Τρίτη, 23 Σεπτεμβρίου 2008
Μια επιστολή για τον Ian Hibell...
Διαβάζοντας στη Daily Mail για το ατύχημα του Άγγλου ποδηλάτη, βρήκα ένα σχόλιο από την ανιψιά του Ann Hibell, ότι θα γίνει μια μικρή τελετή στο Devon της Αγγλίας εις μνήμη του στις 27/9.
Θεώρησα, πως οι ποδηλάτες όλης αυτής της χώρας και όχι μόνο, έπρεπε να μιλήσουν, να πουν κάτι σε αυτούς τους ανθρώπους... Πως, σε αυτή τη χώρα δεν είμαστε μόνο κάφροι αλλά και πολλοί άλλοι που προσπαθούμε, ο καθένας με το δικό του τρόπο, να κάνουν κάτι, ν' αλλάξουμε λίγο τα κακώς κείμενα....
Συνεννοήθηκα με τα παιδιά από τους ΠΟΔΗΛΑΤισσΕΣ, έγραψα ένα κείμενο στα Αγγλικά και αφού μίλησα με την πρεσβεία και το κανονίσαμε, στείλαμε το παρακάτω κείμενο στην οικογένεια, ώστε τουλάχιστον οι άνθρωποι να ξέρουν ότι κάποιος και από εδώ τους σκέφτηκε.
Δεν είναι όμως μόνο ο Άγγλος... Είναι και άλλοι συμπατριώτες μας, όπως ο Νίκος πατέρας 3 παιδιών που δεν θα είναι πια μαζί μας... Ετοιμάζουμε κάτι και για αυτούς... Ίσως μια οικονομική στήριξη...
Γιατί η ποδηλατική αλληλεγγύη είναι για τη ζωή, για τη συνέχεια, για τον άνθρωπο.
Dear family and friends of Ian Hibell in Devon, UK.
It's really hard to try and find some words to describe our sad feelings for a unique person like Ian, who made cycling a passion, who chose this simple and yet so rewarding mechanical construction, to discover the amazing world we live in. Ian Hibell, symbolized for all of us, the free spirit embedded in the philosophy of cycling, a feeling that unites us in a common secret, an unbelievable sense that makes you want to carry out cycling despite the difficulties and dangers out there.
He was a brave man, because first of all he took the step to live his life uncompromised, chased his dream and lived life to the full. He left his comfort zone of job security and daily normal life to step outside of his Devon window, to the big, extraordinary world. He did that using the most reliable, “polite” and peaceful mean of transportation equipment around the world.
And in doing this, he gave to all of us an exceptional message: in a time that world cultures and nations seem to be in trouble still understanding each other and people still suffer from wars, poverty, hunger, racism and hatred, his lonely cycling path all around the globe, was a route of reconciliation, of getting to know the person next to you or across the globe. Of actually getting into real trouble and doing this. A message of hope that he passed in any given circumstance to us and most importantly, our children. The citizens of tomorrow need people like Ian to awake them from the sleepy societies they grow up.
We, the Cyclists (in actual Greek, “Podilates”), were formed in Athens some years ago, as a citizens activist group, to raise awareness of the Greek state, local councils and drivers to the rights and needs of cyclists in a country that needs to do so much more to become a civilized state that respects the fragile nature of the bicycle. We struggle for our right to exist, our right for proper infrastructure, laws and respectful behaviour of Greek drivers. Incidents like Ian’s, prove, unfortunately in the most erroneous way, the neglect of our authorities and driving culture. It is not easy. We know. We are swimming against the stream here, but things are slowly changing and legacies left behind by persons like Ian, unite us and give us more courage and will to continue our struggle.
We felt that we had to offer you our deepest condolences and to remind you that they are many Greeks who felt so bad about this unfortunate event that was to happen here.
This past Sunday, 21/9/2008, we organized as we usually do, an Athens Bike Protest Rally, dedicated to all the cycling victims in our country. A white painted bicycle, a so called "Ghost Bike" as it is commonly known in the cyclist movement around the world, symbol of unique souls, was left outside the Ministry of Public Construction and Plans, as a tribute to all those cyclists that were so unfortunate. Ian included. A moments silence was observed, by more than 1500 cyclists, as a respect for Ian and all the Greeks who have left this world.
The placard itself reads:
"Since I was a child I wondered, who is the strongest, the one who hits or the one who hurts? In memory of all the cyclists, who sacrificed their lives on the altar of reckless driving behaviour and poor infrastructure..."
God bless their souls.
Ian, continue to cycle up there. You are a leader!
An urban cyclist, on behalf of "PODILATissES"