Better a little with righteousness
than much gain with injustice.
The illustrious Nora left a comment on my previous post about exercise bulimia. Reading the wikipedia article about it, I realized that posts about bicycling (and ice cream) have kind of dominated my blog lately. This is because I do spend a lot of time on my bike these days — last night I passed 1,000 miles on the new bike, which I started riding in late April — and I spend even more time thinking about bicycling and bike-related topics. I readily admit that over the last year, and especially with the purchase of my LeMond, I have fallen in love with bicycling as I never have with another activity.
BUT. I would like to reassure those of you who might think that I’?m endangering myself by exercising too much. Yes, let me acknowledge that I do ride my bike often, and I get a lot of exercise every day. However, I make sure to eat quite a bit over the course of the day, and more importantly, I enjoy what I eat. I do not ride my bike primarily to exercise, or to burn calories I feel guilty for consuming; instead, my first motivation is to reduce my greenhouse gas emissions and cut my role in our nation’?s dependence on foreign oil. My second motivation is to avoid driving in rush-hour traffic with half of Massachusetts’? population. Getting enough exercise that I can eat anything I want (and I get interestingly-shaped biker’?s legs) is a lovely side-benefit, but burning calories and obsessing about food simply aren’?t on my agenda.
Sadly, alternative commuting isn’?t on the agenda for most people. This morning I had the following conversation with a chemist:
Her: How many miles do you ride?
Me: It depends. Between six and 20.
Her: Wow, I could never do that.
Me: Well… [explains about the train]
Her: What time do you leave the house in the morning?
Her: Wow. I get up, kind of fitz around, get in my car, and two minutes later I’?m at work.
Me: Hey, you could probably bike to work no problem!
Her: Yes…. Heck, I could WALK to work no problem!
Me: Why don’?t you?
Me: You could save gas, cut your greenhouse gases, get out of traffic congestion…
Her: Er… I don’?t think so…
But as usual, auto-conveniences win out again. TWO MINUTES away, and still shackled to the idea of driving.