Maltese cyclist handing in his car’s number plates

Joe, a 35-year-old native Maltese citizen is daring to give up his beloved car and make cycling his commuting medium of choice. After getting frustrated in the “back to school traffic” around two years ago, he rode his bike to work and never looked back since.

Joe ended up using his car perhaps twice a week on the weekends. During our interview, he told Word of Osiris that “the cost to keep [the car], compared to the benefits, did not justify keeping the car”. Many react in disbelief to his decision, but after some consideration, they see eye to eye on the matter. He definitely recommends cycling to work for anyone living within 6 to 10km from their workplace. Having shower facilities available would be the cherry on the cake. He added “it only takes me two minutes longer cycling than driving to work in normal traffic. In comparison then [sic], driving to work in the “back to school traffic” take me twice as long as it takes me when I cycle”.

Therefore, Joe is handing over the number plates to his personal car, only keeping a shared family car for errands.

Talking with Joe about cycling in Malta, he sincerely recommends staying sharp while cycling and “kind of expect the worst so you might be able to anticipate a situation before it is too late”. Having said that, he also acknowledges that there are hundreds of motorists who show cyclists respect. He continues by saying that many infrastructural initiatives are “impractical to say the least and at times down right [sic] dangerous”. Joe argues that cyclist safety is always a compromise and never a priority, and when cyclists choose not to use precarious infrastructure they are labeled as downright law-breakers, ending up giving “a wrong message to motorists”.

In a spree of sincerity, Joe told us that he doesn’t think Malta will become a bicycle haven anytime soon. He encourages the practice of teaching children the benefits of cycling and introducing government incentives for employers who install showering facilities in their workplace. With these initiatives we could hope for more bicycles on the road, and the dismantling of the ever-looming traffic gridlock.

As a friend of Joe once asked him “…why on a country so small we [sic] need to go everywhere by car when we are barely the size of a large city”. Cycling helped Joe lose weight, improved his metabolism, while also giving him a sense of accomplishment once he arrives at work.

For the European Mobility Week, try change your habits and explore other alternatives.

Grab your bicycle, and whizz off.


Big thanks goes to Joe for taking time to answer our questions. The whole interview can be viewed here


Featured Image: www.wikipedia.org

Answering the age old question…

For centuries great philosophers have battled to solve this question. Even Deep Thought spent 10-million years pondering about it in the book by Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

What is the meaning of life?

Seems quite ambitious to write down an answer in a couple of hundred words, but here’s my take on it.

For most, life is a struggle. Work, family, social pressures are all daily battles we are confronted with. A film springs to mind, one starring Will Smith, ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’. How many the struggles, life seems worth for those happy moments, the simple pleasures in life. We just want to be happy, and some go as far as to claim it is all they want in life.

Thirty seven

Is happiness all we strive for? Is the pursuit of happiness the key to give meaning to our lives? For me it certainly isn’t. While being happy on this earth is definitely something we all strive for, there is definitely more to it.

We must dig deeper and understand why we want to be happy. We’re happy when we or someone at heart manage to fulfill their heart’s desires. Be it financial security, having a relationship with a long time crush or scoring a high score in Tetris, they are all indelible marks in our future. While bragging rights on high scoring tetris doesn’t get you far, having money and a soul mate are all signs of a brighter future.

Our future takes centre stage when making many existential choices. For me, making our future promising is the crux of living life. While pleasure and happiness are fleeting, being a positive change can outlast our mortality. Be it to yourself, your kids, workplace or the entire planet, your efforts will make a difference.

Some call it acting on ‘God’s will’, improving your karma, or straight up doing ‘the right thing’; call it what you want but, being in the driver seat to a positive and evergreen future definitely breathes meaning into your days, months and years.

 

Featured photos: ‘In deep thought?’ by Andreas Eldh

What inspires us?

The monotony of the every day life is something we all face at some point or another. Everything becomes routine, everthing becomes mondain. We all need that something to tickles our brains, and make life gleam with interest.

Inspiration (noun): the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

As a full time laboratory analyst, compliance is the name of the game. I have to be creative elsewhere and this is why I started this blog in the first place. Our creative nature drives us to accomplish something we are proud of. It could be a sunset or a fast lambo which triggers you to grab a brush and paint or open the business you always dreamt about opening.

Yet most of us need an external catalyst. Youtubers, sportsmen, colleagues, friends and family are your weavers of inspiration, your role models. From this stems the importance of surrounding yourself with great people. Go-getters will always open your eyes to how much more you can do.

We are still missing the last piece of the puzzle. The cherry on the cake. The focus of all inspiration goes into aspiring for awesomeness , greatness, beauty, or success. You want to get that rush and overwhelming feeling of satifaction after you have achieved your goal.

Therefore remember, if the journey to greatness has a long learning curve, keep your inspirational catalysts close and never forget why you started in the first place.

If you feel inspired, don’t hold it in.