Kevin Schön

The Last Page by Kevin Schön – March 1, 2014

As with most of our habits, we have forgotten why we are doing them a long time ago. And when we do get asked about the why, we come up with all sorts of arbitrary reasoning. When it comes to our daily commute or any other trips we frequently make, this is no different. But no worries, we can help you finding out if it’s time for change! These are our top 10 hints to tell if you secretly want to give up driving and start cycling!

#10 – You leave your car windows down.

Don’t you just love that breeze of air gently stroking your hair and cheeks? After a long day of work there’s nothing more rewarding than the indistinguishable scent of broiling asphalt mixed with the smell of all those culinary treats stacked along the road. Yes, you love the smell of the city. Yes, on a bike it’s even easier to stop for a quick bite! Myam!

#9 – You greet cyclists in front of you – by honking.

You learned this after accidentaly stumbling upon bike lanes: To ensure safe passing, cyclists warn pedestrians with a more or less gentle ‘ding-ding’. You’re unconcious but strong admiration for two-wheeled vehicles leaves you no chance but to also do them the favor of friendly warning them while approaching. However, there is no ‘friendly’ way of honking. Get the real ‘ding-ding’!

#8 – You find yourself humming to ‘Here Comes the Sun’.

Apparently your skin is longing for some sun – without that rooftop on top of your head. Experiencing some snow or even rain ‘out there’ can be a lot of fun, too. Just give it a try!

#7 – You waste no space between your car and the curb at intersections.

This indicates you learned how cyclists travel through busy intersections. Carefully navigating along the right lane between cars and curb, they always seek for a head start. Yes, you can have that too!

#6 – You keep complaining about gas prizes.

Money matters. No doubt. And on top of this, you keep noticing that all your hip and cool start-up friends are able to afford much more fun things than you while they are making less dough. Seems unfair? You know the solution, right?

#5 – There’s a ‘Little Tree’ dancing at your windshield.

Obviously, you never really liked that smell of new plastic and leather after you bought your car. Also, the tree is a constant reminder that you could be taking the bike lane across the park and along the river instead. And don’t forget about the gorgeous smell of restaurants mentioned above!

#4 – The smallest car paint scratch drives you crazy.

Secretly you are calculating for how much you might be able to sell your car when you go for the change. This awareness certainly increases your fear of anything that might cause to decrease the value of your vehicle. You want to worry less? Sell now!

#3 – You enjoy having your vehicle to yourself.

In the first hours of every day you need solitude, no chit-chat, no debates. And you don’t want to be interviewed about your day while going home. So you prefer driving alone. Of those five seats in your car only one is used regularly. Why do you bother carrying the others around?

#2 – You pass cyclists without changing lanes.

You love them so much – you cannot help yourself but wanting to get as close to them as possible.

#1 – You hang out on bike lanes.

The number one indication you secretly want to ride a bike: You start finding yourself on bike lanes – particularly for parking your car. It’s obvious you already know that is where the cool people hang. But hey, there’s a dress code! (Pssst: It has to do with your type of vehicle.)

Kevin Schön
Kevin Schön

Kevin Schön is a sociologist addressing urbanism, mobility and digitization. He's co-founder of the Berlin Institute for Mobility and Society, an editor of Urbanist Magazine, loves dipping pastries in coffee and playing with leading-edge technology.