Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Umbra Fisk, Commentator and Commuter...

Today Umbra Fisk (Grist fame) wrote about a letter she received whether it's better to Bicycle Commute, considering alternatives and the air around you. Several readers posted grave concerns, some flippant. Here's what I wrote about our commute(s)...

Recently, my wife and I were featured in the Newsweek article 'Going Green' by Jerry Adler. I was reminded again this morning on our ride - why we do it. It was after 5 a.m. and after I waved goodbye to her at her bus stop. She does a hybrid commute because she works 25 miles away. I ride opposite my work to be with her, because I'm more comfortable knowing she made it okay to her bus, and because I get an extra 9 miles out of it - totalling about 22 miles each way (it's flat here in Tampa Bay).

As I rolled onto the Bayside Bridge near Clearwater, I sat for a moment as hundreds of cars and trucks zoomed by, and I watched the sun - slowly rising, glowing a warm orange color, and its continual change of color and intensity as it raised up from the horizon. Then I looked around and saw dolphins surfacing, seagulls and terns chasing each other to a fish, and oodles of pelicans following each other in a line above the thermals created by the bridge. And as I neared the end of the bridge this morning I was challenged by 8 pelicans, gliding peacefully in my direction, whom I had to sprint to stay up with. My lungs were heaving in particulate, I'm certain... but, my happiness was overflowing.

Ask yourself this lengthy question. Would you rather experience a life of happiness, filled with moments of wonder, excitement, exhiliration, and yes - perhaps even danger? Or, would you prefer to sit slightly more safely in a Mobile Emissions Source, listening to yack radio, getting cut off by a Stupendously Underutilized Vehicle (SUV), and never remembering a minute of your commute?

Above my desk I have a saying from an unknown author that reads, "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body... but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... Wow, what a ride !!!" With that, I'll see you out there. And if you get a chance, bookmark our blog to see what we're up to these days at Cut20.blogspot.com. - JD


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