Last night I watched the program Frontline on PBS—so it looks like cars since the 1970’s actually got heavier and less fuel-efficient. And, in the last 10 years more fuel has been used than any other time since the automobile was on the roads. Yeah—looks like things are going the hell pretty fast. We can’t really blame anyone but ourselves. We want the government to take care of everything—which they won’t because they’re only interested in getting re-elected and keeping shareholders happy. And—we won’t change how we live. We want everything cheap and easy—we’re complacent (lazy)
Every clueless pundit / idiot in the media—print, TV, web, and blogs tells us, among other things, to drive less and ride a bike. Are you fucking kidding me? Have they ever tried to go out and ride a bike on the streets of the good ol’ USA? It’s fuckin’ dangerous, Home Fry! Everything is made for cars and not for people—and now even that infrastructure has become strained.
The streets are crowed and horsepower is excessive—and people are really agitated because it just plain sucks to drive around here (Tucson) So don’t tell the people of Tucson to go ride a bike—until you try and ride one yourself, Fool.
It just happens that for me, all the conditions are about right to make riding a bike for commuting to the office a reality. And it does take a bit of effort on my part which can be a pain in the ass, but for the most part because I can ride the bike in I do.
First off—I have about 80% of my bike route to the office via the River Park. I would say that makes the trip fairly safe. 90% of the route has bike lanes on the street, but for some people, and I don’t blame them—they would not even dare ride in the bike lanes. It would be suicide in their view (This is in bike friendly Tucson.)
Second—I have a locker room to shower and change. If I didn’t, it would be more complicated to commute into the office but I’d still try.
Third—I have a level of fitness and confidence sharing the roads with cars. Some people I know train for races at the gym but won’t train on the road. For example I have a friend and she’ll train on the roads but that’s only because we’re in a group of riders and she feels safer. All her other base training (90%) is at the gym.
I would not even dare to venture down the road one mile on my bike to the supermarket in Dog Mtn because chances of getting hit are high. There is a narrow bike lane, but no safe way to turn left into the supermarket and other shops. People drive fast and the road is getting busier all the time. And in the supermarket parking lot, you have to be careful that somebody doesn’t run you over while you’re walking to the entrance. Drivers are on the cell or text-messaging.
The day never came when we could actually drive our cars into the grocery store and down the isles and have the illiterate service humans hand us our pop tarts and special k.
I don’t have an answer to global warming—I mean, my mom is 65 and she has to drive to the grocery store which is about two miles away. She would ride a bike if she absolutely had to or face starvation—but she is physically unable to do it, as are many others. She has no alternative.
Because I have the means to take the alternative, I try to do it. I know a lot of people can’t, so pretty much I’ve gotten over it. I used to think that those who live less than three miles from the office here, they drive in—like my boss—don’t have an excuse. Still, she tells me she would do it but the way people drive—even on the back streets of her neighborhood—she is afraid of getting run over/killed.
So to end this rant, if anyone is even reading, for those of us that can and do make the effort to use an alternative—I say to those who do drive, give us cyclists some respect, and some support. I have both our interests in mind.