24 January 2012

Car as Cocoon

Today, I drove to campus for the first time since the beginning of the year.  After taking the train regularly since the start of last semester, it felt like a bit of a novelty to be able to stay dry, control the temperature, control the soundtrack (no hockey fans or NJ Transit announcements), control the air quality (nobody pretending they didn't notice the no smoking signs).

I can understand why so many people prefer the comfort of their own little cocoon rather than having to face the indignities of public transit. 

At the same time, I will be glad tomorrow to be back on my bike and, yes, back on the train, thumbing my nose at the elements, enjoying my solitary ride along the river at the ends of the day. 

And the contact I do have with humans -- pedestrians or other cyclists along my route, train conductors, other random people along the way -- is not mediated by a pane of glass or two.