When sustainability gets tough…
Back in the (work) saddle today after a wonderfully lengthy August break in Belfast and latterly Wensleydale, Yorkshire. Speaking of saddles, I took my bike with me to enjoy the glorious countryside of the latter. And those U-shaped glacial valleys give the cyclist plenty of challenges – I did the Buttertubs pass as featured on the Tour de France earlier in the summer, the more difficult climb to Fleet Moss from Hawes (supposedly one of the 10 most difficult in the UK) and plenty of even steeper backroads like the one above by Semer Water which I climbed 3 times all told.
It is said that major cycle races are won on the climbs, not the descents. I try to remember this at work all the time and I strongly believe it applies to sustainability practitioners in general. We are trying to facilitate change on a massive level, often against prevailing short-term trends and some bizarre prejudices (the bile of the anti-cycling lobby is downright frightening). But it is the organisations and entrepreneurs who attack the climbs with gusto that will win in the long term.
That’s not to say we should make life difficult for ourselves – expert cyclists know which gear to choose, when and what to eat and drink and subtle variations in cycling position. In the same way, sustainability techniques such as my own Green Jujitsu will help you facilitate change much more easily, just like riding a lighter bike will help you climb faster.
But we shouldn’t shy away from those big steep climbs – they are the road to success. Relish the challenge!