Re: Life after the oil crash

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Thu Oct 27 2005 - 17:54:28 EDT

One of the things the automobile provides over the bicycle is efficiency. Yeah, I could get to the grocery store in 10 minutes on my bike. But it would be 30-40 minutes to the nearest hardware store (and then how do I carry a big piece of plywood back home on my bike? another 30-40 minutes) China has this problem solved by the large number of tricycles they ride which have a back like a pickup. In Peterculter, it was a short walk to the post office, it would be about 20 minutes on a bike and then 20 minutes back. To my office in Houston it would be about an hour by bicycle rather than the 20 minutes of today.
The problem with a bicycle economy is that you have to spend so much time doing that which is economically inefficient. While one is bicycling to the store, you are not with your family, you are not working, you are not wasting time on the internet. Our productivity would drop and our work hours would vastly increase.
Thus, while a bicycle economy sounds oh so noble, I am seeing one every day and I will guarantee you that those I see riding bikes every day wish they had cars. wrote:
Quoting Iain Strachan :

> On 10/27/05, Glenn Morton wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > *Michael Roberts * wrote:
> >
> > Should it be a criminal offence to drive a car which does less than 35
> > miles to the gallon (US mini-gallons) and use central heating at 70deg and
> > always use air-conditioning?
> > Will we come to that.
> > I will now get on my bike
> > GRM: Having lived in both the UK and the US, the US is not structured the
> > same as the UK. I could walk to the nearest grocery story (4 aisles of
> > stuff) in about 5 minutes in Peterculter. But if I want to walk to the
> > nearest grocery store in the US it is a 40 minute walk
> >
> > .. or a 10 minute bike ride!
> OK it's not going to solve the world's fuel crisis, but one thing I do have
> in common with Michael is apparently being an evangelical cyclist. (In both
> senses.)
> Iain
AMEN TO THAT -- I add myself to the evangelist cyclist list. In fact I feel a
bit like a self-righteous pharisee about this. Of course, no sooner do I finish
thinking my horrible thoughts about all the "evil" SUVs (typically after one has
just gone careening by me on my bike) than I remember all the intelligent and
kind owners of large vehicles that have kindly offered me passenger space on
this or that trip. That steadies me a bit. But I really did delight in the
Calvin & Hobbes strip where Hobbes is musing about how Calvin's subversive dad
thought of bicycles as being the pinnacle of transportation technology. I would
surmise that Watterson was more than half serious with that wisecrack -- and I
think I would actually make a serious defense of that! Oil days are numbered &
even more so since we have been implicitly evangelizing our oil consuming ways
to the rest of the world. I was taken aback to see magazine adds from American
oil companies that were actually promoting conservation. When THEY start
talking like that -- maybe some heads are getting pulled out of the sand. But
none of this will overhaul our society in any voluntary manner -- we're too
addicted for that. Sorry -- you guys are the audience to my bottled up ranting.
I'll try to shut up for a little while. (Lest I sound too self-righteous -- I
am an automobile owner & do drive more regularly than I bike. My only caveat is
that I view this as a cause for shame rather than pride.)


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Received on Thu Oct 27 17:57:03 2005

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