Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Put the Pedal to the Mettle

Like all the other alternatives, bicycling has been in the news recently.

NPR's Ari Shapiro recently rode with Portland congressman Earl Blumenaur on his morning commute to the Capitol.

Blumenaur, the head of the bipartisan Congressional Bike Caucus and the man behind a new global climate change bill, has been riding his bike to work for 12 years. In fact, he says, he didn't even bring a car to Washington at all.

"I've never had to look for a parking space in Washington, D.C. I've never been stuck in traffic ... ever," he tells Shapiro as they ride together.

When asked about the effect of high gas prices, Blumenaur almost audibly shrugs and says that's a choice people are making. Shapiro presses him, saying that there are communities where people can't ride a bike wherever they are going.

But Blumenaur disagrees, pointing out that 20 percent of all trips taken in this country are a mile or less.

And hey, if a politician can do it ... there has to be hope for the rest of us.

And be sure to look for the Flyer this weekend — we'll have a story on alternative forms of transportation, including bicycling, buses, and light rail.

No comments: