Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Good Day for Two Wheels

Every time I go somewhere on my own power I feel really liberated. I mean, cars are great. They have a purpose. But how much of the human experience have we lost by sitting in our cars for hours on end every week? I have never been disappointed with a hiking trip or a kayaking trip or a bike ride, but I find myself inevitably frustrated whenever I have to drive somewhere. I tend to be a little antsy, so driving for longer than 20 minutes just makes me want to get out of the car. Then, there are traffic jams, SUVs who think that they have the right to harass people in small cars becuase they get less than 20 mpg, and the rising price of gas. I wish I could go everywhere on a bike.

I bring this up because today my art history class was to meet at the downtown art museum to see an exhibition. The first thing that popped into my mind was carpooling, but then I realized how silly it would be to even bother taking a car to a destination less than 3 miles away. There's gas to think about and the expensive metered parking designed to rip off the tourists who seem to think Asheville is something grand and so do nothing but shop downtown. Bike racks, however, don't cost a thing, and, unfortunately, there always seem to be plenty of spaces on the racks. Needless to say I made the right decision by riding my bike. The fresh air lightened my pre-final-exam domesday mentality.

In short, ride a bike, walk, do something revolutionary with your own two feet.


green with a gun said...

The way the roads are here is not supportive of cycling. Put another way, I'm too chickenshit to do it much!

But there are pavements everywhere, and mediocre public transport. At least three-quarters the people in this city don't actually need a car to get to the places they want to go to. The other quarter are badly-served by public transport, so couldn't get to work without it, and they live in manufactured suburbs miles from shops.

meg said...

Public transportation exists here, but it could be better, and a lot of people live a long way from the city since housing costs are so inflated, and they commute long distances. Also, the roads here are pretty hilly, as it's in the mountains, and so extended bike rides are pretty hardcore.

One thing that I wish wasn't the case is that my job is about 30 minutes by car from where I currently live (on campus). I'll be living closer to it this summer, but the fact is I'm just not willing to give up the best job I've ever had to make my life greener. There are tradeoffs for everything it seems.