In a world with gas prices at $4/gallon and with obesity being nearly pandemic, commuting by bike makes a world of sense. People have pointed this out before and I'm not here to repeat those points. But, with ever more people commuting by bike, there are some unexpected side benefits. Here's mine.
On today's commute, totally unplanned, a friend and I ended up at the same stop light. We ended up riding the rest of the way to work together and had a nice conversation along the way. It wasn't that far, but enough time to catch up on a few things. This isn't the first time this has happened, but it surely doesn't happen daily. But who knows, if everyone takes up commuting by bike, maybe it would.
I got to thinking as I sat down at my desk that people used to bump into friends and neighbors regularly before cars became the primary mode of transportation. I noticed I felt significantly happier having just 5 minutes of social time before having to focus on work, as opposed to running directly from bed to shower to work.
So, I'm going to say "extra social time" is my anti-car. What's yours?
p.s. This also makes me want to set up a "bike pool" (as opposed to a car pool) in which friends in the same part of town meet and ride to work together. Safety in numbers, and all that. Probably a far fetched dream, but who knows.