People, who use bicycles for the kinds of trips that most folks make by car, are familiar with the question:
“Do you need a lift?”
Well-intentioned offers of vehicular assistance can be triggered by any number of circumstances, which cause people to wonder if you really want to go by bike. Inclement weather, nightfall, heavy or cumbersome loads, Mondays — any of these can be viewed as barriers to cycling. Transit riders are also popular targets for friendly folks who like to offer rides. I learned not to wait at the bus stop right out in front of my office. Last time I did that, I was barraged by ride offers from my coworkers. Walking to a stop a block or so away allowed me to wait for the bus in peace.
The truth is, as a nation, we have vastly overestimated the amount of travel that must be done by car.
When the weather is miserable, as it was on Friday, I’m often tempted to drive. But then I think about what it must have been like for Gen. James Oglethorpe and the colonists who founded Savannah in 1733. They didn’t have the luxury of jumping in their cars when the skies opened up. They braved the rain on their bicycles and so can I!
All kidding aside, with the proper bike you can do all kinds of things. This afternoon I transported a 6-foot Type III wooden ladder about two and a half miles, using my Xtracycle. This, frankly, would have been more difficult in some of the cars I’ve owned.