So the other Sunday I went out for some errands on the bike as usual. I had to hit the Big Box stores at the Eastern edge of town – Staples for an office necessity and Lowe’s for a specialized light bulb.
It was a beautiful day. Sunny with dappled clouds. Temperatures in the mid 70s. Very light winds. Fresh tree and flower smells in the air.
The bigbox store development I usually visit is right along the bike path that runs through the center of town – that’s why I use these particular stores. The path runs along a winding crystal clear glacier-fed stream which comes out of the mountains. It babbles and plays over a base of smooth round river rocks and sand, with the occasional little waterfall or stretch of rapids. As you whiz under the canopy of leaves formed by the tall creekside trees, if you’re going West, you can look up at any point and see the Rocky Mountains towering above you. Their tops are still covered with deep snow and ice, which is melting in the hot sun to provide you with all of this nice water.
So it’s a pretty darned nice path to bike along, and by riding on this path and the rest of the network of connected paths, you can get to most of the useful parts of my town, barely even needing to resort to the wide, quiet, bike-lane-equipped streets.
And yet when I got to the big box stores, I found the parking lot stocked with about 100 mostly-expensive cars.. but not a single bike in the virgin gloss-black bike rack system in the premium storefront bike parking area.
I racked my mind to figure out why this could be.
“Is it a workday? Maybe these people are all commuters from other towns, just stepping out for lunch? Nope.. it’s Sunday.
Is it the weather? Nope, fucking gorgeous out here today.
The hard-to-reach location? Nope, there’s the bike path right there. Maybe people in my town can’t afford bikes? Nope, these are all expensive cars, and in fact even cheap cars cost more than bikes.
Is this a special store only for people with special mobility needs? Nope, the people appear to be walking between the cars and the stores (and even that is surely only because the stores don’t yet allow you to drive right in and select items from the comfort of your driver’s seat).
After considering all the alternatives, the only rational explanation I could come up with, for the fact that I biked to the store while everyone else drove, even in the most perfect imaginable bicycling conditions, is this: Adm Karpinsk must be the Single Most Badass person in Longmont, Colorado.
I know, I know.. it sounded surprising to me as well, but what other explanation can you offer? And more significantly, do you have what it takes to be the Baddest in YOUR town?