Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm A Traitor

Recently, I was at a Saturday Critical Mass ride, and I was telling someone about how I take the M-Path home from work everyday. He was telling me that he didn't like the M-Path, because it's hard to gain any speed, and that he takes Ponce instead. After a while I decided to give it a try, and I have to admit, it's not too bad, and I definitely dropped my commute time by about 5 minutes. The reason I bring this up is because it is part of a larger cycling debate that many of us are aware of. Basically, separate cycling facilities are important. Versus, as long as we practice the principles of vehicular cycling, separate infrastructure is not necessary. The problem with this debate is that it is usually carried out by cycling geeks, so they are not incorporating the mindset of the average commuter or pedestrian into their argument. 

As someone who became a cycling commuter within the last year, I still retain some perspective of a non-cyclist. I can now get home easily from South Miami to downtown without setting wheel on the M-Path, but I can say with complete certainty that without the M-Path, I would have never attempted to commute to work on my bike. The M-Path gave me the confidence and skills to brave the streets. Furthermore, not all cycling is about going from point A to B in the shortest possible time. Sometimes we just want to go on a nice relaxed ride without cars whizzing past, and when that's the case, I still hop on the M-Path, so I can smell the flowers as I ride. 

No comments: