I think that this might be my last day as well of my first day of biking to work. It’s intimidating to start anew and say “This is what I am going to do today.” and “From now on, I’m going to ride my bike to work.”
I know when I was twenty-five, I thought the same thing, and bought a new Mercury Tracer that I couldn’t afford almost in a panic. My bicycle sat. I think if I had to mark a day that I gave up and gave in, it was the day I bought a car that I had to promise to spend the next five years of my life paying for.
That winter, the first Iraq war started, and I started seeing signs around “No Blood For Oil” and I thought with longing of my bicycle. I sold it to pay for a new suit for my new job at an ad agency, writing copy about new cars. This is not an unusual career path for a person from Detroit.
I felt really popular when I got my new credit card, buying rounds around the four tables we had shoved together in the Irish bar on thirteen mile and Woodward. You know, the one in the strip mall, next to the hospital?
I asked the question of everyone at the table. “Is your job directly or indirectly related to the auto industry in any way?” From me, the car writer, to the waitress at the diner up near the tank plant the answer was a 100% yes. This was a scientific poll of at least eleven people.
What would you would say if I asked that question again today? Did your job used to relate to the auto industry? Does it still? Me? I’m working as a school teacher, and I am on my way to ride my bike to my job in southwest Detroit.
So, I’m going to say it. I ride my bike to work. I used to work for the auto industry, but now I teach school and I ride my bike to work.
Let’s see if I make it more than one day.