Wednesday, July 08, 2009

This Might Work

I rented a bike here in Santa Fe and it’s helped me to see that maybe this place is a model for how things could work in the post-petroleum world. The downtown is small and dense and there exists, around its perimeter, all kinds of places to which goods could be delivered. I could imagine trains and trucks unloading palettes of stuff that would then be distributed, via human power, to homes and business in the central core; people would walk and ride bikes to their homes and workplaces, and you’d have entrepreneurial human-powered businesses to bring people and goods to their doorsteps.

There’s certainly no place I need to go from my hotel that I can’t get to by bike or on foot; last night, we wandered around in search of the perfect marguerita, although we failed, we did sample a reasonable selection of drinks in the process. Then, after returning to our room, I was able to easily pedal to the liquor store for the beers we needed to make it through the evening.

It remains fairly shocking to me to note that when I lived here, I didn’t even own a bicycle. It just never occurred to me that I didn’t have to drive everywhere I was going and as a matter of fact, there was that time when my car was in the shop and I waited for something like two hours for a taxi to take me the three miles or so to my work, a distance I could have easily pedaled if I’d known it was possible.

The Conference Bike would be amazing here; I could imagine making a living ferrying tourists around the downtown area on it’ you’d have to put up some kind of canopy to shade the relentless New Mexican sun and it might be a bit of a tough sell for the glut of overweight Texans, but it would sure beat trying to find a parking space.


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