Commute Or DIE!
Despite my inherently evil nature that tells me it is good to burn as much gasoline as possible and to take up the maximum amount of roadway whenever I travel anywhere, I have recently found myself exploring "alternative" options for my daily commute. This is probably the result of a non-stop action-packed... debate between a little evil dude (with flames for hair and polished black fingernails) on one shoulder and a logical thoughtful dude (with glasses and a white lab coat) on the other shoulder. Their conversations have been going something like this:
Logic-Dude: "Whose idea was it that the best way to transport a roughly 6-foot tall, 160-pound human was to put him into a 2,500-pound, 400ft³ steel cage? That's ridiculously inefficient and wasteful."As you can see, Logic-Dude has been winning the argument. Of course, if I relied on shoulder-men to make all of my life decisions for me, I would probably be declared unfit for service in the human race—which is why instead I'm asking for advice from the faceless Internet zombie clickers. Allow me to summarize each of my possible commuting options.
Evil-Dude: "Shut up you pansy, thinking is for losers."
LD: "But don't you think it's silly to carry around that much empty space, just to sit motionless in traffic half the time anyway?"
ED: "'Don't I think?' What did I just say about thinking? Just do what's fun and easy. Convenience is king, baby."
LD: "Listen, right now to get to work we sit in that dumpy car for over an hour a day just to drive 30 miles round trip, at a cost of over $50 per month. If we got a scooter we could cut that cost well over 75%. Or if we rode a bicycle, we wouldn't have to buy gas at all, and we could take the trail, which would cut the distance to 25 miles round trip. Plus, the trail doesn't have any stops, so we would still spend almost the same amount of time as we do to drive. Aren't you tired of being a slave to traffic?"
ED: "You're a moron."
Car (current method)So what do you think? Should I listen to Evil-Dude and continue to go with what's easiest, or should I consider Logic-Dude's arguments and choose another method? And if I choose another, which one should I choose? Lastly, does anyone know where I can find some aerosol shoulder-dude repellant? Your feedback is welcome.
Pros: Complete protection from "the elements," ability to listen to radio/CD, high top speed, sense of American Pride™, easier than thinking.
Cons: Subservient to oil-providing overlords (opOverlords), easy to get stuck in the middle of traffic with no hope of escape, low average speed to top speed ratio (ATR): 0.45, up to five minute walk from closest parking spot to work building, large overall expense.
Pros: versatile—able to get out of a jam easier, low fuel consumption (~100mpg), easy to find parking, fun to ride, higher ATR: 0.60, makes you look cool.
Cons: Low top speed (45mph), unable to use freeways, initial investment $2,000-$3,000, still subservient to opOverlords, no protection from the elements, no radio.
Pros: Freedom from opOverlords, warm fuzzy feeling in heart, that's about it.
Cons: Relatively low top speed (20-30mph), initial investment $1,500-$2,000, probably not legal on trails, wouldn't be able to jump a dozen busses, no protection from the elements, no radio.
Pros: Ability to do pretty much anything during the commute (read a book, play video games, sleep, whatever), $30/month subsidy from employer, and yeah that's pretty much it.
Cons: No direct route (baffling), daily cost higher than gasoline, round-trip time close to two hours (ridiculous), extra walking each way to/from bus stops, totally un-hip.
Pros: Bigger than those stupid Hummer H2s, childhood fantasy fulfilled, freedom from opOverlords, ability to pimp out a sweet travel compartment on top, nobody messes with the elephant.
Cons: Solid byproduct difficult to dispose of, not the fastest method available.
Pros: Daily exercise, no recurring expenses, freedom from opOverlords, shorter route via trails, $30/month subsidy from employer, high ATR: ~0.95, low initial investment (~$1,000-$1,500), highly versatile (able to use roads or trails).
Cons: Daily exercise, low top speed, no protection from the elements, no radio.
Pros: Exercise optional, very low recurring expenses, freedom from opOverlords, shorter route via trails, $30/month subsidy from employer, high ATR: ~0.95, low initial investment ($1,000-$1,500), highly versatile, easy to reach top bicycle speed of 20mph.
Cons: No protection from the elements, no radio.
Pros: Low fuel requirements, able to carry extra loads, spit in the eye of anyone who cuts me off.
Cons: Desert animal possibly not water-resistant, very low top speed, chafing.
Pros: Ability to do pretty much anything during the commute, someone else gets daily exercise.
Cons: Difficult to find driver, possibly not legal on roads or trails.
Pros: Daily exercise, $30/month subsidy from employer.
Cons: Who am I kidding—as if I'm really going to walk 25 miles a day.