Imagine you're about to leave home to do a few errands. You ask your wife if there's anything you can do for her while you're out. When she says to pick up a book they are holding for her at the library, you inwardly groan; it's so hard to find a parking spot there. Just as you slide into the car, you think "Wait a minute. I can do this on the electric bike!" You slip the garage door opener into your pocket, jump on the bike, and pass your neighbor's house before the garage door even closes. The temperature is mild and the sun is still shining. Late afternoon is a great time to be outdoors - but a terrible time to be driving. You glide past chirping birds, playing children, and through the smell of dinners cooking.
You ride to the front of a line of cars waiting to turn left into the bank parking lot. Hmmm, nice looking blond in that Vette. After a few seconds, you slip through a gap between a couple of oncoming cars, a gap too small for a car to pass through. Leaning your bike against the wall, you step to the ATM and withdraw some cash. On your way out of the lot you notice that Vette just pulling into a parking spot.Sure enough, cars are circling the library parking lot like vultures. You ride past them to the bike rack by the door, lock the bike, and walk inside. Within two minutes you're out again, and realize that most of the time spent on these errands is just getting around, not actually doing them. At the lot's exit is a line of cars waiting to turn right. You roll past them and make a quick right into the bike lane. "No wonder those cars were waiting; there's a lot of traffic here."
Now it's off to Jerry's, your cohort on the City's recycling task force. Half way there, though, the traffic stops dead; you keep rolling. After passing scores of cars, you see the accident causing the backup. It's just a fender-bender, but they're waiting for the police before they move their cars. You slip past them and, a short distance later, head off on a short-cut through the park. Arriving at Jerry's, you park on his porch, and ring the doorbell. After handing him your draft letter, he ribs you for using a motor on your bike, and you chide him for not using e-mail. Grinning, you head off again.
On the way home you swing by the shopping center to get a video. Video in hand, you stop to think "Is there anything else while I'm here?" Yes, at the other end of the center is the grocery store; "We're about out of milk." Biking along you realize how annoying it used to be going from one end of the center to the other, and then back again to the car. Now it's fun! Maybe it's that feeling of beating the system by rolling past all those cars. Or the satisfaction of accomplishing so much in such a short time. Or knowing you're doing your part for Mother Earth. Whatever, you finally realize that the investment you made in that "cheater bike" will be paying dividends for years to come.
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