I get out of Havre de Grace and find myself at a toll station that charges… cyclists! I AM OUTRAGED.
Even if I were spending money I would refuse to pay.
Why? Because I feel that it’s US CYCLISTS who should BE PAYED to cycle along highways.
Why? Because one additional bike more means one less car and the (most obvious) benefits of this are as follows:
1) Less road wear and tear.
2) Less air and noise pollution.
3) Less use of the Earth’s natural resources necessary to make gasoline.
We (bikers) are, basically, preserving the nature and the human-made infrastructure. We don’t leave a death toll of roadkill behind. We bring money to roadside commerce by buying out half of the fridge of food supplies to keep us going. WE ARE WHAT KEEPS THIS WORLD TOGETHER!
I plan on writing a complaint letter to the highway management and accompany it by the book “One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility.” Because I find the charge ridiculous and simply shameful.
But let’s get back to the road. In the evening, I manage to make it to Philadelphia. It has got quite a few bike lanes, which is neat. You can tell after just a couple of miles into any town whether it’s going to be a difficult ride or an easy one and Philly looks promising.
On the other hand, it’s the inhabitants that make me wonder: there are so many homeless people and drug users it’s stupefying. You can see them walk in a broken gait and totter in the streets, barely avoiding being hit by cars. I am told, later this evening, that Philadelphia is one of the poorest (and biggest) cities in the US which explains what I have been seeing.
It’s heart-breaking though and, again, it makes me think of how fortunate and privileged in my life I have been.