The Bicycle Diaries
Is it possible to live in America without a car? Uh, sort of.
That night, I went to watch Monday Night Football in the next town over. It was a beautiful, moonlit night, unseasonably warm (the wind had died down), and bright enough that I didn't even need my headlamp. As I sped home through the woods, I soon forgot about the Eagles' catastrophic loss. I crawled contentedly into bed … and awoke with a full-blown head cold. It was my third minicold since I'd started this experiment, probably thanks to all the sweating and chilling I'd put myself through.
At any rate, I wanted only one thing: soup. And I had no soup. It was 40 degrees and pouring down rain. Without a second thought, I hopped into the car and raced down to Foodland, where I stocked up on Campbell's Select Savory Chicken and Long-Grain Rice, and other necessities (like ice cream) that I'd been doing without. On the way home, I passed the Sunoco station. $2.49 a gallon for premium, I decided, was a terrific bargain.
Bill Gifford has written for Outside, Wired, Men's Health, and other magazines. He is working on a book about the future of medicine.
Illustration by Keith Seidel.