A conversation I was having about commuting led me to think about the serious misconception people suffer with about their cars. They think because a car has the potential to travel really, really fast that it is faster to go to work in a car. Those of us who have chosen at any time in our lives to substitute bikes for transportation know that it is not true.
There have been lots of comments coworkers have made over the years like:
"gosh, you really make good time, I passed you two miles ago,"
"I thought you would be late,"
"How did you get here? You were on your bike a couple of minutes ago"
and my all time favorite:
"No, really, where did you park your car?"
Most of those comments arise from the simple fact that people have never ridden as an adult. If they have, it wasn't for any form of transportation. Their memories are that of a 7 or 8 year old for whom a 1 mile ride to get some candy was an adventure. They are totally unaware that any adult in reasonable health can ride 5 miles in under 30 minutes. Hell, that's only 10 miles an hour, coasting will cover most of that ground.
When I was in college in Kansas City I found I could make the 5 mile trip to campus from my apartment 10 minutes faster by bike than I could drive through rush hour traffic. Add to that savings the fact that my bike would take me nearly to the door of the classroom while the car had to be parked somewhere else on campus and I would have to walk the rest of the way. It came out to be around 20 minutes faster, and a lot less annoying to ride the bike. I didn't do it by breaking laws or racing as fast as possible, the difference is that a bike does not get snarled up waiting for other vehicles. While the car is sitting in line at busy intersections(often through two light changes), the bike is moving to the head of the line, or passing the whole mess on a side street.
I really enjoy it when an impatient driver honks and me and peels a little rubber to pass, only to see me pedal on ahead of them at the next light. What I really enjoy is ignoring those gigantic parking lots
surrounding all our buildings and going right to the door while the cagers are out circling, over and over again to find a close space to save themselves some more time.
This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.
Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.