Mon, 27 Sep 2004

Monday, September 27, 2004

I've been meaning to find these stats which were quoted at the Pedal Power meeting by the Green candidate. Ben found them here this morning:
Ivan Illich sums up the effect in these startling figures: "The typical American devotes more than 1500 hours a year (which is 30 hours a week, or 4 hours a day, including Sundays) to his [or her] car. This includes the time spent behind the wheel, both in motion and stopped, the hours of work to pay for it and to pay for gas, tires, tolls, insurance, tickets, and taxes. Thus it takes this American 1500 hours to go 6000 miles (in the course of a year). Three and a half miles take him (or her) one hour. In countries that do not have a transportation industry, people travel at exactly this speed on foot, with the added advantage that they can go wherever they want and aren't restricted to asphalt roads."

It's a pretty amazing stat. Even if it's out by a factor of 2 or 3, it's still makes cycling pretty compelling, although it's pointless if you still own a car (or 4 :-P).
Canberra's a fantastic city for riding but the majority of people still drive to work. I've been riding 30 min to and from work about 2-3 times a week for 6 months now. It's really easy and for me all it took was for me to get off my arse and try it. Sure it was more difficult initially, getting organised and getting my fitness up, so it was worth persisting a number of times. It's also made me a lot fitter and Jo has noticed a significant improvement in my overall physical and mental well being (as well as becoming a "dirty hippy").
A lot of people say they can't do certain things because they're too busy or their life doesn't let them. Certainly this is true for some people, but for the vast majority of people the problem is caring enough to make the time. People will always make time for the things they are truly interested in.
We had a pretty busy weekend. Work dinner on Friday night, followed by a mini pub crawl. Got home at around 3am but fortunately didn't feel too bad on Saturday. Bummed around most of Saturday. Sunday went to the Nerd fair (commonly known as the Book fair) with Martin and Mel and spent the rest of the day at a picnic with work people at Weston Park.
Car is to beef what Bicycle is to?????

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