Monday, April 21, 2008

Alternative Transportation

I was running errands yesterday, including a brief stop at the local farmer's market. As I was leaving, I noticed the bumper sticker on the car in front of me: Bush/Cheney For Prison. Thumbs up to that.

I drove down to Santa Monica to look at a Breezer bike called the Villager. The Villager is one of several Breezer bikes designed specifically for commuting. Unfortunately, the shop doesn't keep the Breezers in stock. They order them as needed. I'm not buying a bike without trying it out, especially one that costs $850. They told me they would be willing to get one in if I put down a deposit, and, if I didn't want it, they'd give the deposit back. Thanks, but no thanks. Then the sales guy I talked to said they'd get one of the lower priced bikes in--the frame is the same--and I could come in and try that out, without a down payment. That's a much better deal, so we'll give that a try. There are only two Breezer dealers in the area and I'm planning to stop by the one in Hollywood to see if they actually have on in stock tomorrow.

I'm trying to buy a bicycle before Bike to Work Month starts next week. I'm not the Employee Transportation Coordinator for Pierce College, which means I'm supposed to be in charge of promoting all kinds of ride share and alternative methods of commuting to reduce air pollution under the South Coast Air Quality Management District rules. Setting an example by biking, since I live about a mile from here and most of the commute can be done on the Orange Line bike path, seems like a really good idea. It won't work when it rains and it probably won't work when it gets really hot in the summer, but it should be just fine for now. My son goes everywhere by bike and bus, since he still doesn't have a drivers license (unbelievable to most people who know L.A.)

The object of the SCAQMD rules is to reduce emissions during peak morning hours of 6-10 a.m. If I bike in the morning and go home to get the car at lunch so I can get up to Chatsworth to my horse in time for lessons after work, I'm within the spirit of things and I qualify for a $1/day benefit. I think I should be permitted to ride Ace to work as an alternative method of transportation, but my zoning won't allow him in the back yard. Wouldn't it be great if hitching posts become common again because of fuel prices?

The good news from my little excursion yesterday is that I was able to balance on the bicycle with a little effort. It's a good thing that the one I tried out had breaks in the peddles, because I automatically went for them rather than the hand breaks. That should tell you how long it has been since I've actually ridden a bicycle!


Grey Horse Matters said...

I think the biking to work is a great idea, but I'm with you I'd rather take a horse to work than a bike. Everyone should ride a horse for their main transportation, just wonder what kind of pollution that biodegradable stuff would cause that comes out the back end?

M. C. Valada said...

They could sweep it off to the side to fertilize the landscaping, saving the cost of commercial feedings.