Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Random Bullets of Car-Free Challenge Week
by Tom Bozzo
- Taxi rides during trip to D.C.: 2, to and from National Airport.
- Versus Metro, it did spare me the need to walk past the airport's 9/11 porn.
- This was followed by biking-home-in-the-rain atonement yesterday.
- Getting rained on once in a while really isn't that bad, though I feel like I can sense the (misplaced) pity from passing motorists.
- Madison's long-range bike planning includes considering bike route signs listing distances to major destinations and/or landmarks. D.C. bike routes have these, and they'd be especially useful for navigating through the sprawl here, since the edges of the city unfortunately were allowed to evolve with contempt for non-automobile traffic in the '80s and '90s and direct automobile routes are not for the faint-of-heart.
- Today will be my 90th commute by bike this year-to-date. Adjusting for days out of the office, this is the equivalent of biking every workday since the first week of May.
- An advocacy booklet passed out by Trek Bicycles on World Car-Free Day (Sept. 22, alas a noble failure) dangles the possibility of losing 13 lbs. in the first year of bike commuting. My sample observation is that this is optimistic, though I have so far lost a marginal inch off my waist, which may be just as good.
- The booklet was advocating the use of bikes for trips of 2 miles or less, a regime where cars are relatively inefficient and polluting. Somewhat ironically, Trek's two Madison stores are in suburban areas with heavy automobile traffic that are, or at least seem to be, at least two miles away from any significant residential areas.
- There should be substantial job opportunities for English majors in eliminating myth-fact framing from safety handouts. Based on the research Drek discussed back here, the American Academy of Pediatrics-sponsored handout "Bicycle Safety: Myths and Facts" could use rewriting. At least "Myth: I don't need to teach my child all of this bicycle safety stuff" may be less dangerous for being on the second page and thus likelier to be ignored by people who have trouble separating their myths from facts.