Friday, February 16, 2007

Birth to Death in a Car

I was reading through the comments over at The Minus Car Project, and I found some references to cartoonist Andy Singer. This cartoon and many others can be viewed HERE.

On my daily commutes by car I often get overwhelmed by all the cars and car culture around me. Cars on the road, cars in the parking lot, car lots, car washes, car garages, tire stores, drive thru's, the list goes on... It annoys me to see all this, and yet I am part of the problem. I drive a small fuel efficient car, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm still out there, occupying space on the road.

With the short, cold days, bicycle commuting isn't really an option for me. Public transportation between Carson City and Gardnerville is non existent at this time. It is very frustrating, and I'm so sick of being in the car.

I am anxiously awaiting day light savings time so that I can start riding the new road bike to work a couple times a week. My normal commute route is a 32 mile round trip, but is a scary ride alongside 70mph traffic. The safer route is a 44 mile round trip, and is very scenic. I'd still have to do some riding at lunch I suppose...I wouldn't know what else to do. It sounds like a lot of time on the bike, doesn't it? But consider this...

At another blog that I frequent, Oil is For Sissies, I found the following in the comments:

"Fun car math:

60 minute commute each way to work
x2 times a day
x5 days a week
x52 weeks a year
=31200 minutes a year
or 520 hours a year
or 21.6 days a year

Three weeks spent in a car, just going from home to work. It's no wonder people often ask, where does all the time go?"

My commute is half of this example, but it still freaks me out that I'm in my car for at least an 11 day period each year. My goal this year is to move as much time from the car over to the bike. Then maybe all that time won't seem wasted!

I'm not feeling too good today, so I went out to eat instead of riding (yes by car...). Before I left though, I got a chance to see Barbara's high tech bicycle security system. Photos and details later tonight...

Update: Jane Holtz Kay's book Asphalt Nation looks like it may provide some insight into my car culture woes. "Asphalt Nation is a major work of urban studies that examines how the automobile has ravaged America's cities and landscape, and how we can fight back." I'll have to check this book out...

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