Pedal on Down to This Paradise City

Contributed by the misplacedmtnman

Thumbing through this month’s issue of Greater Columbia Business Monthly, I came across an interesting little one-page article all about Joe Mellet, the “leader, spokesman and visionary” for a new “Bicycle Only” subdivision in Lexington County. The basic idea is, automobiles would be restricted to parking lots on the periphery of the neighborhood so that only non-motorized vehicles of the two-wheeled sort would be found within the 140-acre development. Service roads for emergency vehicles would of course be provided, but residences in this “high-minded scheme” would be occupied by bicycle enthusiasts only.

On the surface, this sounds like a fantastic idea, doesn’t it? An “eco-friendly, car-free community?” Read all about it HERE, and see brief biographies of the advisors, volunteers and associates working on this project. You will surely be impressed, as I was, how many of them care about the environment and recycle as often as possible. One is a “serious Bob Dylan fan.” Another heads up a non-profit that promotes “environmental sustainability through a shift to more plant-based food choices.” Mmmm-mmm! That sounds tasty!

Now, I don’t wish to be mean-spirited here, I’m just poking a little fun at these good people with grand intentions. They mean so well. I am by no means attempting to cast aspersions on anyone’s noble concept. I just had a few questions come to mind that seemed to me like better ideas for sit-com scenarios than real-life experiences in a place called Bicycle City.

1.) Your in-laws from Minnesota come to visit for a week. How exactly do you haul them and all their luggage up from the parking lot to your house on the back of your bicycle? Mom and Dad are sure going to be impressed with the lifestyle you are providing for their daughter and grandchildren when they have to hoof it half a mile with their heavy Samsonites.

2.) I suppose transporting groceries or other small purchases could be done with cute little baskets attached to your bicycle, but what if you decide to undertake a little home improvement project and need a few two-by-fours? How does having larger items delivered on a diesel truck via the service road save the delicate planet more than the average guy who zips down to Lowe’s in his pickup truck and fetches them himself?

3.) Someone in the family gets hurt or becomes terribly ill. They need to go to the Emergency Room right away. Do you piggy-back them down to the parking lot on your bicycle or wait the hour and forty-five minutes for an ambulance to come? In either case I hope it’s not your wife in labor. She’s gonna get a little eco-unfriendly if you don’t get her to an epidural pretty quick, bub.

4.) Imagine instead of working as an activist or theorist of ecological design, you had a job that required you to dress nice. Maybe you’re going to meet with a potential client, one you would really like to impress. You get all dolled up, go to grab the bike in the car…..uh…..bikeport, and suddenly realize it’s raining. Not just a shower but pouring. Do you call to cancel the meeting due to inclement weather, or do you call a friend who owns a car to bum a ride? Perhaps he can sneak up the service road to pick you up, but what if one of your high-minded neighbors spots you in the process? The greenie Gladys Kravitz of Bicycle City spies you slipping away in an engine-driven four-wheeler, and soon she has reported you to the homeowner’s association and you have instantly become the biggest hypocrite of the neighborhood! What will you have to do as penance to the planet in order to get back in their good graces? You may be excommunicated from the subdivision altogether!

Tune in next week for a very special episode of “Bicycle City.”

I don’t mean to disparage these people. If they want to develop, live in and maintain an all-bicycle, car-free city, I say that’s fine. Have at it. But don’t expect everyone to embrace the idea. Everyone needs a religion, and theirs is environmentalism – which is fine – but pardon me if I prefer to drive my car to a different church. Living in a “bicycle only” neighborhood is fine if you are seldom in a hurry, aren’t going far and own a lot close to the parking area, but is this lifestyle practical for the typical American family? Should it be? I don’t know. The concept is quaint but the actual follow-through seems a little problematic. I tell you what, why don’t you throw a big B-Y-O-bicycle barbecue and see how many of us show up? Maybe I’ll dust off the old velocipede and pedal on over!

Nah. I’m sorry, but Bicycle City is another example of liberal idealism, and demonstrates how those who consider themselves “progressives” actually prefer to go backwards. That’s fine with me, as long as they don’t force the rest of us to follow. Sorry, Joe, I don’t wanna go.


One Comment to “Pedal on Down to This Paradise City”

  1. I wonder. Are they going to ban the Air Conditioner? Limit themselves to one shower every three days? Not allow plastic bottles? Put solar panels on the roof of all houses? Hand wash all the dishes in recycled water? Put clothes lines in all the yards? And why would they want to destroy the homes of thousands of precious wild animals to build their special community. Aren’t there enough houses vacant right now for them? Can they only ride their bikes around other people?

    I know the answer to our energy problem. If you are a liberal you should sit on a stationary bike that powers a generator so us productive members of society can keep this country afloat. It’s a win-win. They can be green and we can make some money.

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