18 January 2008

Motto at the bottom, advocacy

Someone (hi) finally asked me about the Latin motto at the bottom of this blog:

Crescat bicicleta, vita excolatur.

Technically it doesn't mean anything--the Romans didn't ride bicycles, so I had to borrow the Spanish word "bicicleta." But I don't know enough Spanish to translate the English gerund "bicycling." On top of that, I don't know Latin at all. If my cobbled-together pseudo-Latin translates literally into anything, it's probably quite ridiculous. I did attempt to consult someone who does know Latin, but he kept insisting that Romans didn't ride bicycles and came up with some cumbersome phrase for "self-powered two-wheeled cart with an occupancy of one" or something like that.

But anyway, it's not meant to be taken literally, it's meant to be a play on the pithy and elegant motto for the University of Chicago:

Crescat scientia, vita excolatur.

"Let knowledge grow from more to more; and so be human life enriched."

Of all the fancy Latin school mottos I've heard, I must say I like ours the best, so I decided to copy it--"Let bicycling grow from more to more, and so human life be enriched."

Besides, "The more you bike,the better your world" was already taken.

Speaking of the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, their Web site, biketraffic.org, was recently listed as one of Chicago's best transportation Web sites in Chicago magazine. Or so CBF is claiming; I'll verify that later.

Anyway, if you all find it so useful, then you should really consider joining! Come on, you get a free map and tons of discounts at local retailers and restaurants (where "local" is in the suburbs, too!), plus you support all of their fantastic work in Chicagoland--much of which does, in fact, affect you personally, so don't try to weasel out with that excuse. (Come on, noncyclists, I know you all are walking everywhere. Stop mooching off our two-wheeled largess already and contribute something.) And then you get a discount on Bike the Drive and the Boulevard Lakefront Tour, which if you ask me are two things that everyone in the Chicago area and parts beyond must do at least once in their lifetime. Trust me, fellow cheapasses, it's really the best thirty bucks you'll spend all year. And then tell them I sent you, if they ask.

Not in Chicago? That's okay, I forgive you. Seriously, I still encourage you to get involved with your own local bicycling advocacy group. They need you. Yes, you!

All right, enough spiel. Goodness, you'd think I got paid for it.

(Interesting aside: I seem to recall an academic society at the U of C that called itself Crescat Scientia; in any case, Vita Excolatur is--or was--the student porn erotica magazine. No, I never modeled; they didn't want me. And if that's not a blow to positive self-image, I don't know what is. Ah well, perhaps someday I'll find a group of bike helmet fetishists and rock their world.)
In other news, this. Sigh of relief?


At 18 January, 2008 14:11, Blogger Fritz said...

Speaking of bike helmets and nekkidness....

At 18 January, 2008 14:23, Blogger Redag said...

Perhaps you're thinking of the defunct group blog Crescat Sententia?

At 18 January, 2008 14:24, Anonymous jessica said...

I think it'd be something like "montando en bicicleta"

At 18 January, 2008 14:33, Blogger Jerome said...

Fake Steve Jobs has a bit of a fetish thing for "Bike Helmet Girl" that's been going on for quite some time, see fakesteve.blogspot.com and search for "Bike Helmet Girl"

nice morning ride today, glad to have had Reader reco this blog last night ;)

--Jerome in the western 'burbs, had to scratch plans for coming down to Winter Bike to Work day in favor of sleep

At 18 January, 2008 15:07, Blogger Jennifer said...

My goodness, I'm popular today.

fritz: I'll have to try that, because washing the detachable pads in the gentle cycle hasn't been working. And hey, it looks like Vita is being resurrected. I'll have to tell them my new idea.

redag: I'm not sure. I'm recalling more like name in a list of RSOs about ten years ago in some prospie lit. Ah well.

jessica: Catchy! You should design some t-shirts for your etsy shop.

jerome: So did I; 15 miles out of my way in this weather suddenly didn't seem like such a fun idea after all. Ah well, maybe next year. Again.

At 18 January, 2008 17:17, Blogger David Johnsen said...

So you're not in the 2008 "Bike Lane Hotties Gone Wild" calendar?

I always liked Mike Royko's twist on Chicago's Latin motto "Urbs in horto" (city in a garden): "Ubi est mea" (where's mine?).

Btw, I once read a science fiction book named Caesar's Bicycle.


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