I should make an attempt to ride to work—especially as I’ve been broadcast encouraging people to just try! http://video.cheknews.ca/services/player/bcpid1530274581001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAA4mHNTzE~,ejlzBnGUUKauc2zn_kmUm9i-CLdp2qnb&bctid=1660542219001
This is the year—I’m definitely going to take a chance and be daring.
If Ryder Hesjedahl can cycle over 3600 km through the Italian Alps over three weeks, I ought to be able to cover the 3.53 km-, 17-minute ride calculated by walkscore.com at least once this week.
But I’m more daunted than inspired by a guy who could cycle to work (and back!) in Duncan and not even break a sweat.
BTWW road looms long and dark and is fraught with guilt for me. My motivation clicks into high gear and then comes to an abrupt and grinding halt–like when a chain falls off a derailleur—when I think about cycling to work.
A small bead of perspiration appears on my brow and for some reason, I think I can hear strains of Queen’s Fat-Bottomed Girls…. My bike vision is getting fuzzy and my resolve is fading.
A voice–different that the one singing a minute ago–is saying really–who has time to bike? There are kids to drop off before work, errands to run at lunch, and grocery shopping after work. Not only that, I’d be all sweaty when I got to work, my mascara would run, and my hair would be a mess. Besides, I’m in love with my car!
Yet, I am one of the over 97% of the people who agreed with a recent survey statement that said “I think we could do a lot more to green our behaviours.” Sorting recycling, garbage, and composting, and turning off my monitor at the breaks and the end of the day probably puts my behaviour at about pale green.
Alternate–or active–transportation has yet to be part of my environmental literacy.
Apparently, I’m not the only one. According Rob Lawrance, Nanaimo’s Environmental planner, in 2008 less than 10% of Nanaimoites biked or walked to work. The last transportation study done at VIU reveals that .03% of us cycle in and about 5% walk.
And that brings me to spandex. Being 50-something with a penchant for Miss Vickie’s, I’ve nearly resigned myself to not rocking any outfit spandex based. However, on the “hot” stream of consciousness, I do consider climate change. I can’t single-handedly avert it, though cooling down the fiery affair with my car would be a move closer to green behaviour.
Do I have to give up driving completely to make a difference? Happily, no. With some quick research and math, it seems that cycling to work just one a day a week can avoid adding about 6.87 kg of CO2 to the atmosphere. How green is that? Well over a year, it equates to about the same amount of CO2 sequestration as three trees. Seriously green and that’s just me, one chip-chomping gal pedalling to campus once a week.
This BTWW is not as dark and nasty as I thought! Ryder, good luck at the Tour de France or Olympics—whichever you choose. I’m going to conquer the ride to work. So look for me on the streets and bike paths around town. I’ll be the one humming 80′s tunes and dreaming of leopard-print spandex bike shorts.