Someone reminded me the other day that in spite of all the good reasons there are for riding a bike, the REAL reason we do it is RIDING IS FUN!!!
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve observed stressed out, frustrated drivers completely loosing it with one another over some slight when I’m out on a bike. Last week on Bundy Drive I happened upon two luxury SUV’s stopped in the middle Bundy with the driver of the first vehicle out of his car, screaming at the driver of the second vehicle over some slight which occurred moments prior to my happening upon them. This guy was really ticked off! If he had a gun there likely would have been serious trouble. After 45 seconds or so screaming guy finished and they both tore off on their way. My reaction at that moment was to note how non-stressed I was. How completely opposite of that exchange I was feeling at that moment. Take any bets who’s blood pressure was in the acceptable range?
Because of the rainy weather I didn’t actually start riding last week until Bike to Work Day (Thursday May 19th). Since then I’ve managed to make the majority of my trips by bike, running anywhere from 2 – 11 miles per trip. I’ve been keeping track and that riding added up to 19 bike trips, totaling a little over 121 miles in 8 days. That’s 19 trips I didn’t make in the car. 19 times I was in a setting where I was happy! In addition to commuting to work, this included things like visiting friends, going to the doctor, meeting others for Happy Hour on Bike to Work Day, shopping at Costco, going surfing & meeting my wife for lunch a couple times. Cool huh?
Parking is one of the greatest benefits of riding to these places as you get the best parking spots in all of LA for free! For example Costco in Culver City is notorious for having it’s parking lot full & being difficult to maneuver. However there are some pretty nice bike racks just 50 feet from the front entrance to the store. Instead of spending several minutes circling the lot to find someone who is loading their car and getting into a showdown for the space with the other drivers doing the same thing, I just ride past them all with the cargo bike and go directly to the bike rack in no time at all.
At Kaiser Permanente in West LA it’s the same thing with the racks located directly in front of the security office at their main parking structure. At the beach there are bike racks throughout making it a snap to ride up, lock up and go play. Both Kaiser and the beaches all charge for parking, but not if you ride there on your bike! At 5:15 on Wednesday evening Abbot Kinney in Venice is full of traffic & parked cars, but the ride was easy and the bike racks directly out front of where I want to be. I got there faster & happier than had I driven. Bike racks are fun!
And of course I didn’t pay for the six gallons of gas 121 miles would have required driving in my car. I saved at least $30 in with parking factored in, experienced less hassle, had more fun, got some exercise and made it so there was one less car competing for parking or adding to traffic. What’s not fun about that!
Want to see more fun? Watch this 2 minute video of a pre-schooler having massive fun being taken to school on the back of her father’s bike, in case you missed in in an earlier post.