Riding for Gaia: Expanding Ecological Awareness Through Cycling




Wallace, Taylor

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My thesis is that committing to a lifestyle in which cycling is a valued component contributes to interest in the environment and the basic ecological understanding that is foundational to the formation of an ecocentric ethic. The thesis and data presented in this paper are intended to support and build upon arguments made by James Lovelock, Stan Rowe, and other members of the philosophical and scientific community cited here who have written to illustrate the ethical priority of Earth. The arguments presented here are, for the most part, in opposition not only with the traditional human focused (anthropocentric) worldview that dominates modern society, but also many well-intentioned green movements presented in spheres of political and social activism. The reason for this widespread rejection of traditional values is that the problems plaguing our planet and threatening our existence are systemic to common thought and are perpetuated by our language and culture. This thesis is presented over the course of six chapters, including this introduction. The second chapter is a review of relevant literature comprised of discussion of summaries of scientific and philosophic works. Following the literature review there is a chapter in which the lifestyles of different types of cyclists are discussed. The third and fourth chapters are a description of the methodology employed to gather and analyze data relevant to this thesis and the presentation of that data. Finally, in the conclusion and discussion chapter the themes discovered in the findings are analyzed for significance.



philosophy, ecology, bicycling, environmentalism, ethics, Honors College


Wallace, T. (2015). Riding for Gaia: Expanding ecological awareness through cycling (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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