Friday, April 22, 2011

Are we there yet?

Gas prices are in the news again. I'm not saying I'm not immune to it. It was shocking when it took $45 to fill up the Subaru last week and I don't want to know what it'll be when I have to fill it up again in another week or two. So what is the tipping point? When I started driving, gas was under a dollar. Then in the late '90's it started to rise steadily. I said if it hit $1.50 I would quit driving. Did that happen? No. $2? Crazy, but no. $3? Ok, add on a recession and you start thinking about what you're doing..

I bought a house in Waukesha because it was close to a lot of amenities. I have pretty much all I need within walking or biking distance, but my work was still 19 miles away. I found riding to work even a few times a week was worth a savings of at least a decent lunch. Last year my job moved a little closer, 12 miles, and after riding 38 miles RT several times a week riding 24 nearly everyday seemed a no brainer. It was a decision I wanted to make and it works for me. It creates at least a bit of a buffer of the fluxuating gas prices.

Now I'm not in the camp that thinks fuel costs should be higher or on par with Europe. The reality is, fuel costs add to the bottom line of everything in our country. Everything you purchase most likely had some step of its existence shipped, sent, transferred or delivered by some means of petro using transport. All I'm saying is I'd rather put my money towards a couple guilt free pastries and a nice ride in the morning than give it to the gas man every day.

So where is the tipping point? This is America, so the easiest thing to do is complain, but that doesn't change the situation. People may blame this president or that president but it doesn't matter. Are you going to keep doing what you are doing, or make a change? The tipping point is whenever you decide it is. But one thing I can guarantee, it'll be awhile before gas is 99cents again.

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