Kyle, thanks for adding me to the fold. James and Kyle, it's great to see your efforts in building a community of commuters. I've used a bike to get around for most of my time in C-ville, but had an inspirational moment last spring. You'd like me to share? Great!
About 3 hours into a Saturday night rickshaw shift, four stout guys hopped on while I was parked near Orbits. Where to? Cabel Ave. at the top of Grady. It wasn't a fast trip and it featured plenty of granny gear, but we made it and they had a great time in the process. My 165# motor and a 200# vehicle had moved roughly 800# of intoxicated cargo over a fair distance and gained substantial elevation. That was the moment of a changed perspective.
I live a rather pedestrian life here in town. Work is half a mile from home. The stores I use are less than 5 miles away. If my own power could move such a load, then why do we tend to move cargo with cars of mass far greater than their payload? It's not that cars are bad, but perhaps they're inefficient because we fail to use them to their potential. Maybe all that power and space isn't well used by my needs.
Perhaps by choosing to live close to work, we could use our commuting minutes to run errands by bicycle. Generally I save time by moving faster than traffic and having available parking on the far end of my trips. Recently I discovered the joy of a real rain jacket and rain pants. A rubbermaid tote on my BOB trailer keeps bulky cargo secure, clean, and dry.
So add me to the "fan of bike commuting" list. With a bit of planning, some versatile gear, and a sturmey 3 speed, it's a blast.