Four years ago, during the last presidential election, I was working like a busy bee on the Clark Campaign in Little Rock, AR. It was there that I met dcm — a relationship that took me around the world to Rwanda this year. He gave me a bike sticker: Fight Terror! Ride a Bike!
Four years later, gas prices have doubled or so and, at almost $4/gallon, we’re beginning to think of new ways to avoid using oil.
Last year, before gas prices became really uncomfortable, I bought an old beater of a VW Jetta from Eric. Still, gas mileage on it is almost twice as good as that of our minivan. (And I’m sure if I ever get the hang of shifting properly, it’ll be even better.) It has become our go-to car when we don’t need to take everyone with us.
And, still, there are times when we can avoid using any gas at all. Today, for instance, I had my semi-annual dentist appointment to get my teeth clean. The dentist is eight miles away. What to do … what to do …
Ride a bike, of course!
This past weekend, I upgraded to a road-bike. The inexpensive Redline Conquest. With some slick tires to replace the knobby ones it comes with (because I’m not into cyclocross) and clips to replace the clipless pedals (I may be a bike dork, but I ain’t changing my shoes to ride a bike), I felt like I was flying down the road compared with the effort-to-speed ratio on my older city bike.
So, I biked to the dentist. Sixteen miles round-trip. About half a gallon of gas. Almost two bucks saved.
I’ll make this bike pay for itself yet.
if I didn’t use oil to heat my home, I’d wish oil prices went up faster so I could ammortize the bike that much quicker.
(My daughter’s God father is starting to take the train to Harrisburg and looking at folding bikes. At $140 for a month of rides on the train vs a 45 minute commute and four gallons of gas, the car really does begin to look less attractive.)