Let’s Go Racing!

It has been a rough couple of days on the bike here in Ogden.  We received a significant dump of light, fluffy snow the night before last. Ogden City does a good job of plowing, salting and sanding and so the snow quickly turned to slush.  Many roads are now just wet, but you have to be alert for slick spots and changing conditions.  Here’s what it looked like on the Weber State campus yesterday morning.

You have to be alert for motorists, too.  For whatever reason, the motoring public in Utah hasn’t gotten the memo about slowing down when it snows.  There were 177 wrecks yesterday up and down the Wasatch Front.  Three lucky motorists ran into Utah Highway Patrol cruisers.  There ought to be a special prize for that.

I haven’t been in a car yet this year but I’ve already been on the bike five times.   I’m going to track car free days in 2017. In fact, I’d like to do two things this year.

  • Take more trips by bike than car
  • Travel more miles by bike than car

This would include “recreational” miles though often times the lines are blurred. Sometimes I’ll ride to the library but I’ll go thirty miles out of my way to get there.   Is that recreation or transportation?  Does it matter?  Not to me.

I was thinking about auto insurance again the other day.  It’s no secret that I hate paying for insurance. I’ve driven over forty years and never been responsible for a crash (knock on wood).  That means I’m getting ripped off every time I pay my insurance company and don’t think I don’t know it.  I think about all those insurance premiums and how many bikes they could have bought.  The day is soon coming when I will opt out. I can’t wait.

What started this was an amazing article by John Zimmer, the co-founder of ride sharing service Lyft.  You can read it here if you want to.  I hope you do because it’s very good news for those of us who believe that bicycles are a transportation solution rather than a toy.  Zimmer and I are very much simpatico in our belief that most of us won’t own a car in ten years.  No cars, no insurance.  In fact, I’d be willing to bet that it’s insurance that will cause most of us to abandon cars.  As the shared risk pool shrinks, insurance is going to get very expensive.

So if we don’t have cars, every trip becomes an economic decision.  Do I dial up Lyft or Uber or do I just get on a bicycle to ride down to the store?  I know what I’m doing.  You, too, I hope.

Based on those rather impressive crash totals up and down the Wasatch Front and my own personal experience, there’s a reason motorists are required to buy insurance.  They’re reckless and don’t think things through. They take those auto company commercials to heart.  Life is a race and somebody else is paying when it all goes wrong.  On a bike, you don’t have that luxury.  You crash, you pay.  The moral of the story is clear.  Don’t crash.

We’re expecting another foot of snow this evening.   Taking a day off is not an option. This is who I am.  Let’s ride.


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