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Cycling in Austin

Drinking and driving, some thoughts…

By • Aug 2nd, 2008 • Category: Hmm...

Society has set itself up for this, and when it happens they want to act surprised.

We have created a society where the car is almighty, and walking and cycling is second class, and then someone goes to a party or a bar and has a few beers. Now they have to get home.

You could say “just take a cab” but cabs are expensive, real expensive, what if they cannot afford a cab. Get a ride home? Your buddies are probably just as drunk.

Ride a bike to the party in the first place? That is better, but some cities want to crack down on drunk cycling and treat it like drunk driving. (I personally feel that a bicycle is self-correcting, unlike a car, if you are having trouble walking you will have trouble operating a bicycle). And riding a bike with a buzz is not like driving a car with a buzz.

Now I am not here to tell you that you should start riding your bike drunk, but I would feel safer and my children would be safer if given the two choices you chose that over a car.

Some people like to drink. It is legal, and they like to drink in bars. Bars like it when people drink there. Let us all quit the denial. If you go to a bar and drink chances are you will not be legal to operate a car when you leave. Yet many people drive to bars.

What is the answer? I do not think there is an easy one, but we as a society need to see this without our rose colored glasses. If you drive to a bar, you have started the problem. If you go to a bar 3 days a week, you cannot afford to spend $50-60/night on cab fare round trip.

So as I see it there are some conclusions:

1) never drive anywhere you expect to drink. Ever again, ever. I used to feel differently, now I am a fragile person on the road depending on motorists to pay attention. Don’t do it anymore. Make the decision now to nip it in the bud, don’t drink any amount and then drive. It starts with that decision.

2) If you are going to a party/bar that is close by (5-10 miles), ride a bike, or walk, take the bus, or find some form of transportation that will allow you to get home safely. If you get too drunk to ride/walk home you can always call a cab. Just ask for a van cab if you took a bike.

Again there are no easy answers but the one, NEVER EVER drive to someplace that you will be drinking. Work the solutions backward from that resolve, and the world will get a little safer.

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