Americans have a nasty addiction to credit. It is a big reason that we are in such a pickle right now. Not understanding the true cost of credit, is dangerous, and can get you in a lot of trouble. It starts at a young age, with things like this:
Get them while they’re young. The board game of “Life”, which was originally created in 1860 by Milton Bradley, and modernized 100 years later, in 1960, is modernizing once again; doing away with the cash that was included and used in the game, and switching to credit cards. The “Game of Life” is geared towards kids ages 9 and up. Get ‘em trained at an early age. In reality:
On that note, sometimes credit can be very helpful. When you are starting a business for example. Or when you buy a house. Or when you want to get a new Trek Bicycle.
If you qualify, you will be given up to a $3000 credit limit, and the card is accepted at over 1200 Trek dealers nationwide. It doesn’t sound like you can use your Trek card to buy a Raleigh, but you can roll out on a new belt drive District or Soho. There are no payments for 180 days, which if you are smart, you can pay off. If credit usage is done well, you can pay off your balance before the insane 24% interest rate starts up. If you need a bike now, then it may be a good option. Better than a lay-away program because you get to ride it now. Just make sure you pay it off, because they will get you.
Open to people that work or live in one of 7 counties in Oregon, they offer loans of up to $3000 and a fixed 6.99% loan for up to 2 years. That will get you on a bike, benefit the community by supporting a local, not-for profit lending institution, and potentially save you some money.
Hopefully you are flush with dough, and you can just drop some cash on that bike you want and/or need, but if not, there are options. Just be smart. If you have the need to buy a bike though, you can always get me one, I ride a 56/57.
This is a blog about bikey things. Races, rides, and fun things that encourage people to get on their bikes and ride. It puts a smile on my face, and I hope it does yours too. I sometimes touch on things that you can do to improve access to your community by bike as well as upcoming advocacy events. But I don’t generally talk politics.
After the most recent presidential election, I think many people realized that anything is possible, and what we do locally really affects national and world affairs. I personally believe that local elections are very important. Not only because the laws that go into affect in your town directly affect us as individuals, but on a larger scale, these are the people that represent your town to the county, state, and federal governments. If you have an elected official that, say, dislikes bikes; it is unlikely that the projects that promote effective cycling will be put into place by that administration.
If you live in Seattle, you probably know by now that Greg Nickels will not be our mayor for another term. It might have had something to do with the fact that as Seattle was buried under snow last winter for about 10 days, Nickels’ didn’t have a fix, though his neighborhood was plowed first and more often. Seattle didn’t like it. He came in third in the primary, putting him out of the race for another term.
What is obvious is that Seattle, like the United States as a whole, is ready for change. Taking Nickels’ place on the ballot are two newcomers to political office. The vice president of T-mobile, Joe Mallahan; and the attorney and community organizer Mike McGinn. Two candidates offering very different backgrounds and strategies to help shape Seattle into a city to be lived in and enjoyed by their respective constituents. Because of their many differences, it also becomes obvious that Seattle hasn’t agreed on what path to go down.
Who will represent and lead Seattle for the next four years? Who do you think will do a better job?
Mike McGinn will be getting my vote. Not only does he ride a bike for transportation, he in my opinion will work towards growing Seattle into a more liveable community.
Mike McGinn has amazing support from the community. Not so much from big business, nor from the “insiders” within the city as it is, but from everyday people. He got more votes in the primary than his opponents while spending $10+ less PER VOTE than Joe Mallahan. Not to mention his Facebook and Twitter followers. Man, this guy is popular. Much like our presidential election, not all depends on campaign contributions.
As a cyclist, McGinn is the obvious choice. His support of public transit, walking, and biking as transportation is strong. In a “Lightning Round” of questions the other night in Ballard, when asked about the completion of the “Missing Link” trail, McGinn said he was for it, Mallahan was against it. (Since then, Mallahan has stated on his website that he is “a big supporter of bike and pedestrian facilities throughout the City and region.” It goes on to say that he supports some sort of completion, but it sounds unfocused, and I don’t believe for a second that he views cycling as anything besides something that one does until they get the keys to their first car)
Both candidates oppose Tim Eyman’s ballot measure 1033, which would cap government revenues and cut property taxes, while devastate public services, and likely impede the states recovery from the recession.
Mallahan, like many state and local politicians, likes the idea of a deep bore tunnel to replace the dated, and possibly dangerous Alaskan Way Viaduct. McGinn opposes it, by simply saying that the money isn’t there, and it is a waste of resources to spend more time and money pursuing it. I have to agree. $1.4 Billion? Not in these times.
Of course, neither candidate has any experience in political office. McGinn has more time in the community, while Mallahan has spent most of his time in the board room. I for one don’t like the idea of my city being run like T-mobile. I don’t even like their cell service. One works for people, the other for profit.
To wrap it up- I’m not telling you who to vote for. I’ll say that whoever you think will do a better job leading Seattle for the next four years, you should vote for them. Most important is that people take advantage of their right to vote. It’s your community. What you do in it, who you vote for, and where you spend your money, all affect the future. Seattle to me is a great little city, and I see elections as an opportunity to help keep the wheels rolling down the good road. But really, you should vote for McGinn. No really.
And election day is November 3, 2009. If you ain’t registered, you ain’t voting.
Remember. Anything is possible.
Of course there are other things to be voted on this November 3rd. Some of the other candidates that have my vote:
I heard through Cascade Bike Club that the website Ride the City will be coming to Seattle. Now if you were wondering how to get from A to B by bike and don’t know the area, this could be right up your alley.
Ride the City is currently operating in:
It’s also available in 5 languages.
Seattle is currently in the BETA stage- but will be coming online in a few weeks. The developers are looking to make as many improvements now as possible, and they do that through your help. The site is easy to use, and gives you options for the “Safer Route”, “Safe Route”, and the most “Direct Route” Nice work!
Give it a look, plan your route, and if you have any recommendations, let them know.