I have no doubt that you’ve seen countless commercials over the years for cars. These ads love to show drivers speeding down city streets or down mountain roads with no other cars in sight. That’s the dream, buy a car and the world opens up to you. Freedom is yours.
It’s a lie.
More often than not I’ve chosen driving over biking to work this year. I’m not really sure why, but that’s the way it’s been. Something has been happening a lot lately that has made the decision of bike vs. car a no-brainer, and that something is
I live between the Union Pacific and Canadian National tracks. My commute to work has me crossing only the C.N. tracks, which on a bike I can still do on the Ardmore bridge, making any trains on the track at that time meaningless. In a car there is no such option. There is Route 83, but everybody else knows that too, turning that route into a parking lot as well, not to mention the construction. Sometimes the gates are down and there is no train. Who knows how long they will be down? What a mess.
Last night on my way home I was driving southbound on Villa Avenue and had just crossed North, when I noticed that traffic had stopped. It had to be
because one of the two track crossings up ahead had a train at it (it was on the U.P. tracks), but when it gets backed up that far it normally means that a train has stopped. I was trapped. I did manage to turn around and took North to 83 just to be moving. On North I was stopped over the Salt Creek Trail and looked down to see one solo rider moving along at 10-12 m.p.h., and that’s when I said that enough was enough. I was trapped with no way to move unless people around me moved first. I didn’t know when I was going to get home. I
knew what the solution to this problem was. I had known it all along and had just seen it, the bike.
On a bike I know how long it’s going to take to get where I’m going. There are only a few things that can go wrong with a bike, compared to hundreds of things with a car. Traffic jams don’t effect me on a bike, I’ll just ride around it, maybe use a sidewalk, cut though a parking lot, the point is I have options with a bicycle. With a car there are different roads, if I can even get to them, but that’s about it. If nobody else is moving, that’s it, neither am I.
Needless to say, I rode one of my bikes this morning, lesson learned.
p.s. How did I forget to mention what a pain the school buses at train-tracks are?