Welcome! My name is Michael Gilday and I am a Short Track Speedskater from Yellowknife, NWT, Canada. I currently train at the National Training Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I've created this blog primarily to let family and friends know about competitions and travel. I also hope to educate a bit about short track and maybe even entertain. Enjoy!

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Rant

It was cold yesterday in Calgary. It wasn’t ridiculously cold, only about –25 or so, but it was cold enough that the good old van wouldn’t start. Now don’t get me wrong, I love that van. It has been a great vehicle for a long time, and still is a great vehicle. The fact that it wouldn’t start wasn’t an enormous surprise as I had neglected to plug it in the night before not realizing it would be so cold the next day.


So as I sat in the car running the battery down and praying it would start so that I wouldn’t have to miss my physio appointment (I did by the way), and being mad that I would miss physio, a thought occurred to me. I wished that I wouldn’t have to use a car anymore. Earlier that morning I had used my bike. I just walked outside, jumped on and rode away. The bike didn’t care that it was –25. In fact I doubt that would have changed if it was –50 or +50 even. My bike works no matter what the conditions outside. Sure it was cold outside but if you dress for the weather its not that bad at all. I personally find it very enjoyable and it costs me almost nothing. I bought my commuting bike for 50 bucks. Since then I have put ZERO dollars into it in three years. The car on the other hand (again its great and I realize cars have taken me to a lot of cool things/places) cost me (in the last year, according to my CO-OP membership annual thingy) almost $800 in gas. That number is probably more if you count the other stations I have filled at. We barely use the car. Maybe once or twice a week each between my sister and I. Imagine if you drive every day for 30 mins to work and back!! When I have to plug it in, there is an unknown amount of power just flowing away for hours on end. I’m sure its more than if you just left your lights on in the living room all day and night. Those are only two examples and I didn’t even include the invisible cost of emissions. I guess what I’m trying to say is wouldn’t it be great if everyone lived in a place where you could ride to work/school/the store/other stuff easily and quickly. I recognize that cities and urban sprawl have made this almost completely impossible for the vast majority of the North American population, but imagine the individual savings. In today’s society, where eco-friendly is trendy would it be that tough to tell people that they could save thousands of dollars, get in shape and help the environment all at the same time?? People pay big money to join gyms and get in shape. By riding a bike to work, you pay nothing, get in shape and get the satisfaction of knowing you are doing good. Somebody should package that up in a fancy ad campaign and call it the Velo Diet. Take that Atkins, South Beach and Jenny Craig. Anyways, I know I’m not going to change the world here, and that the car is not going away. I even know I will use a car probably thousands of times more before I die. The car is not going away, it would just be great if we didn’t have to depend on it so much. That’s just my two cents anyways.

On the skating front, we had our last on ice workout at the Oval of the season today. We are off to Montreal for trials on Sunday while Jon and the Jesses head to Vienna on Saturday for Worlds. Expect some updates next week and during trials.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Uh sir, please realize how many hard working Canadians rely on business related to auto upkeep, production and oil and gas mining.

Your PM

Anonymous said...

Forget oil and gas mining... Tough luck I guess, maybe we should of thought ahead a little I guess! And on top of that forget vehicles. Even though the rant had nothing to do with it, but it's time for change anyways. Gilday's got it. If I could I'd bike every day... Erm, wait... I do.

I need my car occasionally. Usually long distance or chores though. But I feel sorry for all those that have to use it all the time... Even during weather like -25. Kills you on money and the environment.

LM

Anonymous said...

Forget oil and gas mining?!!? Forget heating your house. We would have some fun winters! Forget regulating the temperature at the Oval. - It's too hot anyways

Your PM

Anonymous said...

It's called windows... and solar energy. For us in Alberta we get enough sun throughout the week. Even during winter to heat a home off of Solar energy.

LM

Anonymous said...

I doubt the average household in difficult economic times like these, is able to fork out the large amounts of cash to go 100% solar. Set up of something like that is very costly, and houses like that almost always have an alternative backup heat source. The alternative that solar energy presents is not applicable everywhere.


Your PM

Anonymous said...

But it's applicable... The government can cut funding to oil and gas mining, probably put only half that money into research and development of solar energy and self sufficient homes and it would be a more effective use of it. Less people will need gas and oil for the houses, back up plans are cheap if the money that they save is being put back into the bank. I've seen it done in Calgary. There are homes here that are 87% self sufficient. Now that's in Calgary, put that technology south of the boarder and you'll probably have home that are even higher than that!

And for those that don't get the sun, the price of gas and oil would drop so much that it it'd be like stealing gas and oil straight from your own backyard.

LM

krat said...

@LM, you make some good points and gday, I agree with you completely in your rant, I have yet to purchase a vehicle for the reasons you're mentioned and instead opt for walking and public transport. It does help that I'm not overly affected by the urban sprawl of edmonton due to the fact that I live on the edge of campus with grocery stores less then a 5 min walk away, and access to the LRT only a stone's throw away that takes me right to the heart of downtown.

-krat

Anonymous said...

where'd you go? i love reading your blog... you have a great mind. Set up to be a champion. keep your dream burning...