This is the first post of an ongoing feature here at 21st Century Citizen. It’s called ‘Choices’ and it’s purpose is to present a simple, values-based choice and generate discussion.
It’s also intended to make you think a bit and examine the reasons why you make the choices you make. Here we go with our first installment.
[Note: I'm using pictures from flickr below -- clicking on them will take you to the image's page in Flickr.]
Choice: Drive? Or Bike?
This question may not be as simple as it seems.For example, if you have a long commute from your home and need to drive, well — you could
use a bike if you changed jobs and worked closer to home.
So, then what if you could find a job close enough to home? Then would you use a bike?
If it seems impossible to get a job close to home, then how about a job where you work from home?
If you got a job where you worked from home, then you wouldn’t need to drive to commute. Then would you switch to using a bike?
I know it’s impossible for a lot of people to work from home — if you’re a Fireman or a Nurse, fires and sick people don’t usually come to you, so it’s impractical. But for many jobs, it would be possible. In fact, if gas were $10 a gallon, it might turn into a necessity — many people just wouldn’t be able to afford to drive to work and back.
Now what about buying groceries? Would you be willing to ride the bike to get food? Why not?
Again, for some it’s impractical — but maybe not as impractical as you’d think. For example, many people in large cities — like New York City — don’t own cars. They shop a little bit at a time or take a cab. You could do that on a bike in many towns.
In some cases, the roads may not be safe for bikes — for example, here in New Hampshire there aren’t bike lanes everywhere.
Also, for many of us the large grocery stores we shop at are too far to ride a bike.
But what if bike lanes were required by law on all busy roads? Would that make a difference? If so — then shouldn’t we be asking our local governments to adopt rules that require bike lanes? We don’t do this now because we’re used to driving cars.
And if more people road bikes, I’ll bet that local people would open stores up to serve them. Local stores used to be everywhere, in fact, until the big chains put them out of business. If there were local shoppers for them, they’d open back up. Probably pretty quickly too.
So — what do you choose here? Don’t mke the choice you think is ‘appropriate’, tell the truth. And tell us what would have to change to make you use a bike — maybe if we talk about the reasons why we don’t use bikes, it will give us ideas as to what we need to change so more people do.
And if you use a bike now, then tell us how you do it and how practical it is. What problems do you run into? What works well?
Feel free to comment. And thanks for reading!
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