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.

Friday, January 4, 2013

5 miles

     So yesterday I had to make a 60 mile round trip in the morning.  I had to use the car.  It was 22 degrees when I left.  I'm a nice guy, I offered to give my son a ride  5 miles to campus so he wouldn't need to ride his bike.  We got in the car.  I was freezing. The windshield washers dissolved the frost from the windshield.  I kicked the heat on high to keep from fogging up and away we went.  A mile down the road I was still shivering in my warmest woolen coat.  I was waiting for the windshield to completely clear before changing the heat to circulate down where my feet were suffering and screaming in pain.  Two stop lights and 3 miles later I was trying to listen to the radio to forget how cold I was.  I was on the edge of campus before I turned the air flow down to help warm my legs.  After I dropped my son off at the library I realized that, if he had driven himself, he would still have to find a parking place and walk, still cold, another city block to get to his office.  I felt I was doing him a favor, but really if he had been commuting by bike, as he normally did, he would have been warmed up within two blocks of our home, ridden right to the door of his office and felt warm and toasty when he got there.
     I don't understand why other cyclists don't get this.
     Add some plastic fenders to keep you clean, and some studded tires to keep you upright.  The ride to work is a lot more comfortable with the internal heat running.  But there again, most cyclists are obsessed with pretend racing, not transportation.  They shiver at the thought of 40 degree temps and retreat to their trainers and TV sets.  The MUP's covered with packed snow over rutted ice provide a much better workout, a boatload of fun, and even make you feel like you went somewhere.
I'm sure they think it must be worse on the streets than in their cars, but really, I just convinced myself
(again) that cars are counterproductive within 5 miles of home, even in Michigan, in January.
    It keeps me wondering.  I've heard all sorts of numbers, but somewhere around 75-90% of the auto trips taken are less than 5 miles.  How much more diversified would the world's economy be, how would the international political landscape change, if Americans eliminated that expense and redirected that consumption?

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