With all certainty, I sadly proclaim that my bicycle was stolen on 14 January , just a few days after I came back from India. I parked it opposite the jackfruit tree, in FEA, tied to the wall by a thick chain, like a goat tied to a tree. Despite these thick and thin locks, the person who wanted this very bike so badly, deftly managed to snaffle it by hoodwinking everyone in the courtyard. We must, proudly, appreciate his/her skill at cutting locks in broad daylight.
…I had all the perfect gear to beat the weather – raincoat, crocs, backpack cover and now, I can not but sulk. Argh. I could not say goodbye to this machine which has dutifully served me for more than a year.
We shant allow even the shadow of these treacherous beings come close to us. Lest they prey on our consciousness too. What was bothering me was that everyone accepts that it is common in Unicamp for bikes to be stolen. Complacency is the worst form of corruption.
Soon thereafter I went ahead and bought myself a folding bike (GoEasy) and a Sturdy Lock (Abus). I keep it indoors; of course, a thief may point a knife or a gun to me and snatch it very easily. I would rather pay the thief, give him/her good meals, than part with ones belongings earned through much hard labour.
Sometime ago, I made a calculation about the car use in Unicamp. Let us imagine Unicamp without cars where there are free bikes available for each department. Free bus ride from the entrance to various departments. This will substantially reduce carbon emissions every year as each person driving 5 km inside Unicamp consumes ~ 4 kWh/day on petrol (Petrol has a energy value of 10 kWh/L).
If there were 1000 people (a poor estimate) working at Unicamp, assuming all of them have a car, the energy spent idling around the roads, per day will be 4000 kWh/day. It can easily provide energy for 10 people for one year (or one person for 10 years) in Bangladesh which has a per capita energy of 321 kwh/annum (and of the lowest in the world).
Of course, calculations such as these are difficult to interpret as to produce say 10,000 bikes we will spent more fossil fuels now even though we may reap the benefits in the long run. Buses, as they are only 2.5 better than cars. Best would be to have dedicated train network powered by ethanol as the energy consumption would be four times less. (all numbers taken from Sustainability without the hot air).
Which means that people spend more time on the streets; less crime will be committed, creating more social interactions. Of course it comes at the cost of productivity as we will spend more time on the roads and some may say we are de-evolving, not going ahead. All these are valid questions and it would be important to discuss all of them. But, how do we create an opportunity to come together?