Friday, February 29, 2008
Save the World, Ride a Bike
I rode in my first Critical Mass ride this evening. It was a blast. Now that the kids and I have made our bikes our primary vehicles, I feel pretty strongly about the presence that bicycles and pedestrians have on our roads. It is intimidating to share the road with such powerful and potentially deadly machines. Seems to me, there's plenty of room for all. Unfortunately, there are quite a few drivers out there that are not at all happy to see us coming.
Twenty-nine cyclists (and one dog in a trailer) took to the streets tonight in our little town. We made a 3 or 4 mile loop and smiled and waved as we pedaled. We tried to hand out fliers at stop lights explaining Critical Mass, but too many motorists had their windows up. Last week, a pedestrian in our town died after being on life support for over a week. She was hit in a crosswalk in front of the university. We rode tonight in honor of her and to encourage folks to slow down and make room for alternatives to cars.
Since selling my car last November, I'm amazed at the change that has come over our family. We no longer think in terms of car-miles. A quick trip to the grocery now involves a brisk 1/2 mile walk, or a five minute bike ride. When we take the bus to the library, we know that the post office is only a few short blocks away. To think we used to do those errands in two separate trips!
Parking? Not an issue. Bike racks? We sure do know which businesses have them. Charley is becoming quite a bicycle mechanic, as well. Save the world, ride a bike.