Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bike Nazi?

My first choice woulda been "Bikeboy." That's usually my handle out there in the Bit Bucket. But it was already taken. (By some IMPOSTER!) And... if there's a SOUP Nazi, there should obviously be a Bike Nazi!

I try to be a tireless advocate of bicycles-as-transportation. And my intent here is to use this blog as one more vehicle (vehicle - get it? get it?) to get the word out about why you're SUPER COOL if you ride a bike (as transportation). And why you're a LOSER if you don't. (That's about as NAZI-like as I'll get. I'm not a social engineer to the point where I would mandate a certain mode of transportation... just making the argument for MY preferred mode, in the hopes that somebody else might see the light.)

I like to embed LINKS to other articles and websites in my posts. If a word is a different color, point at it and if it lights up, you should be able to click-and-go.

If you're new here, be sure to check out the Best of Bike Nazi, and my LINKS page.

If you'd like to email me... bikeboy, followed by the "at" sign, followed by myway dot com . (Sorry for being so cryptic. If you're a spammer or a web crawler, please DON'T email me! There is already too much spam, without you adding to it!)

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"But, Bikeboy," you say. "What's this about bicycles being the most efficient form of human transportation ever devised?"

CALORIES PER PERSON, PER MILE OF TRAVEL:
Automobile (1 occupant) - 1,860
Transit Bus - 920
Transit Rail - 885
Walking - 100
Bicycling - 35
(Source, "Cycling's Efficiency," Vance Tucker, Duke University)

Now, sure... it's way easier to step on the gas pedal of that big metal monster you drive around in, than to actually pedal. But the real measure is... getting out and PUSHING that scrap-iron for a mile! It takes energy to move that cocoon you've grown so accustomed to. And think of the space-occupied per person being moved! That, unfortunately, is affecting my community's quality-of-life in a big way, with jam-packed pavement. SOV (Single-occupant vehicle) is probably the least efficient mode of transportation ever devised.

I abandoned my automobile - for commute transportation, for all intents and purposes - in January 1986, and will never go back. I can barely endure sitting in traffic any more! Even running occasional errands in the wife's minivan has become an emotional burden. (Out-of-town car trips usually aren't so painful.) I've not driven a car - even once - to work since September 1997.

My (lifelong) home is in Boise, Idaho. So much of my perspective is colored by my Boise experience. There are many places with much worse bicycling conditions; a few that may be better. (Boise is actually an awesome place to be a bicyclist! For me, 12 months of the year. For "normal" people, at least 9 months of the year.)

IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU READ, PLEASE TELL SOMEBODY! THE ONLY "BLOGGER REWARD" I HOPE FOR IS TO CAUSE PEOPLE TO STOP AND THINK. THANK YA. THANK YA VERRUH MUCH.