The problem is plain: Cars are 1) Expensive to own and expensive to fuel; 2) Dangerous, killing large numbers of drivers, passengers and innocent passers-by; 3) Loud, with honking horns and roaring engines; 4) Filthy, spewing toxins into the air, leaking vile fluids all over the ground, and requiring an oil-drilling industry that itself fouls even more water, air and land; 5) Lazy, leading people to sit on their increasingly fat asses for long periods of time, stuck behind the wheel; 6) Boring – in truth, after the first honeymoon period of excitement about road trips, driving is just plain tedious. Cars suck.
The solution: Leave your car in the driveway. Walk and the earth! Read an exciting book on public transportation! Meet people when you’re not traveling past them at 65 miles per hour! Take a good-looking, similarly-fit person out on a hot date with all the money you save!
Part of the solution could be for you to ride a bicycle. Bicycles are 1) Inexpensive to own and inexpensive to fuel; 2) Safe, killing very few people in accidents (it’s cars that kill bicyclists – not the other way around); 3) Quiet, often impossible to hear over a the sound of a gentle breeze; 4) Clean, leaving nothing behind them but elegant, thin trails after they glide through puddles of water; 5) A great method of exercise, giving people strong legs, abdominal muscles and hearts; 6) Exciting to ride, with a flexibility of motion that no car can replicate, and a feeling that’s close to flight, amplified by the physiological response to physical exertion.
There’s a new, low-investment way for people who have thought about transitioning some of their transportation from car to bicycle to try it out: Bike sharing. Spinlister provides a network for people who want to rent bicycles to connect with people who want to lend out the bicycles they own. They allow owners to set their own hourly and daily rates, giving bike owners an income to offset the investment in the purchase and maintenance of their bicycles, and giving prospective bicyclists, or people who are simply traveling through town, an opportunity to see whether getting around by bicycle can work where they are.
Of course, if only fewer people were driving those dirty, dangerous cars, getting around by bicycle would be easy no matter where people lived.