|It's a big, big country!|
But what about folks that live in cities? Well, even then you run into obstacles. Dan had a great example where a couple, strapped for employment, had to find jobs in different cities, which made for a decision to live in a town in between the two jobs. The distance is too great to make cycling a practical choice for them. And then there are cities where folks live so far away from the employment centers that traveling by bicycle would just consume too much time.
Are we just too big of a country to be a commute by bicycle nation?
I think it is a fair question. The way this country grew up, with its vastness and open lands being plentiful, it lent itself to "spreading out", as opposed to the close, centralized villages and towns that are common in older countries. The "spreading out" of America is still happening. Just look where towns and cities grow. It is at the fringes, mostly, while at the center, things decay.
|Doing Things By Bicycle|
Doing things by bicycle in communities is great, but "commuting to work" by bicycle is where things seem to get more difficult. Distances to employers seems to be a great factor in why folks don't, or won't commute by bicycle. Is this a detriment to doing any commuting by bicycle for most folks? I don't think it has to be.
Obviously, where there is a will, there is a way. Dan, for instance, travels to bigger cities, then uses a bicycle to visit different clients in that city. Another blogger I know used trains and bicycles in his commute on the west coast. Maybe we should start thinking more in terms of "hybrid-commuting". Maybe using a combination of bicycles with other forms of mass transit, or commuting partially by vehicle.
Whatever it is, cycling will have to be seen as being something practical, useful, and smart before it is seen a "cycling as we cyclists know it". In other words, to get these folks commuting, at least in part, by bicycle, there will have to be some economic/cultural incentive. Just expecting everyone to be "bitten by the bug" is a bit too utopian.
This country just doesn't cotton to dreams without a consideration to its harsh realities.