I don’t think it reads quite exactly how she intended it to read.
Picture courtesy of Chicago CBS Channel 2 news. If I were the owner of this bike shop, I’d have a giant print of the story made, and mount it on the wall of my store.
In brief, she writes in defense of her car (a Chevy Cobalt), which she uses to commute from the south side of Chicago to the north side (an trip which could be easily completed via public transportation, probably faster and cheaper than using a car). But instead of talking about how great car travel is, or why she likes her Cobalt, she uses the platform to talk about bikes. Brief excerpt from article, quoted below:
“Q: Sounds like you have some pretty strong views on driving in the city versus driving in the suburbs?
A: The city has too much traffic in my opinion. Sometimes it takes an hour to get to a place that should really only take twenty minutes. That is so irritating too me. I also can’t stand bicyclists! They are always in the way. In the suburbs, you don’t have to worry about any of that. Traffic is always generally very good. If people ride bicycles they primarily ride them around their neighborhood or on a bike trail. You rarely if ever encounter them, which is a good thing.”
Someone who speaks so eloquently about bike use, and who so clearly values having a car to drive, must have put buying a car at the top of her priority list, right?
Q: Where did you get your car? Did you buy it new?
A: My parents paid for it. After I totaled my other car, I couldn’t afford to buy another one, but I really needed one. It would literally be impossible for me to get back and forth from school since I live in the suburbs and public transportation doesn’t really even exist out there. My parents agreed to buy me another one.
So she totaled her car, and then Mommy and Daddy bought her a new one? Well, at least she takes good care of the car, right?
Q: Now for a few fun questions. If your car had a human emotion, what would it be?
A: Probably dirty because it’s kinda of junky in my car right now. I just went to Iowa last weekend. I haven’t gotten a chance to clean it. Right now I have some gym shoes, a couple changes of clothes, and perfume. It’s kind of like my little changing room at the present moment. Usually I would describe it as happy, crazy, and wild. I even have zebra print seat covers. I’m really into animal prints.
Her car’s emotion is Dirty? At least she drives safely, right?
Q: Do you have any rules in your car at the moment?
A: No smoking, no drinking, no eating and I don’t like having more than three passengers in my car. I guess I’m so anal because I’ve been in a couple of really bad accidents. I totaled my last car. This car someone t-boned me. I try to keep my distractions to a minimum nowadays.
That’s probably a good idea to keep distractions to a minimum. Sounds like safe, responsible driving. At the very least, after her car accidents, she now drives responsibly, without distraction.
Q: Do you ever pump it up and rock out when you’re driving?
A: Oh yeah! Especially if my song is on. I don’t care if someone is looking or not. I turn my music up really loud. If it’s hot, I roll down the windows, and sing and dance. A lot of people care if they feel like someone is watching them, but I don’t. I’m all about having a good time and trying not to let other people’s perception of what I’m doing ruin my good time.
I concede the point.
So what’s scarier: 1) knowing that people like this are among the people who will someday decide what kind of resources should be allocated to bike use; or, 2) knowing that, “if her song is on”, she will “turn the music up really loud” and “sing and dance” while driving around hating cyclists? Would it ruin her good time if she hit a cyclist, or would she refuse to let their perception (injuries?) ruin her good time?
Carry on. Nothing to see here.