Exactly one year ago today as oil spilled into the Gulf we wrote this piece and thought it timely to share again. Do good for your body. Do good for the environment. Do good for your budget. Ride a bike.
Now that the weather is warmer we are back to cruising around town on our bike. This morning, as we took our life in our hands on a busy urban street dodging buses, car doors and other cyclists, we pedaled past a local service station and noticed for the first time the BP sign. Like most people we usually pay closer attention to the price per gallon on top of the pump than to the name of the gas supplier.
The contrast between the eco-sunny sentiment of the green and yellow BP logo, and the sludgy reality of what is happening in the Gulf made us feel positively hostile. Well, our uncomfortable bike pants, getting cut off by a taxi and the looming mountains ahead of us – okay, more like a series of hills – didn’t help. Anyway, it’s amazing how fury can fuel you, and we swished up and down the hills with ease; by the end of the ride our exercising endorphins had kicked in and calm reason briefly prevailed.
In those few moments of clarity, we decided it’s all too easy to vilify BP and their suppliers. Yes, those responsible for this mess must be held accountable, but is this not just another wake-up call in a long series of wake-up calls? The geo-political-eco-drill-baby-drill-pain caused by our gas guzzling ways is just being driven closer to home. We can’t live forever having our needs met in someone else’s back yard and we can’t continue consuming more than our share of fossil fuels.
We’re budget mavens and budgeting is about more than just cutting back on spending, it’s about editing how you use your resources. It’s time for all of us to take responsibility and change our transportation routines. In addition to using more fuel-efficient vehicles, we need to wardrobe our transportation methods. Mix it up: carpool, take mass transit, walk, roller-blade, bike.
And, as our morning ride reminded us–it’s time to make bicycling safer, easier and more comfortable.
In our new book, Bitches on a Budget, we implore our readers to pester their politicians for dedicated bike lanes: “So you’re going to live better, spend less, and be good to Mother Earth by rolling on two wheels, but, darling…where does all that rolling actually happen? Lobby your local pols for dedicated nonautomobile travel lanes suitable for bicycles, Segways, Rollerblades and Razor Scooters! ”
Think about what a boon it would be to Michelle Obama’s fight against childhood obesity if we had safe travel lanes for our kids to ride their wheels on. Just imagine a fit new nation where we burned calories instead of petroleum products.
And, trust us, we know how hard it is for a gal to get it together every morning to ride her bike to work. What if during Fashion Week, each designer made bike wear and gear part of their show? Imagine Commes des Garcon, Thakoon and Alexander Wang doing hip, comfortable and seamless for biking and wearing to work lines of clothing, shoes and accessories. (Then Target and H&M could do affordably priced versions-we are B’s on a Budget, after all.)
As for helmet hair–any creative solutions?