May 12, 2008

Bikes, Hikes and the Gas Tax

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Hey - It's Bike to Work Week! Now if the weather will cooperate, I'll get the bike out (what happened to the drought?). Reflecting back on the Switzerland/Italy trip (I can't believe we've been home 4 weeks), the contrast between the acceptance of public & 2-wheel transportation over there and lack thereof in the US is amazing. It's hard to pinpoint why, obviously it is a cultural difference. With the exclusion of population dense areas like NYC, Philly, Chicago, LA public transportation seems to have a social stigma tied to it. Our cars are a status symbol. Plus, how many Americans want to walk to a bus station? Who has time to add the extra overhead of that into their schedule? I'm certainly a guilty SUV driver. So I'll ride my bike to work some days this spring to keep a car off the road a little bit, get some exercise and save some gas money. Hopefully no one will run me off the road, God bless the Greenways. A friend/co-worker also in Milan for business with me was so enamored by the Italian scooters, he bought one - and is getting 100 miles/gal.

Speaking of gas money, what's the deal with this summer gas tax break that McCain and Hillary are pushing? This is so backwards. I ran across a
great article in Newsweek that succinctly sums it up. Read it now.

And the hike, well the last good hike I took was in Magione, Umbria (10km), where the blog photos last dried up. I'm processing a bunch of photos from the trip through PhotoShop and plan to get a healthy sample online soon. In the meantime, here are a few photos from the hike up (& over) the ridge in Magione. To the North was Lake Trasimeno, over the ridge and coming down the other side we saw Perugia in the distance before discovering the little village Monte Melino and weaving back to the villa.

Lake Trasimeno view

Bonus photo:
Sunset view out our villa window on our last night at Il Cantico della Natura
I'd like to get back to Umbria and explore the area on bikes... someday...