Community on Wheels

Photo used under Creative Commons from Gavin Anderson.

The car commute. Isn’t it crazy to think about everyone driving around in these little bubbles, shielding themselves from the outside world? Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in that space, listening to your podcast, radio station or playlist of choice. It’s like nothing else exists around you. Is someone even driving that machine next to you? Who cares…

The bike commute, on the other hand, is a very different experience. When you see a group of cyclists commuting, they’re most often just individuals – strangers even – pedaling at the same pace, hitting the same lights. But it feels like more than that. It feels (and looks) like a school of fish or a small herd of animals. Everyone’s outside, listening to the sounds of the city. But what’s most fascinating is the sense of community; cyclists often talk to each other while passing or stopped at a light. There’s an unspoken sense of solidarity. On the other hand, rarely do drivers lower their windows to make small talk.

Obviously, ridesharing (aka carpooling) is one way to feel a sense of community in your car and we highly encourage it. We also recommend not driving to work, and instead letting your neighbors rent your car while you’re saving the world at the office (we’re looking at you, Kim Kardashian – and we know you’re reading this). And of course, public transportation’s an obvious choice for a group ride experience.

But for you highly intelligent (and attractive!) folks participating in carsharing, we like to think that you can still feel that sense of community even when you’re driving alone. Take a minute to think about your neighbors who benefit from renting or sharing that vehicle. If you’re feeling inspired, why not write them a little note? Next time you climb inside, you might just find a neighborly response to keep you warm on your trip to the grocery store or your excursion to your secret getaway spot. And maybe – just maybe – you’ll meet in person someday and share an adventure together.

What do you have to lose? A whole lot less than you stand to gain.

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One Response to Community on Wheels

  1. Chris says:

    I get the best of both worlds – my neighbour and I take the same route for about 5 miles, and then go our separate ways. I have a folding bike that I put in his trunk every morning. He gives me a ride for the first 5 miles, and when I get to my turn off, I take the bike out of his trunk, unfold, and ride with the rest of the cyclists.

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