Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

Coming Out of the Barrel

I’ve really hesitated to comment on the oil spill thing, mostly because I don’t like to engage actual serious topics very much. I like the idea of keeping my opinions about serious subjects to myself. Too many times I have shared my world view with people and been discovered for the buffoon that I really am.

But as an Alabama native, I grew up spending a good bit of time on the Gulf Coast. My mother’s side of the family is from that area. I feel a connection to it.

I’m not the only one. Lots of people are mad, frustrated, and lashing out against BP in any way they can. There are calls to boycott BP gas stations, and then there are people shouting just as loudly that such a boycott only hurts the private owners of those gas stations and not BP itself.

Here’s an idea, guys: Drive less.

I’ve brought this up twice in groups of a few people and both times it produced silence and people looking around nervously. If I had quietly removed my shirt and begun pinching my nipples it might generate some quizzical looks, but suggest that people drive their cars a little less and they go all wide-eyed and scared.

I live in the city, though. Try doing either one out in the woods and you’re likely to be shot dead on the spot.

I’m not saying that BP isn’t an evil corporate overlord or whatever, and they’ve certainly handled things poorly it seems, but if 46% of petroleum product is gasoline, and the United States is the biggest consumer of oil, then couldn’t we reduce the demand for undersea drilling by driving less?

Now I know I am biased because I like riding bicycles, but trust me, it is really fun. Yes you get a little sweaty when you are riding somewhere, but your sweat doesn’t stick to pelicans and kill them. If it does, you should shower more.

I don’t claim to have all the answers, or in point of fact, any good ones necessarily, but I do think that it’s really easy to blame a giant corporation for our problems when the solution might be a step that no one wants to take.

Oh and let me answer your question, ladies, because I know what you are thinking.

Yes, your bike can be pretty, and yes, it can have a basket.

One thought on “Coming Out of the Barrel”

  1. Joel

    I actually have a question for you about this.

    I’m looking to get an entry level tri bike & simultaneously looking to possibly ditch my car for a decent bike to commute with.

    Do you have any bikes you’d recommend for either activity? I don’t think I’d want to invest in a tri bike and then ride it to work and back. Any thoughts?