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.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

We are the underground!

     An older article I have seen kicked around the internet recently provides some limited insight into the unsteady relationship between drivers and cyclists.
While the article brings up a popular argument it falls short of it's analysis.  The popular argument that drivers resent cyclists as "free riders" who violate the accepted norm has instant recognition.     Look through the comment section of any media story of cyclist/ motorist conflict and the immediate accusation that "they don't pay taxes" will surface.   The perception exists and the article is correct at that point, but I believe both the perception and the analyst are simplistic and short sighted in their references.   They honestly  think that cyclists are part of an underground society which lives off the grid. The argument is stupid because we all have jobs, homes, cars, kids and pay all the taxes everybody else pays,but in a way we are miscreants violating social values.

      Cyclists are violating the accepted norm because people do not buy cars for transportation.
Automobiles have been marketed as social necessities for several generations. That is the accepted norm being violated.  By riding a bike, cyclists are demonstrating the social introduction provided by the auto is irrelevant.  People resent that.  People spend a lot of money on cars and the impression it provides is invaluable to them.  Executives on Madison Avenue said so, their parents believe it, their friends believe it, and by God we have to have one better than our "friend."
     People are naive about the  burden cars create.  It is common for people to spend $30k for a new car these days.   New cars depreciate by 66%  during the  first four years.  Payments on a 4 year note for that at 5% exceeds $690 per month.   That means $460 per month is being spent on depreciation alone. People are spending more on depreciation than they are on groceries.
     They ignore the fact that 2,000,000 people have died in auto accidents in the past 60 years (my lifetime). That is 2 1/2 times the number of combat deaths in all the wars the US has pursued including the Revolution.  It's the deadliest form of transportation ever developed.
     Recently a United Nations' study concluded that we must eliminate fossil fuels before 2100.  There are a lot of numbers out there, but somewhere between 50-75% of driving occurs withing 5 miles of home.   Drivers can eliminate 1/2 the problem by putting their feet on a different pedal.            There are rumors that cycling is good for your health.  I've been cycling almost constantly for 42 years.  I recently scheduled the full medical routine, poke, probe, show and tell, including blood profiles, PSA, Colonoscopy and whatever else.  All the numbers are exactly as they were the past 30 years.
    It's not hereditary.  I have two cousins who are each within a year of so.  When we were younger, we looked enough alike that people thought we were triplets. They are now skinny legged, pot bellied, grey haired old men who sit around talking about their medical problems and treatments.  I am not.
    It makes sense that drivers resent us.  Their anger is simply misdirected. We are not "free riders."  It's petty to refer to us that way.  Drivers are ruining their health, the environment, killing each other and bankrupting their families to satisfy their vanity.  Why wouldn't they resent somebody who doesn't.

No comments:

Post a Comment