Do you make ridiculous car journeys?
I used to, before I was environmentally aware. I got in the car and thought nothing of it but I do remember my grandfather saying: “Joanna, put your seat belt on first before you turn on the car, well unless you are sponsored by the oil companies!”
The most ridiculous car journey
The most ridiculous journey I witnessed was when I was in Texas; it was the morning, coffee was suggested and I saw the coffee maker on the kitchen side board and so I assumed we’d make it at home with the family. The idea of going out for coffee when at home hadn’t crossed my mind. The scene went like this:
The husband said “what would you like?”
I said ” Oh, just a cup of coffee with a little cream please.”
He replied: “I’m off to Starbucks so you can have anything, latte, cappuccino, mocha, vanilla latte.”
I said “Has your coffee maker broken?”
“Oh that, we don’t use that, we get just Starbucks every morning” the wife said.
“I’m happy with a ‘made here’ coffee don’t waste petrol, filter coffee is fine.” I said.
“I’m going anyway.” the husband said.
Later that day out for a walk I stumbled upon the Starbucks, I thought I wonder how far it was to get coffee this morning. I realised it was under 900 metres from the house! There were cars parked all around the coffee shop. Perhaps I am missing something but to this day I still can not see how on earth it was quicker to drive? I enjoy an early morning walk, I find it sets me up for the day more calm and ready to be productive. Yes, it was hot and muggy but fresh air is still important, surely?
Isn’t using a car faster?
The myth is that the car is faster, I used to think that for a long time but that wasn’t quite the whole story.
You know the ’round and round and round’ time of finding a parking space; waiting for someone to leave, being patient, being patient still, hoping you’ll get the space only to be gazumped by someone else. Biking is faster, less battle for a parking space!
When I factor in the benefits of exercise, time in nature and fresh air then the bike or walking, or even walking to the bus wins every time.
Today it’s raining and the temptation is to take the car but I have waterproof trousers, a great waterproof jacket and a bike. It might also brighten up by the time I need to go to town.
I also do not pay for the gym so biking it is. Don’t worry I have mud guards, so I can keep my jeans or skirt clean and tidy!
It makes a huge difference when the local area is ‘bike-friendly‘ and these bike traffic lights are often seen in Denmark and Sweden – be sure to watch the video below on how Malmö in Sweden have encouraged more people to bike. Could you do that in your area?
I know that more people would bike if they felt really safe, that is where bike lanes and clear signs are paramount. Yet it is only when we bike more and are seen on the road that cars get used to bikes. It’s also a good idea to write to your local MP, (MLA in Canada) and show the need for investment in bike infrastructure, with many countries recommitting to reducing their that it is seen as a priority.
3 reasons to quit ridiculous car journeys:
It is free exercise.
It keeps us young! Many of the women I saw in Copenhagen biking were in their 40s, 50s and 60s, peddling along at a phenomenal speed. Younger women were biking too but don’t assume it was all young men and women, it wasn’t.
Biking is a habit like any other and the more you do it the fitter you get – I know as I bike so much more now and love it, I also can zip up a hill that I once struggled with – that’s the benefit of biking everyday! Fitness!
Quick to do and duel purpose.
It is often quicker to bike, once you’ve factored in the finding a car parking space (see paragraph above) and all that, biking is quicker as you combine fitness with chores. Once, I had done my shopping and saw the same car still looking for a car parking space!
Time out in the fresh air
Time without distractions in a busy world; no music, just nature, fresh air (of varying levels!) and the sunshine (or rain) is important.
Bike a little way every day and smile more!
Do you bike? Would you like to do more biking? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook.
Step into Spring – why walking is the answer
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