Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Running the Gauntlet: Bicycle Commuting in ABQ, Earth Day edition

Today is Earth Day. Instead of planting trees or turning lights off or whatever people do on Earth Day, I commuted to and from work on my bicycle. Not because it's Earth Day, but because I do that everyday. That's right, Hippies, plant as many tree as you want!

The exciting part of bike commuting in Albuquerque is that every mile could be your last. At any given time you could have crazy dogs, oblivious joggers, idiotic drivers or massive sinkholes all competing with each other to end your life.

The city has been doing a great job of adding more bike lanes and trails, but I feel like those just offer cyclists a false sense of security. If I were riding on the Bosque Trail one beautiful Saturday afternoon and a car jumped out of the river aiming right for me, I wouldn't be surprised in the least.

These are the risks that bicycle commuters take in order to experience the overwhelming sense of moral superiority that one feels when they commute by bicycle. Bicycle riders are like modern day James Deans. Living on the edge, laughing in the face of Death.

And why shouldn't we feel superior? I don't really give two shits about the environment, that's not why I ride my bike. But that kind of leaves me feeling ripped off seeing all these jackasses driving by in huge SUVs halfway in my bike lane, talking on their cell phones about global warming while ruining the air that I clearly need more.

I'm not too bothered by the whole things, though. I feel like my life is a lot more full than those assholes. In the morning I have the crisp cool air in my face, the smells of spring all over. Life is good, life is beautiful. Then some white collar zombie runs a stop sign while reaching for his Venti Carmel Macciato.

Happy Earth Day!

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