Friday, May 14, 2010

Baby Steps

I participated in "Bike to Work, Lincoln" this morning.

I saw some folks at Peter Pan Park removing bikes from cars to ride. I presume they pedaled back to Peter Pan Park, returned home to unload their bikes and then drove to work.

At first I thought: why are you folks being such posers?

But later on in the day it hit me: they're addicted to their cars. They don't want other car addicts to know they want to break the habit. 

After all, cars are intoxicating. Remember the first time you got behind the wheel and turned the key to start up mom's Volvo so you could operate the handheld car vac without killing the battery? How about the first time you put dad's Olds in reverse to move it out of the way so you could get the lawn mower out? What about the first night you went cruising with friends the night after you got your license?

You had a big fat smile on your face every time. Operating a powerful car is intoxicating. Your own personal chariot, yours to explore wide open spaces with minimal effort.

You know what I'm talking about. The automobile is a tough habit to break. Been there. I still struggle at times.

So after a day of wondering why folks would waste all that time to fake the funk, I no longer fault those folks.

Why the change of heart? Those folks might have left those bikes in the garage without "Bike to Work, Lincoln".

They just need to take baby steps. Dip a toe in the water before jumping in feet first. Take a "test drive", if you will.

That makes today's event an overwhelming success, in my opinion.

I only hope we didn't scare them away from leaving the car at home come Monday: A pic of me at Trago Park surfaced on Facebook, makes me look like a comic book villain.

I look like a cross between Sling Blade and Solomon Grundy. Pic taken by Shane Harders

On a side note, I met Elaine Hammer today. She is really nice. She told me she doesn't like to be in the middle of groups and would ride behind us from Peter Pan park to Trago Park and on to the State Office Building. I didn't know the 27th street bike bridge was named after her until after the group from Peter Pan Park rode over with her bringing up the rear.

I found out later she has been the driving force behind Lincoln's trail network for the past several years.

And for that, I thank her a great deal.

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