Reluctantly giving up my Jeep for two wheels
May 12, 2003
One might say I’m an environmentalist’s worst nightmare. A year ago I traded in my Nissan that never got less than 30 mpg for a Wrangler that is lucky to hit 20 mpg on the open road.
Like my dad, I love to drive. I even prefer doing it alone.
So this puts me in a quandary with it being Bike to Work Week. I was asked by a colleague if I was going to participate. Having Fridays off I figured that would get me out of participating in Bike to Work Day.
And with winter in May, I figure it is another excuse to drive instead of bike.
It’s not that I don’t like to be on my bike. I’ve just always considered it a play thing and not a mode of serious transportation.
However, at the same time I am all for cutting down on air pollution and traffic, and doing my part. I guess it’s time to prove it.
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Based on my schedule this week, I’m either riding in today or tomorrow. I’m not sure the reporters will be riding to assignments, or the late editors should be on the roads well into the evening, but there are a few of us in the building who could ride our bikes on occasion.
If summer ever arrives on the South Shore, I will be sure to ride in on Sundays. I don’t worry too much what I look or smell like on those days.
I know not all jobs are conducive to riding in to work. There is a certain look some employers like to enforce. But I know I would not work up a sweat on my three-mile ride in from home. If it were really imperative for me to be dressed nicely, I could leave a change of clothes at the office the previous day.
It can be scary out there riding alongside vehicles, especially when tourists don’t have a clue to where they are going. Let me tell you, though, the roads of Tahoe are a heck of a lot safer than what I rode on in Las Vegas. At least people here don’t think cyclists arrived from Area 51.
Now I just need to buy a road bike so I can keep the mountain bike for the dirt.
It would be great if there could be more rides in the area — not races — rides that all levels can participate in without the competition. And something a little shorter than 72 miles around the lake.
I participated in my first ride the first weekend in May in my old stomping grounds of Sonoma County. I had never pedaled 35 miles at one time before. It was great. I was tempted to jut off to taste wine, but figured if I needed a taxi, it would not come with a bike rack.
There were all shapes, sizes and ages there. It made me realize that as much as cycling is a sport, it is not one that requires you to be in tip-top shape. And it’s one of those things that even though it’s good for you and the environment, it is more fun than it is work.
Give it some thought, would biking to work — even a few times a year — really be all that difficult?
Kathryn Reed is managing editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. She may be reached at email@example.com or (530) 541-3880, ext. 251.