Friday, October 28, 2005

Commuting By Bike = Risky Business

The topic of getting attacked by passing motorists while riding a bike is not a new one. This is a topic that really hits close to home for me, as I commute to work by bicycle five times a week. I just saw another story relating to this, and it really got me to thinking about a few things.

1. Shouldn't motorist be thanking and even encouraging us because we aren't contributing to the demand for gas, thus making it less expensive and more readily available to them? Instead, they try to kill us!

2. How courageous are you when you point your three ton SUV at me, gun the throttle, and swerve away at the last second while I'm riding on my bike? You really must be tough! Someday, one of these nutjobs is going to get out of their vehicle to confront me. Lord have mercy on that individual!

3. If I, while riding a bike to work, impede your travel by a few measley seconds, how much does that really affect your total travel time? How is it that this sort of "delay" ruins your day? Are you really that mentally fragile?

Well, there probably are no really good answers to these questions. I think that alot of it comes from our sense of entitlement. We think that if our automobile is taken away, broken down, or wrecked that our lives will come to a screeching standstill. Elderly people have been known to give up their will to live when the license is revoked, or so they say! The economy of the nation seems to be intertwined with the success, or lack thereof, of the auto industry.

I remember when I worked for the dark side, at an auto repair shop, when people would give me that look of horror when I informed them that their car would be out of comission for a few days. It was surreal! I remember 9-11, when the fear was that gas prices would skyrocket after the attacks, ( totally un-founded rumor!) when there was a line two to three blocks long at the gas station. People were screaming and cursing at each other at a time when we all needed to be coming together. It was ugly- and scary! Just because they didn't think we would have access to cheap fuel. The same scenes played out recently with the hurricanes in the Gulf Coast region.

We need to wake up! We are in need of something that gas, or money, or things can't give us. That's another story! I'm writing about commuting on a bike, so I'll get back to that!

I encourage you all to try commuting. Try running an errand or two by bike. Make a difference! We all do not have to be cell phone yakking, heater smoking, fast food guzzling H2 pilots, do we? I hope not! Here's an idea! Make a new years resolution now! Declare that you will use your bike for something other than racing or training in 2006, at least once in a while! You do like riding a bike.......right? Well......................???

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