No, really, I don’t need a ride. But thanks for asking.


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.

This entry was posted in Transportation on by .

About John Bennett

Transportation, land use, local farming and green building are all potential topics for Sustainable Savannah. The goal is to aggregate content about local events and projects, so there will be a central place to review everything that’s happening. The site is aimed at encouraging collaboration and information sharing between groups and individuals currently engaged in sustainability efforts. The site can also provide a snapshot of Savannah for green-minded people who are considering visiting or moving to the area.

One thought on “No, really, I don’t need a ride. But thanks for asking.

  1. xiousgeonz

    I was just telling an audience of three that one of the unexpected psychological side effects of cycling is that it is like going “back to nature.” When we’re out doin’ in nature, we feel more fully alive because we *have* to think and respond, and because we have to take what nature gives us. We feel that Special Oneness and talk to the squirrels and all that silliness.
    When I’m cycling, I feel that same odd fondness (for just about everything except the squirrels) and the same eagerness to embrace the challenge of being more fully alive. What I do, matters and has a real impact. The sad thing is that that is every bit as true if I”m in a belchmobile… but I’m insulated from the question.
    I love reframing “should I ride?” into “what can I do with this weather so I can ride?”

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