Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Desperate to stay behind the wheel

South Carolina's The State newspaper reported yesterday that State Rep. Todd Rutherford has ditched his BMW in favor of a golf cart for his daily commute to work. The Democrat's motivation, according to the story, is to avoid paying high gas prices. He started using the golf cart during the Great Hurricane Katrina Gas Price Spike of Ought Five.

Seems like a pretty smart fellow, taking advantage of a South Carolina law that permits daytime golf cart operation on secondary roads, as long as the cart is not driven more than two miles from a home or office. And that's the part that gets me: Rep. Rutherford lives a mile and a half from his office. Why isn't he riding a bicycle? Or even walking?

The photo and biographical information posted on his Web site indicate that Rep. Rutherford is my age or younger. Unless he has a physical condition that necessitates use of a motorized vehicle, why does he constrain himself to a golf cart when he could surely get to work under his own power? Could it be the heat? I have it on good authority that Columbia can be one of the hottest places in the known universe. Nope. High today should be around 89 degrees.

I think this might be the problem:

He said its only draw back is its lack of speed. He drives to the side to keep from being run over.

If he's worried about being hit in "his caution-yellow E-Z-GO," imagine how people on bicycles must feel! I appreciate this lawmaker's dedication to conserving fuel, but with such a short commute, I encourage him to leave the car and the golf cart in the garage. If I can do it, why can't he?

1 comment:

Jim said...

"If I can do it, why can't he?"

Careful... I've learned that when I make a statement like that, many people jump to defend his decision (or the general decision to not ride a bike on easy trips) by supposing that the unfortunate person who isn't riding a bike is doing so because of some obscure affliction or unique circumstance. But the truth is that a lack of will or imagination is almost always the cause, and that the people who honestly CAN'T do it are few and far between. I see a guy everyday pedaling by my shop on his Worksman trike. He appears to be about 116 years old, and all hunched over and arthritic. I doubt he's fast enough to maintain balance on a two-wheeler, but he gets around the neighborhood just fine, albeit slowly.

As for the heat, I'm certainly no expert, living in Minnesota and all. But I find the breeze in my face on a hot day to be kind of refreshing. And as long as the Rep doesn't pedal like a maniac, there's no reason he should get extra sweaty from the negligible exercise of biking a couple miles at a relaxed pace.