By Mark Tebbutt
Seventy percent of all trips that Americans take in a car are a mile or less; I am sure that statistic applies to car trips in Davis. So how long does it take to ride a mile on a bike? Not long! I do that trip almost every day. How long does that trip take to go in a car? Less, but not that much less, especially adding parking, gassing up and walking time.
So if it doesn’t save time to drive, why do we do it? Because, most of us are lazy in regards to bikes. For most of my life I was just as lazy as anybody, I didn’t want to deal with the extra work of bike riding, the cold air, the foggy air, the hot air, the windy air or whatever excuse I could use. But really, it is a mind-set, a pattern of doing things.
We have driven a car since we were 16 and that is what we are used to; it is difficult to change that thought process. In our minds it is such a hassle to ride a bike, it is much easier to get in a 3,500-pound machine and have it move us around. Who cares if it burns important fossil fuels, contributes to global warming, makes us less healthy, contributes to congested streets and crowded parking? This is how we have always done it.
Just getting on the bike and putting in 10 or 20 bike trips can really start to open your eyes to the fact that riding a bike is pretty easy and fun. Your body is amazingly adaptable and will adjust to different temperatures and conditions sooner than you think.
In Davis, we are so excited because we are a bike platinum city and 16 percent of our citizens commute to work by bike. I am proud of that, but I think our city could do so much more. If every able-bodied person in this town decided to change their thinking and start using their bike for most of their trips within Davis, there would be another quantum shift in the bike ridership of this town. We can set such a great example for others of what biking can really do for a city.
Why don’t you add yourself to the growing numbers of Davis bike riders? You will be helping Davis, but you will get more out of it yourself.
— Mark Tebbutt is a Davis resident.