The problems caused by expensive gas prices and a deficit of parking spaces can be answered by putting your car keys away and picking up a bicycle. My insight comes from 14 years of dependency on bikes. When I’m with my Schwinn I’m working out, so I never need to set aside time to go to the gym. I’m also not paying for gas, insurance or parking tickets.
A gallon of gas costs more than a fast food burger. We are spending more time in Founders and less in Haas. As a whole, we are not a very athletic college. Our defense for spending so much of our time on our padded bottoms in chairs that swivel and roll is that we have work to do. So much work. But is our workload so heavy that we must hold our stationary, hunched position for 12 hours a day? If exercise were billed as an effective method of procrastination, Pine Top Trail would be swarming and rutted. And because exercise is undervalued, the trail is underutilized. So we continue to spend more time in front of keyboards, our backs curve to a slouch and our bodies seem to soften.
We don’t have time to work out. Or else we don’t like shadows of sweat on the armpits of our t-shirts, the pounding of pavement on our knees or the ache that comes the next day. As a whole, we just aren’t working out. And the problems with driving are mounting. Once you’ve laid your money down on a bike, there’s no insurance, monthly payments or oil changes. There is no oil. A bicycle will kill your love handles, save your bank account and take you away from your flooding inbox.
Abandoning your hunk of junk car is an easy choice with miles of beautiful bike trails in Redwood Park just minutes away. It’s not any more difficult to ride a bicycle. If anything, it’s easier. Oakland is a flat city with an abundance of bicycle parking spaces.
I might have started cycling because I’m cheap or too lazy to get a license, but I’ve continued because I can’t seem to stop. It’s an addiction, an obsession. And like many addicts, I want my friends to share. I have a vision of full bike rooms and empty parking spaces. I want to see gas stations shut down and souped up bikes dominate the roadways. I want you to join my bicycle revolution.