Thread: Why do you drive?

From @bjsmith on Twitter

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Ever wonder why you can’t see the Flatirons when you know they’re just a few miles away?

If you drive when you could take a bus or train or ride a bicycle or walk, it’s partly because of you. denverpost.com/2020/01/17/den…

The Denver Post @denverpost
What’s polluting Colorado’s air? 125 million tons a year of heat-trapping and hazardous gases

No, you don’t personally generate much of the more than 125 million metric tons of hazardous and heat-trapping gases that pollute Colorado’s air every year. But you contribute to the toxic mess we inhale every day. denverpost.com/2020/01/19/col…

Image by susancycles from Pixabay 

I’ve heard all of the reasons people commute by themselves in a motor vehicle every day. If you’re one of those people, ask yourself if you have a good reason or a lame excuse.

Take me, for example. I could drive my fuel-efficient car every day and save myself a little time between Longmont and Boulder. But…

My employer provides an EcoPass for me and everyone I work with.

I can read or write or talk to people on the bus rather than worry about the many motorists on their phones or texting at 65+ miles per hour on the Diagonal Highway.

I can spend almost $0.00/day on gas.

Fortunately, I’m healthy enough to enjoy commuting by bicycle some of the time, or some combination of bicycle and bus.

I am surprised and disappointed some days to see few others on their bicycles. This is Boulder County and I expect better.

All things and privileges considered, I have no real, valid reason to drive myself to work and back every day.

So I don’t.

What’s your excuse?

No pity for columnist pushing guns for Christmas

Gun-loving Denver Post columnist Jon Caldara thinks we need more gun owners.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

In his latest firearms-fetish marketing spiel, he tries to disguise his irrational fear of having all of his deadly weapons confiscated by demonizing those “cultural elites” and “bigoted urbanites” who don’t share his paranoia.

Then he decries “gun-phobe cultural manipulation” to stir up some more class hatred and manipulate others into buying guns or giving extras to their unarmed friends.

Not wanting to leave a divisive, dishonest rhetorical device in his arsenal unfired, he dismisses fear of guns as something “emotional” that is easily overcome by a little target practice, then really lets loose with a couple of absurd, insulting false equivalencies.

I quote:

Most Colorado gun shops now charge about $50 to do a transfer. If it cost a dime to transfer a Quran, the ACLU would rightly sue.

In the urban/suburban world, it’s easier to come out as gay than as a gun owner.

It’s hard to feel sorry for a guy who is so good at self-serving self pity.

Don’t give me a gun for Christmas. If you want to get me something, here’s my list.

Shop now, my friends. Shop now.

B.J.

We could have done without "The Irishman"

Let me save you 209 minutes if you haven’t already seen “The Irishman.”

Don’t bother.

Despite the hype and reviews and award nominations and Scorsese and De Niro and Pacino – and all you might anticipate in terms of film-making and stellar acting when you hear those names – what the guys deliver is a real snoozer.

Lest I spend too much more time on this (3+ hours and counting already), a quick summary: All that talent was wasted on a dreary, depressing story of corruption and serial cold-blooded murder by a bunch of thugs who can’t scrape up a single conscience among the lot of them. They’re all dead now and good riddance.

After 90 minutes of trying to figure out why I should give a shit about any of them, I toughed it out through the other 119 and ultimately learned that I should not have bothered.

Don’t waste your time.

You’re welcome.

Are you an aging, melting snowflake?

To anyone offended by “ok boomer” responses to what you say or write:

Think about what makes you so easy to dismiss. It’s more likely about your attitude than your age. Learn something from it, then move on.

Lashing out only makes you look more like an aging, melting snowflake. I hope I haven’t offended you just now.

Humility is the word

I thought about my place in the world and in the universe during some quiet time this morning. My place is very small, as is yours. Humility is the word that comes to mind. It is good to remember that.

Pixabay image

Writing on the road bike

Getting in a rut is easy, at least for me, not to mention hazardous. Not long ago I caught my rear wheel in a jagged hole in the asphalt at the intersection of St. Vrain Road and Highway 36 north of Boulder. A few pedal strokes later I was replacing a tube with not one but two cuts in it. At least I wasn’t flying downhill out of control when the tire went flat.

bicycle wheel shadow
Pedal on, my friends

I found my way out of another kind of rut over the past few days simply by picking a different route for a late afternoon bike ride home from work. I alternate between bus and bike commuting on a sort of haphazard schedule and had gotten in the bad habit of pedaling the shortest, quickest way home. That route also has the most traffic, so the mind is often occupied with staying alert for drivers (and other cyclists) doing really stupid things.

The more scenic route that I’ve taken the past couple of rides home is so much nicer and relaxing that I’ve had time to think. Not only did I get out of the same-old-route rut, but as I got closer and closer to home I realized how my WIP-S (work-in-progress, slowly) will end. I came home and wrote the last few paragraphs.

Now that I know where I’m going, I can work on filling the gap between a halfway written novel and the very end.

Pedal on, my friends. Pedal on.

B.J.

Motorized bicycles that are ‘non-motorized’? Say hello to my ‘cat’

This morning was perfect for a bicycle ride from Longmont to Lyons, a distance of about 10 miles if you start at the Smith place. It’s always great fun to be on the road with nearly as many cyclists as motor vehicle operators. Mrs. Smith and I aren’t the slowest people on bicycles, but we’re not so fast that we miss the scenery, the road-killed snakes, and all the yellow skins apparently shed along the way by bananas that no longer need them.

We’re also noticing more and more of those e-bike things, which I thought were referred to as such because they have electric motors. Silly me.

I read in the Denver Post after our human-powered morning ride that the U.S. government has decreed that e-bikes are actually “non-motorized.”

And up is actually down, unless I have that backwards.

My favorite and funniest part of the article, even though this is no laughing matter:

“The Interior statement said riders must use the motor only to boost their pedaling on the trails, and not zip along on motor power alone.”

The absurdity is obvious: The Department of the Interior has determined that the riders in question don’t have motors. What’s more, we all know that cyclists, motor vehicle operators, and even riders of non-motorized contraptions that do have motors routinely fail to do many of the things they must do.

I wouldn’t deny anyone the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, as much as or even much more than I do. The arguments in favor of using e-bikes to get around are numerous, and many of those reasons are actually good.

As a writer and editor who cares about language, however, I do take exception to calling things and people something they are not.

By the way, I thought I’d share a picture of my cat, since people love cat pictures so much.

Pedal on, my friends.

B.J.