Thursday, April 20, 2006

Small town

Who should I run into at the bathroom sinks today but Mayor John himself! Well, it wasn't a total coincidence, since we were both at a town meeting. I told Mayor John I was looking forward to his Carfree Challenge on Monday. He told me he was a little worried. He has a council meeting Monday evening, and if it runs late as usual, he'll miss the last bus home. He had contemplated sharing a ride but worried that might be cheating on his challenge. Mayor John had even contemplated a ride on the University's late night downtown shuttle (unofficially, the "Drunk Bus"). I pointed out he could always borrow a bike. He responded, "That's excatly what I need to do, get a bike!"

All right! If nothing else, it illustrates how much we can learn by stepping outside of our comfort zone. And, how neat to live in a town in which bicycling is considered a viable option, even by a non-cycler Mayor. Good luck to Mayor John and everyone else who takes up the challenge Monday. Towns Missoula's size fight an uphill transportation battle with current development patterns. I really believe that bikes and a little encouragement can help. I fully withdraw any cynicism from the last post.

For those of you thinking of starting your own challenge this spring, Kent P. has a great post today that any bicycle commuter can learn from.


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