We complain a lot about the traffic on our roadways. (Me, included.) Yet, we don’t seem to want to give up our cars.
Why is that?
I thought about this recently because May is Oahu Bike Month, a challenge by the Hawaii Bicycling League to get residents to bike 100 miles or more in a month. (This is part of the National Bike Challenge, which runs from May 1 to Sept. 30.)
So far, the league has held several events including Bike to School Day (May 8), Hele on Kakaako (May 12) and Bike to Work Day (May 17). Coming up are Bike to Shop Weekend (May 24-26), where bicyclists can show their helmet or bike lock keys and get discounts from participating retailers, and the Holoholo Ride (May 31), which starts at the Hawaii State Capitol in downtown and ends at Eat The Street in Kakaako.
The goal is to get people on bikes, which does a few things: gets you moving (burns calories), gets you out of your cars (reduces traffic) and gets you there (loving life).
Not to sound too cynical here, but I doubt this effort makes a huge impact on getting people to go from four wheels to two.
Don’t get me wrong, I think biking is a great alternative to driving. I have two bikes, myself, and I travel around my neighborhood on them. But even for me, it’s hard to give up the convenience of a car.
Most of us do more than just go to work and come home. We have second jobs or kids to pick up or Pilates classes after work or a grocery list of items that won’t fit in the basket attached to our bikes. It’s not easy getting around on a bike when you’ve got errands to run.
And let’s be honest, I’m not a huge fan of biking on Oahu’s roadways. I remember once riding from Kalaeloa to Kapahulu and feeling very concerned for my life on a particular stretch of Nimitz Highway. Our roads aren’t the friendliest to bikers, and I would rather be safe than smeared on asphalt.
Would you give up your car for a bicycle — and all of its benefits? Or are you, like me, attached to your car?