Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Mlevin writes: Very insightful column on bikes. Until injuries stopped me I was an avid bicyclist, although not a habitual driver. I sort-of appreciated the freedom bikes afford, mainly because you can go almost anywhere, breezing past guards and barriers. I recall entering the dock where the Queen Mary II was berthed, getting very up close and personal, and being awed. Forbidden territory, but the guard didn’t pursue me. What would be the point? Never quite conceived the issue as a matter of freedom, but you’re right – it is.
My reply: I think so, too. Hence the column. I also remember as a kid how freeing a bicycle was; it was my ticket down the road – and on my own, without a care in the world. But cars beckoned (in those days) with even more freedom. Which is why – until recently – almost all kids who rode bikes moved up to cars once they were 16 and able to do so.
But consider how it is today.
In most states, you can’t get a full adult license until 18. Until then, you get a gimped license that doesn’t permit you to be out at night – or with friends in the car with you. And of course, the car itself is an expensive, unapproachable electro-mechanical debt albatross that probably narcs on you, too.
Who wants it?
Bikes, however, are still what they were – and even more so, really, because of what cars no longer are.
. . .
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