Going by Bike/Going by Car – or Of Analysts and Think-Tanks

I am a very serious and practicing biker and whenever it is possible at all, I go places exclusively by bike. This is true for all weathers and up to a radius of about 30 kilometres. If I go anywhere inside this radius, I hardly ever use public transportation.

For longer distances, I usually take the train or a plane, but only if it seems absolutely necessary. Only very special occasions motivate me to use an individually steered and hand-controlled vehicle with a combustion motor. During an entire year, this happens very rarely.

I enjoy my new freedom and I can also give you quite objective reasons and examples of how this change increased my joy in life and inner contentedness.
The more did the following item of news I read in the SZ newspaper supplement “Mobile Living” of October, 25th, 2014 surprise (and a little shock) me:

No End to Car Boom
By Joachim Becker

They say that by the year 2030, the cost of driving your car will be less. The world bank’s prognosis is that the oil price will remain stable over the next few years. This is why the petrol prices in Germany, too, are supposed to climb only from 1.60 Euros in 2013 to 1.81 Euros in 2030. Innovations in the motor drive mechanism will probably minimize the gas consumption while the average income will increase. Consequently, private cars as a means of transportation will become more and more attractive.

One of the downsides of the growing traffic will be the more than 30 per cent additional costs caused by traffic jams. This is the result of a study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr). The study’s prognosis is that the direct and indirect costs caused by traffic jams will climb from 25 billion (2013) to 33 billion in 2030. This means a growth from 1,647 Euros (2013) to 2,203 Euros in 2030 – which is more than two per cent each year and thus more or less on the same level as the expected inflation rate. Poor consolation: I the USA, they expect the costs caused by traffic jams to increase by 50 per cent.

Going from one place to another under your own power is probably the best you can do for the bio system of the human body. It is probably a good way to slowly glide into a life full of reflection dominated by the simple necessities.
Whenever I go places by bike, I move, win against my “weaker self” (which, incidentally, gets smaller each day), enjoy the fresh air and experience nature around me. I counter rain, hail and heat – also by wearing the right kinds of clothes. I learn to practice patience and leisure.

On top of this, I do not burn oil, do not produce exhausts, make no noise, am a far lower potential risk to other traffic participants and even save money. Using public transport, I win a lot of time when going long distances. Time which I can use for myself. Just remembering how many years I spent hours in my car every day is painful for me.

And then I have to read this kind of study … and ask myself what has been happening:

  • Is it possible that the prognoses in the article are correct?
  • What will people think when they read this kind of thing?
  • Might this really be our future?
  • Or are the analyses completely wrong?
  • Why don’t more people follow my example?

(Translated by EG)


By now, I made further progress: I now work on my “new mobility program”: replacing the bike by hiking short distances. This is quite a challenge.

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