Sigh. Why can’t the people who make money on car loans resist putting down bikes? A few years ago, General Motors got an earful for their college discount campaign featuring a guy so embarrassed to be seen on his bike he shields his face from a pretty girl. The slogan was “Reality Sucks. Stop pedaling…start driving.” But before long, the reality of angry public sentiment sucked for GM and they quickly backpedaled to apologize and removed the ad. Now, easyfinancial is promoting car loans with a sad guy dragging a Christmas tree by bike.
After I rolled my eyes, I had to chuckle. My husband is nothing like the guy in the ad. On Saturday, when we were getting ready to hop on our bikes to buy our Christmas tree I asked if I could pull the tree this year. After all, he had done it the last two years. It was my turn. “No.” he said, “It’s my thing.” Greedy, isn’t he?
I’ll admit that the first year I bike commuted, we didn’t see how we could carry a tree with our bikes so we drove. It didn’t help that the tree lot was on busy El Camino, which isn’t a comfortable place to ride. We only drove two miles to buy the tree, and probably spent more time lashing it on top of the car than we did driving.
By the next year we were better prepared. We had bought a bike trailer and had found a tree lot run by the Sea Scouts that’s further away in Palo Alto, but accessible by quieter streets. Now buying a tree is as simple as pulling up to the front of the lot, picking a tree, paying for it, and having a scout drop it in our trailer and tie it down. Super quick and easy, with no fear that the tree will fly off your car at 35 miles an hour.
I love seeing the surprise on the scout’s face when you say you have a bike, not a car, and the reactions you get on the ride home are just as predictable. From the “Wow!” from a bunch of kids walking to the library, to “Happy Christmas” from a mom pushing a stroller, to a simple smile and nod from an older gent, everyone looks happy to see you roll by. We only get to do it once a year, so no wonder my husband doesn’t want to share.
Have you tried bringing a Christmas tree home by bike? Did you take a photo of your bike in action? If so, share it with the world by emailing it to Chris at Modacity to add to his Pedal Powered Christmas collection.