of great satisfaction, understanding and personal enrichment came in and prevailed. Moreover, it became even more clear how much an apparently simple bike ride is intrinsically related to the call for climate justice.
Keeping our planet livable for future generations is a mutual responsibility of citizens, policy makers and the corporate world. Climate justice is about behavioral change of the privileged ones and about technical and political transition. But ultimately, the so much needed changes should be mainly supported by a transition of the very minds and souls of people around the world. Humanity should basically reinvent itself and get rid of its ego and self-importance. Though it’s yet very unclear how this reinvention should exactly be happening and even with no clue if it’s really possible, I firmly believe a bike ride like the one we had can provoke some insight and stir up hope.
For me, the Claim the Climate Fast Lane was a statement against mindless consumerism, brainless superficiality, greed and imposed needs to be satisfied on-demand. It was a plea for finding common grounds and mutual understanding. It was about connection and togetherness, about everything that should not be taken for granted, about introspection, about thankfulness and appreciation and how to express it. It was about living life to the fullest at the one hand but in great modesty at the other.
Ultimately, the Fast Lane was about a search for slowness in a world in overdrive. The continuously speeding Fast Lane was as much about looking back and standing still as it was about moving forward.
In short, the Claim the Climate Fast Lane was about a lot of things and in particular about all what the transition should be about. And the greatest thing of all: it all happened thanks to the best machine ever invented by humankind. A bike, a bike, my kingdom for a bike!
Last but not least a very big shout-out to Lander, Jelle and Jan. Social involvement, carpe diem and rock ‘n roll on two wheels yes indeed! Thank you very much and keep on riding boys!
PS: below some more pictures: a best of + some previously unreleased ones!
PS2: for those who didn't know already: I had a minor crash on Wednesday - slippery roads, so that's why my face looks strange on some pictures. Thanks to the immediate good care of my teammates, I could continue cycling only 15 minutes after the crash. And yes: new, better looking and above all more efficient helmet is on the way!