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Opinion

Biking is better than driving

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April 11, 2008

Want to go for a bike ride? I’ll take you to places that you have never been. I’ll challenge you to a race. I’ll probably lose, but at least you will feel good about beating a girl. And I’ll still feel good because my bicycle is cooler than yours.

  The weather is nearly perfect for a stroll through the park, to toss a Frisbee and take a pleasant bicycle ride. Well, the weather has been perfect for cycling for some time now (disregarding the hardcore winter bikers).

  Where is your bicycle? The streets are overcrowded with cars, and people still complain about gas prices. For those unaware, bicycles are great transportation that receives zero miles to the gallon of gasoline because it requires zero gallons of gasoline.

  No more trips to any of the several fueling stations in town to pay an exorbitant amount of your hard-earned cash for the very thing that drives the conflict between our beautiful country and the exotic Middle East.

  Bicycles do not emit carbon dioxide into our atmosphere and they cost much less than cars. No expensive insurance is required by the state for bicycles either.

  Sure, walking is great exercise and is cheaper than cycling your way around the tiny town. But think of the calf muscles you will have after a couple of weeks of some regular biking. Yes…hot.

  River Falls disappoints me when I see traffic backed up on Main Street. Granted, I am sure a lot of these people in their cars are just coming into town from the Twin Cities, but unfortunately I know too many people who will drive even to EconoFoods. This is absolutely unnecessary. Get a bike.

  In support, promotion, awareness and for the love of bicycling, River Falls will have a critical mass event. For those who do not know, a critical mass is an event in which a mass of people ride their bicycles together in a leaderless structure. 

  Origins of the globally-known event go back to over ten years ago in San Francisco to recognize the unfriendliness of cities to bicycles on the streets. Now, over 325 cities in the world have had a critical mass, some recurring once a month or even once a week.

  A common misconception of critical masses is that it is a political social movement or a political protest. Rather than thinking of it in these terms, you can think of it as a way to enjoy the company of others that enjoy doing something you enjoy as well.

  It is a celebration of riding and proving to society that we have the ability to have gatherings for a great thing.

Since no one is in charge on the ride, and no explicit ideology is practiced, the riders have the freedom to create their own reasons for participating in the critical mass.

  “It could be that all we’re doing is riding from here to there on bikes. But what is so amazing is that in attempting such a simple task, so many important and provocative questions come up. For a moment, a window is opened onto a possible future: a future where no one is in charge and most people ride a bike!” according to a handout distributed at a critical mass.

  Watch for the first River Falls critical mass: coming soon.

  Teresa is a journalism major and a geography minor in her seiior year. She enjoys kangaroo burgers and creating pretty maps.

Teresa Aviles is a student at UW-River Falls.