Strive Not to Drive – Day Five


Rained out.

I asked a dear friend how she goes about multi-modaling on days like today. She told me she wears a rain jacket, rain pants, and sandals. Further, she told me that she works at a job where it’s o.k. to look gross. As I don’t have that sort of gear and need to look semi-presentable at various locations today, I hopped in my truck today to do my thing.

It was a wonderful week. I walked, biked, and took transit Monday through Thursday. I’m excited to continue these choices and to schedule my time with multi-modal transportation in mind.

I’ll also need to purchase some more gear!

Thanks, Asheville, for a week to remember.


  1. Gary says:

    Hahahahaha. Laughed my ass off at this one! Gordon, you self-righteously crowed about biking all week, but as soon as the weather turns, you’re back behind the wheel. You had the opportunity to demonstrate that you were really serious about this whole thing and really set an example, but instead chose to coddle your “look”.

    What will get “rained out” next? Same-sex benefits? Support of public transit?

    New slogan: “When the going gets inconvenient, Gordon gets gone!”

    You just told me all I need to know about your committment to all the stuff you preach to everybody else about.

  2. Gordon Smith says:

    Thanks for commenting, Gary, and for promoting your values here.

    I had a great time biking all week. After the rain stopped yesterday, my wife and I rode our bikes downtown for a night out.

    While your concern for my integrity is well-intentioned, I think it’s unrealistic to say that because I didn’t ride my bike in the rain, I’ve somehow failed. I spent about 90% less time behind the wheel this week, and I’m proud of that. I also spent a lot less money, and I really enjoyed riding the bus and riding my bike.

    Here’s hoping you’ll have the wisdom to recognize that the perfect is not the enemy of the good.

  3. Soni says:

    So is the new gear going to be rain gear? Because although I am not impressed with Gary’s tone and attitude, I have to agree that there is a valid point buried in there. As long as our culture (business or otherwise) is more tightly tied to “looking good” over “not burning oil” we’ll be dependent on oil for every rain day, too-hot-and-sweaty day and whatnot. And that’s a lot of imperfect weather to allow for.

    Now, I agree – no one should be expected to bike exposed when the weather is dangerous of unhealthy (too stormy, too cold, too hot or too whatever to be biking in safely or healthily). But if we as a nation really have to make real-world choices between how we look and how we commute in order to keep our credibility and our jobs, then the whole commute to work (or to a date or to anywhere public) movement will come to a grinding halt.

    IMHO, although I respect your choices and the reasons for them, I do think you passed up an opportunity to make people reconsider whether wet clothes and muddy cuffs make you any less the person they hired or expected you to be. Something to think about for next time.

  4. eemilla says:

    I let the rain and the threat of rain rule my Friday too, but as Gordon points out he parked his car for most of week. For me Strive Not to Drive works as a reminder that if I think about my day and plan for it, I don’t have to drive as much as I do. When I’m not driving I commute in yoga pants and t-shirts then I change into my work clothes at work.

  5. Michael Muller says:

    I’m proud of Gordon. As far as I know, he was the only City Councilperson who took “Strive Not to Drive” seriously, and his efforts undoubtedly put the rest of us to shame.

  6. shadmarsh says:

    Lighten up people, He was elected to City Council not Jesus.

  7. Soni says:

    shadmarsh – This is true. If he’d been Jesus, he could have walked to work over the puddles and stayed dry. 😀

  8. Emily says:

    Lighten up people, He was elected to City Council not Jesus.