I love my personal transportation vehicle
Today was a normal February day in Minnesota; it was about 10 degrees, with heavy drifting and blowing snow, and the roads had patches of ice left over from freezing rain on Sunday. We’ve had some variation on that wintry theme the last few weeks. We have all missed time at work, school and everyday to-dos. I have prudently chosen when and when not to drive.
But I had things to do, places to be today, and I like driving in snow.
So, I blew through the day (carefully) in this amazing thing called a car. It is made of steel, hard rubber, advanced electronics, and runs on petroleum products. The parts were engineered, manufactured and assembled here and abroad by hundreds, maybe thousands of people. My car is a modern marvel of technology and human cooperation.
While I moved slowly in traffic tonight, I saw a guy on a fat-wheeled bike (with all the commuter gear) slowly making his way against the wind and snow on a bike trail. He was heading west. And then a few minutes later, I saw him heading east. (Maybe he was giving up, or heading home to get his car.)
It made me think of a dear friend of mine who relies on her bike, walking, or the kindness of friends, to get to work and everything else. The last few weeks have been scary and dangerous; I think of her every morning and wonder if she is safe. Fortunately, friends with cars have stepped up to help.
And it made me think of how fortunate I am to be able to afford a car, and how absurd it is for policy makers to push the idea that we should rely on bikes in Minnesota as a means of “transportation.”