16 August 2011

Why Biking Is Better

The discomforts of riding a bike are physical, and somehow more tangible than the discomforts of driving a car, but the car-driving discomforts are real just the same.

This morning: set off on the bike, got wet, dried out on the train, got wet again, dried out in my office.

This afternoon: flat tire (fixed it with kit The Mate left in the trunk). No rain, not too hot, got the car far enough off the road not to worry about getting run over.

The discomforts came later. Tailgaters, aggressive lane-changers, stop-at-green-lighters that made me irritable, and then irritable enough to honk, and then even more irritable, enough to make regrettable gestures out the car window.

This morning, the wet stuff dried out within half an hour or so. The afternoon's irritations, on the other hand, persist: somehow, I'm still irritated at all those aggressive and just plain lousy drivers.

This is the important part to remember: the physical discomforts seem more important in the anticipation, but in fact they fade rapidly, while the emotional discomforts linger.

Multi-tasking: on the train, I got some work done on a syllabus; on the drive home, I got to talk to my folks. Beneficial adjunct activities both. But there's always work, and if I drive several hours a week, I run out of people to talk to.