How I met “Commuter Dude”

A lot of set up here… Commuter Dude is a guy on the local NBC news station.  He takes calls and emails from people about about traffic and commuting issues and tries to get people to fix them.  His segments are a lot of fun and typically lead to somebody benefiting in some way.  A good thing in this negative, broke as a joke world we live in.

Well – about 2-3 weeks ago, Commuter Dude was told by a local county “Sorry man, we don’t have any more money.  We cant fix things just because you show up on the scene.  He interviewed the guy, it as a nice exchange – but it basically said “Your screwed.”

Well, on my way to work (on my bike) I was thinking about this and I came up with my latest thing – one day a week.  One day a week to change the world (or at least Atlanta traffic!)  Here is my theory – and I know I am idealistic, dreaming and asking a metric ass-ton on this one – but – *IF* everybody in the Atlanta area (or any municipality) committed to taking SOME FORM of alternative transportation to work just ONE DAY a week…. what would happen?  Let me list a few things that come to my mind:

Whatever group of people did this would:

  • Spend 20% less money on gas.
  • Pollute 20% less than they were before.
  • Have 20% more variety in their commuting life
  • Perhaps exercise more
  • Use 20% less oil commuting

One day – 20%!

So… I decided to do a Jerry McGuire and email Commuter Dude my bike commuting manifesto.  Keeping in mind, I don’t commute every day, but I try to at least once a week!  (Currently sitting at about 1.25/week for the season).  I rambled and ranted and didn’t really expect to ever hear from him…

Just a few short days later I got an email saying “It takes you 45 minutes to drive and it takes you 50 minutes to ride? Wanna race? ”  Now … we aren’t really comparing apples to apples here.  45 minutes is my “school time” commute, and that is real.  School is out so traffic is better… but my commute is 48:30-54:00 depending on my horsepower and the number of lights I have to stop at.  I’m sure he can beat me – but that’s not the point, we must support my manifesto!

I agree, we talk about it a bit and plan it out…

There are TONS of clips on the cutting room floor.  There are a lot of things I said that didn’t make it, but what did – was pretty cool.  I’m not a tree hugging, birkenstock wearing, nalgene carrying (well, I do that) hippy from Boulder – but as I get older talk to my tree hugging hippy friend from Boulder, I look at the world I live in falling apart, filling up with trash on the side of the road, more and more code red days – things like this mean more to me.  Cycling …. being on 2 wheels and enjoying the freedom it provides me – priceless!

Here’s the video: