It’s May. It’s no longer freezing in the morning, and since I can’t run I need some sort of exercise that’s outside. Gas is getting to $4/gallon and what is better than multi-tasking your commute and workout!
Ok, well that’s not the only reason to commute by your twocycle*. Here are a bunch more…
1. May is National Bike Month.
2. There are some freaking cool bikes out there!!
3. Gas is $4/gallon.
4. 20 miles = 400 calories = two larabars = 9 hersheys miniatures = a bagel and cream cheese = 2 bananas with peanut butter = … you get the picture. It equals delicious food.
5. Instead of arriving home wanting to kill someone after sitting in traffic, you arrive home happy (unless someone tried to run you over, but you get over that) and ready to eat food (see #4).
6. You fit in your bathing suit! Yeah!!
7. You alert other people that you can in fact twocycle your way to work and it is great and the more people that do it the more aware cars are and the less likely someone is to run you over (see #5).
8. You get to get a whole new cool wardrobe.
9. You do feel pretty bad ass.
10. You get to use water bottles. Extra credit if your crazy sister provides you with one with Jackie Chan on it.
But seriously, biking to work or to the grocery store or to the library is a really great thing. There are so many good reasons to do it. It’s fun, it’s active, you rarely sit in traffic, and parking isn’t really a problem.
I had an economics teacher once who said “no one does anything without an economic incentive. You may think I’m callous and pessimistic, but very few actions are actually instigated by altruism. It all comes down to money.” And at the time I thought he was callous and terrible and pessimistic, but you know what? I think he’s right. In Europe, gas has been more expensive. And I’ve been around Europe on two tours involving trains, walking, buses and no cars. And I saw everything I wanted to. I was astounded by the bike racks chock full of bikes in Munich. But at $7-10/gallon it makes sense to ride your bike, make trains work for real, etc. From The League of American Bicyclists: According to the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey, 25 percent of all trips are made within a mile of the home, 40 percent of all trips are within two miles of the home, and 50 percent of the working population commutes five miles or less to work. Yet more than 82 percent of trips five miles or less are made by personal motor vehicle.
Gas is getting expensive. Sorry guys, but it should be. EVEN IF we’re not actually running out of oil, and EVEN IF global warming is a giant hoax dreamed up by those liberal tree hugging hippies (which is obviously a load of crap but stick with me…) NO ONE can say that the smog is good for you, or say the health problems it causes like asthma aren’t real. And guys, it’s free. People line up for free ice cream day at Ben and Jerry’s, sitting in line to save $2 on an ice cream cone. Walking to the store is free and saves you the same $2, and gets you some exercise as well, maybe saving you more $ on insulin shots from not getting diabetes from not being overweight in the future.
I still have, drive and find my car useful, and don’t pull out the bike until the weather gets nice, wimp that I am. And I am far from the righteous “one-less-car” type person, but we gotta do something when we can, and between sitting in traffic and riding to work and getting a beer when I get home, I chose the beer 🙂
I’ll try to chronicle my bike commuting here, maybe I can inspire someone to pump up the tires!
*In my world, we ride twocycles, view wildlife from afar with our two noculars, and I’ve had a rather lengthy discussion recently about the word ‘helicopter.’ No good explanation.