A quickie, lunch-time post (culled in part from a few emails I've written over the past week):
Dr. Fledermaus, Bat Jr. and I were interviewed last week by the local media (to be linked when available online) for a segment about winter bike commuting.
It was an interesting experience to be interviewed; I've managed to avoid very many interviews and, though I'd thought about what I'd like to say--I even came up with my own sound bite ("I really like biking, and sometimes I wish that we had a 20 or 30 mile round trip. But the thing about what we're doing is that anyone can do it.") I didn't have the mental dexterity to get it into the conversation. The politician's skill of answering the question he wants to rather than what you ask continues to elude me. And then of course there was the moment after the interview when Dr F. said, "We should have mentioned global warming." and I thought, "Yeah, I suppose so." It's just that it's one of those staggeringly obvious things--surely there's no one out there who thinks that more auto exhaust is good for breathing!--that we don't even think to mention it. But, I suppose, like all bike commuters, we'd happily bore any listener for hours with all the personal, environmental, financial, etc. benefits of riding.
Dr. F did a great job summing up our goal: bike or walk within a 2-mile radius of home. Soundfamiliar? (We started doing it before Clif put it so succinctly, really! But their web site does help!
All in all, the piece was great, though, and hit all the high points, from a variety of perspectives--lots of different commuters: young, old, female, male, bike-geeky, 'normal'....
A few more things occurred to me, though, over the week since, specifically regarding our commute with a little 'un. First off, the bike trailer is really the warmest--even at the coldest outside temperatures--and, of course, quickest way to get her back and forth to day care (3/4 mile). We start off in our basement in the morning, so we're able to buckle her in while we're all inside, and put warm blankets on her. Then we bike out the loading dock and straight up the street to her day care, where we can get her out twenty feet from the door. Compare that to the alternatives: The stroller isn't nearly as weather-proof (especially since we added a zipper to the front of the trailer). A frozen-cold car seat certainly wouldn't warm up in the time it takes to get there, and the walk to and from the car would be way longer than the time we spend outside now. Waiting for the bus? Up to fifteen minutes outside.
But enough justification. It's also time to mention that we have a great advantage of a bike-in, bike-out basement which really makes this whole system work like a charm. Not everybody has that, to be sure--but a lot of people have garages, which perform just the same function!
The take-home message from the segment, and from us, is, "If we can do this, anybody can; we're all just ordinary folks!"