Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Biting the Bullet

After ranting about speeding cars, and after writing a whole book about how important it is for us to modify our lives whenever possible to make the world a better place for humans and birds, I couldn't help but feel guilty for my own commute to work. I drive 6.5 miles each way every day, and even though I drive a hybrid, these short trips reduce the car's mileage. I brought my bike back from Duluth on this last trip, but Ithaca's hills are WAY too steep for me at this point--I'm not in great shape right now, and the hills are daunting even for real bikers.

So last night I went to visit a local man who is going to set me up with an electric assist bike. It's going to cost about $1300--a LOT of money!--but the physical and environmental benefits will augment the amount I save on gas. I got to test it out, and wow! It was like riding any other bike, only when I wanted a power boost, I pulled a little lever on the handlebars and didn't need to pedal so hard to get up a hill. It's extremely quiet--I bet I could hear a Le Conte's Sparrow singing from 40 or 50 yards away with the motor going. Well, if it wasn't too windy. So I'll see way more birds on my rides to and from work.

I can't wait till it comes! I'll post photos as soon as it's here.