Replacing the Private Car…

Within any social system, there also exist what Cohen calls “insurgent niches” challenging the regime. Niches are fragile, they’re underfunded, they’re stigmatized. The car was once an insurgent niche in the age of streetcars. Now in the age of the automobile, we might think of those niches as car-sharing companies or bike advocacy groups.

In Seattle the streetcars are coming back. And I’ve used Car2Go many more times this month than I’ve used our the car we own (so much more freedom with the ability to change modes of transport and to not have to think about parking!). It all makes sense in the city.

BUT it’s still difficult to be car-less outside of the core urban areas.

Read the full article at the Atlantic: What the Steamship and the Landline Can Tell Us About the Decline of the Private Car.

Back in the Saddle?

Or something like that.

Last January. We didn't even have snow this winter!

Last January. We didn’t even have snow this winter!

I had a new bike built up (a Soma Buena Vista) back in August. I rode it most days through October. The holidays sort of start in October for us, and they really don’t calm down until after the new year. So I was lazy and/or had other things to do that somehow prevented me from getting on the bike daily. And the lack of daily riding had a strange effect on me…

I’ll call it nerves.

I was nervous to ride! And I can’t pinpoint why. I still feel it occasionally and somehow I find an excuse to get on the bus instead. So I’m riding two or three days a week and trying not to feel guilty about it. Once I do get on the bike I’m not nervous and I never regret it. It makes me happy.

So what’s the deal? Most people would think it’s the Seattle winter weather. Dark. Wet. Cold. But this week I rode on all of the rainy days and somehow decided to bus on the partially sunny and dry days. This has been a mild winter. And anyway I don’t get cold — I’m actually too warm when I ride. Maybe it’s the hills? There’s quite a bit of climbing for me on the way home and sometimes I just don’t have the energy.

But I want to get back in the saddle! I’ve got Streets + Beets coming up, and there are tons of fun training rides I’d like to participate in. Motivation!