There was an early morning chill to the air, an autumn feeling that kissed sun-baked skin as I moved along the streets. The sweet 'Mary Poppins' ride, a cornflower blue bicycle sans gears and handle breaks, but proudly bearing a silver bell, is my mode of choice for getting to and from work each day. In the fresh air, any leftover brain fog is cleared away, while sluggish muscles are wakened. I shout my "Good mornings!" to neighbours and acquaintances on my travels, giving the trip a social vibe.
The thing with cycling is that it doesn't really take much more time to travel the seven blocks to the office than it would to drive. By the time someone else unlocks a vehicle, gets in, fastens their seatbelt, turns the key and puts it in drive, I'm already a block and half on my way. Stop signs slow them down far more than they do me and I have options that keep me from being stalled by traffic at intersections. Look out pedestrians!
When this mode of transportation isn't an option, if distance allows it, I'd far rather rely on my own two feet than a set of wheels, too. The hassles seem far less somehow. And it just happens to be a darn good way to get some exercise.
However, there's no denying we've created a world where travelling many miles at a time is done with regularity. For business and pleasure. Cars and trucks take us to family and friends, to work and play. We see the world by plane, train, boat and again automobile.
People often have a favourite ride — a fierce Harley, a shiny convertible or some classic American muscle. The latter is my choice, a candy apple red 1967 Dodge Coronet RT that is probably the only material thing in this world I adore. If this is going to be the ride of choice to take me places, any possibility that a walk or bike could work as well is ignored. Buckling up in this beauty is not a means to an end but pure pleasure.
The nostalgia factor is principle to that. As I strain to hear the radio tunes over static and engine rumble, as I feel the rugged rhythm of rapidly shifted gears, as I push windblown hair out of my eyes, I am taken back. Back to a time when driving around in cars was the Saturday night pastime, when the sound of 1050 CHUM blared out of every car window. I am, no pun intended, transported.
How we get from here to there depends on the reason for travel as much as for the preference. I bike for convenience and exercise, drive when I must, fly when it's necessary and cruise because I want to.
American politician Robert Brady said that there can be no doubt that the transportation sector is the most critical sector of our economy. It absolutely drives our lives and our lifestyles. Today's clipart collections highlight this integral part of our world: