I want to move to Portland...

Monday the New York Times ran an article about the bike culture in Portland Oregon... and today it is the most read article on the site. Why? In this era of congestion, sprawl and $3/gallon gasoline are people all over the US (and worldwide) yearning for an alternative to cars? Or are lots of Oregonians emailing the article around and skewing the results? Or does the NYT's (a slightly left-leaning publication) audience correlate well with the bike-commuting set -- though I doubt bike commuters make up a large enough online audience to make a particular article #1 on the busy NYT site.

Anyway I'm pretty happy with my scene in Waterbury but one thing that does bother me is that it is rural/suburban and everything is very spread out: To use a bike to get around takes a pretty high level of commitment. This past Saturday morning I did throw on some cold weather cycling gear and ride to Waterbury to do some errands (bank, library, 2 items from the grocery store) but I find that there isn't that much that I want to do close by... which means using a car to get around.

I did commute by bike occasionally this summer but not nearly as frequently as I would like. It's only a little more than 8 miles one way but it is on an unpleasant road to ride on and it is a long gentle uphill which means the morning ride takes more time and considerably more effort than the trip home. But these are feeble excuses and I know that I should make more of a commitment to this: It makes sense from an environmental, fitness and 'personal political' level (I think that a case can be made, that driving a car is immoral on several levels...). If I ever pursued a "do what you love, the money will follow" career path I think that I would be quite happy working in the area of transportation alternatives.

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