|My bike is the first at West Easton Treatment Center|
Zealots like the Coalition for Appropriate (not Alternative) Transportation's Steve Schmitt will give you all kinds of reasons for staying out of a car, but they're all bullshit.
They'll tell you it's cheaper, that every mile traveled on bike or by foot translates to a dollar less for gas and oil changes. But every dollar I save is spent on gallons of water, watermelon, bananas, and for some reason, baked beans. I've been eating lots of baked beans lately.
They'll tell you it's good for the environment, but I'm not so sure. After eating all those baked beans, I sound like a motorcycle. It's a good thing my saddle has extra padding.
They'll swear it's good for you, and will extend your lifespan by a gazillion years, and you won't get cancer and die. But it's not so good when you're an idiot like me and ride into things. This Summer, from just one minor fall, I had bruised ribs, tinnitus, and finally, sciatica. That's in addition to all the cuts and scrapes. Plus, bugs fly right into my eyes, although that happens anyway.
I've had many consultations with Michael Molovinsky, who swears he's a doctor.
He has started his own walking regimen. Bethlehem activist Al Bernotas went out and bought a bike.
They say that all the endorphins will make you a nicer person. But I'm still a miserable bastard, as evidenced by this blog.
Others will tell you that cycling is dangerous and that you'll die if you get on the road. That's nonsense, too. Most roads are wide enough to accommodate a car and a bike with ease. Most drivers, believe it or not, are very courteous. I would recommend Steve Schmitt's road safety course. I took that a few years ago and learned a lot. Just keep your car keys away from him.
They tell you it will take too long to get somewhere. It takes me about 45 minutes to get to the courthouse from Nazareth, which is not much longer than driving. Plus, I don't have to worry about finding a parking spot. They're all over the place.
The main reason I ride is because I love it. That's it.
Unlike some real hardcore troopers, I'm am unable to ride once the temperature drops. I'll try to hold on as long as I can, but here are this year's highlights.
Longest trip. - 44 miles to a Justin Simmons pig roast, where my dairy allergy prevented me from eating anything but tomatoes, pickles and baked beans.
Fastest speed. - 32.2 mph, going down a hill on Bushkill Drive.
Average speed. - 10-12 mph. I'm slow.
Weirdest ride. - Coming home in the dark last week, after a meeting in Bethlehem Township. It had poured earlier that evening. A mist blanketed the country roads, curling around my lights. A serenade of crickets, along with my own breathing, was my music. Much better than talk radio or NPR.
Scariest trip. - Last week, I rode to West Easton for the dedication of the new treatment center. I was scared to death I'd be shot for some reason.
Toughest hill. - Turning from Main Street in Freemansburg and up along the police station.
Most embarrassing moment. - Riding into a curb and doing a header on 13th Street in Easton.
Most pleasant moment. - On a hot day, I had stopped at Redner's, located next to the Palmer Bike Path. Watermelon break. As I sat there eating, a father and his young son came up on their bikes, but had no change for a bottle of water. I was down to about 13 cents myself, but still had watermelon and shared it with them. The young boy loved it. "There's nothing like watermelon on a hot day!" he proclaimed. He was right, and at that moment, all three of us were young boys.