My car is a 1992 VW Jetta. It's black, it's cool, it has low miles and gets good gas mileage. It also has a red button on the dash that serves as the horn. I thought it would eject me through the sunroof the first time I drove the car. All in all, it's the perfect commuter car. So why would I want to trade it for a bike?
I've been a part time commuter for the past 20 years in Boise and I've witnessed a lot of change. There are more people, more cars, more bikes and more altercations between bikes and cars. The Boise cycling community has experienced tragedy in the past 3 months with the deaths of three cyclists. The cyclists on the streets today are dealing with hostility and misunderstanding as well as true generosity and encouragement. Recently the Boise Cycling Task Force has produced 24 recommendations to the current cycling laws in Boise, a huge step forward in these troubled times. I ride as much as I can to help be a part of this change, but I still have the car...and I drive it.
Giving up a car is a big deal. How do I haul my stuff around? What happens when it snows? Can I get up early every morning, be on time to work and stay clean? It only takes 9 minutes in my car, but 22 on my bike. What if I get hit?
My answer to these questions is YES. Yes I will get up, yes it will snow, yes my stuff is heavy, yes I will be a little rumpled, and yes, I definitely might get hit. But I'll be on my bike anyway. And I'll be setting an example for what can be done if you put your mind to it. No more single occupant car, now I would be a rider joining with others pledging to make a choice to stop. Stop draining our natural resources and polluting our air. Stop making excuses and stop taking the easy way out and start making a healthy choice for everyone.
I'm glad to even be able to think about making this choice. It helps me understand what those who don't have this choice go through every day.
Thank you New Belgium for coming up with this idea. It makes us ordinary people think about what we have and what we can give up to be extraordinary instruments of change. I'd like to give up my car.
PS Am I the only chick doing this??