Blah blah blah gaspricesglobalwarmingdependencyonforeignoilexercisesustainability pollutionthriftetc.
Forget all of those reasons. The real reason that you should ride a bicycle instead of driving is adventure.
Men with Hammers
The other day as I rode along the sidewalk, there was a man hammering some sheet metal and blocking my path. As I went around him, my cast shadow must have set off his looming detector or something because he whirled around brandishing his hammer. He made sort of a guttural "HA!". He lowered the hammer and said "You scared the shit outta me!".
Which one is scarier: a silent man on a bicycle or a snarling man with a hammer?
The Snail Race
Stop lights are boring in a car, but a bicycle can't stop moving without falling over (unless you put your foot down).
This forces a snail race, which means you ride your bike slowly forward, just fast enough so that you don't have to dismount but slow enough that you don't ride into the intersection before your light turns green.
Speaking of intersections, last week I was crossing a crosswalk (I had the little white man and everything) when a red Geo Tracker moved forward to make a right turn and block my path. My mind filled with bad words while my fingers reached for the brakes, but the car stopped just in time. What a jerk! Whoa, wait a sec. That looks like Melanie. It is.
On second thought, it's a perfectly natural mistake to make. In fact, shouldn't I slow down a bit as I cross an intersection?
Alright, so snap judgments occur in cars as well. But on a bike any insult you get is so personal. They can see your shoes and everything. Road rage on a bike is safely diffused into stronger pedal strokes.
It means guilt-free TV watching.
I look awesome on a bike.