Sunday, November 06, 2005

Proximity and The Dad

A popular argument, excuse, reason or obstacle against riding a bike to work is the distance between a person’s residence and their work. The I Live Here and Work There Argument is pretty persuasive for a lot of people. Just like The George Bushes declaring the American way of life non-negotiable, people also claim their right to live 30 miles away from the places they travel to the most.

Famous pessimist James Howard Kunstler sees an interesting future for our soon to be energy starved world. He holds very little hope for suburbia, and suggests that life will soon become “profoundly local.” If Kunstler's a bit too dark Oil Is For Sissy’s happily points to a more palatable November 5 Star Tribune article. Any similarities to Kunstler’s future and the Strib’s present might not be coincidental.

27 years ago my parents cashed in their portion of the American dream for a different dream. We moved to this town and began living profoundly local. The home we moved to was smaller and three blocks from dad’s work. He walked or biked year round for 20 years. It’s amazing to me that as I meditate and ponder all the issues and concerns I face while living out The MinusCar Project, my parents have already modeled many of the answers.

My dad no longer works the same job. The house my parents live in is much further than three blocks from dad’s work.

My dad rode his bike to work as much as I did last week. He says I inspire him.

My dad turns 62 today.

Happy Birthday Dad. You’ve been modeling the right things for me even when you couldn’t possibly have known how right they were.

Thanks. I am a lucky man.


Anonymous said...

Today seems to be my day to litter the ether with comments about "smart growth". (I posted over at SD Magazine's blog, too). My concerns about development stem more from impervious watershed cover and the impact on water quality rather than energy but I bet we want many of the same things. Like, fewer roads.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to your dad. I'm sure that the black balloons were a nice contrast to the office decor.

I'm one of those who firmly holds to the belief that I do indeed have the privilege of living 30 miles from where I work. Perhaps I enjoy this privilege because family lives across the street (and they've been there for almost 30 years). Perhaps I enjoy this simply because I don't miss paying the taxes and dealing with the noise of the city. Perhaps I simply enjoy it because I can.

Life is a collection of choices. I don't always make the right ones, but I'm glad we made the choice to be here, now, whatever the reasons may be.

FatChick said...

I've always wanted to bike to work. I thought it would help with my health, stress, and save money. But, like many people, I live in the suburb of the city in which I work. I don't mind the distance but the police say it's illegal for me to ride on the Interstate on my bike, go figure! lol

My boyfriend on the other hand is perfectly able to ride his bike to and from work (meaning no Interstate stands in his way) yet he has yet to do so. Even though I tell him how lucky he is to live so close to his work. I guess that's just Murphy's Law.

I think what you are doing is great!

~ Fat chick

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to "No Car"'s dad. I've been seeing him ride to work for years.

Anonymous said...

I liked to this post today, hope you don't mind. Happy birthday to your Pops, I wish him many more miles.