Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I Like Bike

I'm certainly not a bike snob. I realize that its impossible for most people to survive without a car, but for the most part, I can. When we moved to midtown a couple of years ago, we had too many cars sitting around not being used. Work is only a half mile away... an easy three minute ride on my bike. I wouldn't be there any faster if I drove. Besides, with fuel prices getting so expensive, (especially for my ultra-luxurious Cadillac Fleetwood which only got 15.6 miles to the gallon under the most conservative driving conditions), it seems crazy to drive when I don't have to. My Mazda RX-7 was Motor Trend car of the year, and was a blast to drive, but both autos had to go. I gave up my favorite cars to ride a bike I had purchased at a yard sale for twenty-five bucks about nine years ago. After I had the bike for a couple of years, the front brake cable failed, so I performed a temporary repair with some heavy duty hemp string that ended up lasting through five winters. I finally replaced the string with a new cable before it had a chance to break. The guys in the bike shop were amazed, and said they had never seen anyone use hemp for a cable. I'm on my third set of tires, and my little Seabright Runner* is still going strong. In nine years, I've spent a total of $83 on my bike. Here's the breakdown:

Purchase price of bike - $25
6" hemp string - negligible
6" cable- $1
Rack at yard sale - $1
Metal basket - $30
Tires & tubes - $26

Total: $83

I'm not entirely without auto-motion however. Mighty Mo still has her Mazda 6 wagon, which I occasionally drive on weekends, but other than that, I bike everywhere. It is especially gratifying on those busy rush hour moments when I am not restricted by the traffic congestion, and can ride freely twixt the slowly lumbering auto-mos.

Although the cost of fuel is at an all-time high, the price of petrol isn't the only cost to consider. Most of our crude oil continues to come from areas of the world that are hostile to us, and don't want us there. The oil is placed on tanker ships which travel the oceans, dumping tons of sewage and trash en route. Occasionally these tankers break open and spill their poisonous oily contents. The result is death to thousands of birds and fish, polluted water and beaches. Once delivered, the substance is refined, then distributed by tanker trucks to your local gas station. Occasionally, a tanker truck will overturn, and spill poisonous fuel upon the earth which contaminates both the land and water. Consumers purchase the fuel and burn it in automobiles, contributing to smog and poisonous air conditions in our cities. Respiratory conditions are on the rise as more and more autos spew their toxic fumes. Bio-diesel is a good alternative to regular diesel, but most Americans are too dumb to pay an extra handful of cents per gallon, and continue to burn the vile diesel in their trucks and cars. Luckily I live in Santa Cruz where many of the major delivery companies have converted to clean burning bio-diesel. Lots of citizens are burning clean fuel here too. Occasionally I smell regular diesel and have to wonder why?

The name I gave my bike.

1 comment:

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