– Massimo Cirrus & Sara Zambotti
We love the bike for the simple pleasure it brings to us –– the smile it puts on our faces and the way it helps us connect with our local communities.
When reflecting on the true nature of the holidays and the crazy, often violent world we live in, two Italian radio hosts are encouraging us to reflect on the bike’s role in history and its humanitarian benefits.
The hosts, Massimo Cirrus and Sara Zambotti of the Rai Radio 2 network in Italy, are nominating the bicycle for the Nobel Peace Prize. “The bicycle is an instrument of peace,” they write on their blog. “It’s the most democratic means of transportation for all mankind; it does not cause wars and pollution; and it decreases car accidents.”
While the Nobel Peace Prize is generally given to individuals or organizations, think about the bike as a messenger of peace the next time you take a spin. The bicycle helps reduce our dependency on oil, it supports healthier lifestyles, and makes our cities more livable.
The bicycle was viewed as wheels of change – a liberating vehicle by early feminist leaders. Susan B. Anthony wrote: “Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”
And the bicycle, as World Bicycle Relief admirably states, “helps people prosper” by closing the distance to schools, jobs, and sources of water and food. Watch the video below.
While we sometimes take for granted the bicycle as a democratic instrument of peace and empowerment, we also love that almost anyone can ride a bicycle – rich and poor, young and old, and yes, even Nobel Peace Prize winners. We rounded up a few examples below.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR, 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
DESMOND TUTU, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
JIMMY CARTER, 2002 Nobel Peace Prize Winner
BARACK OBAMA, 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner