What’s So Scary About Bikes?

August 25, 2010

I have a teenage client who was recently placed at a DCF group home in a town east of the Connecticut River, about ten miles from the courthouse where I work. Because I know the kid’s family is unlikely to visit him and I suspected he’d struggle to adjust to the place, I arranged to go visit him yesterday afternoon. So, after prepping my hearings for the next day and getting my files in order, I stuck my head into my boss’s office around 3:45 to say I was off to visit my client. “On your bike?!” he cried, incredulous. “You’re riding all the way there?”

“It’s only ten miles,” I said. “And let’s not forget, you’re the one who thinks wind-powered boat transportation is a good time.” Naturally, he didn’t care all that much, but my co-worker was equally surprised by my transportation plan, urging me to call her if I should become stranded by rain or mechanical malfunction.

Likewise, when I arrived at the group home, the kids there were impressed by my mode of transport. “Yo, you came here all the way from Hartford on that bike? How long it took you, like two hours?” (45 minutes, actually. I could have walked in two hours.) And then, turning to my client, “Damn son, this nigga crazy.”

Here’s the thing: It wasn’t crazy at all. Most of the ride was scenic, involving several miles on a lovely wooded bike path and the opportunity to cross the river, which is always nice. It took me maybe 15 minutes more than it would have taken by car, and about an hour less than it would have taken by bus. And really, ten miles is just not that far. Most reasonably fit people (including my boss, my co-worker, and all the kids at the group home) could walk that distance easily. The weather was cool and comfortable. Most of my trip didn’t even involve riding on roads that were too busy or too narrow – there wasn’t a single instance when a car came too close to me and made me fear for my life.

Also, afterward I was able to meet my friend and his co-workers, who were out for drinks in the same town, and have a few drinks without concerning myself with how I would get home, and when I ultimately did arrive home, having logged a cumulative 30 miles or so, I felt energized and healthy and I slept well.

So what is it about non-motorized transportation that seems so impossible? What is the deal with Central Connecticut?


One Response to “What’s So Scary About Bikes?”

  1. Non-motorized transportation is an insult to the American way of life, that’s what’s wrong with it!

    No fossil fuels!
    No fuel of any kind!
    No insurance!
    No pollution!
    It’s the first step to socialism!

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