Episode 49 – Winning the War on Cars in Rural America

 

Doug Gordon: Hey everybody, Doug here. This episode of The War on Cars is sponsored by Cleverhood, which makes great rain gear and outerwear for people who walk and bike. Now, I was hoping I could stroll around my neighborhood in the rain to demonstrate just how awesome the new Cleverhood Rover Rain Cape is. Unfortunately, we haven’t had any rain lately. So yeah, that is right. I am standing in my shower. Oh, yeah. Okay, this thing is working great. Totally keeping me dry. Super comfortable. And best of all, my microphone is not getting wet. So check it out. Listeners of The War on Cars can now receive 20 percent off the purchase of anything in the Cleverhood store. Just visit Cleverhood.com/waroncars, enter code “waroncars”—all one word—and you will get 20 percent off. Again, that’s Cleverhood.com/waroncars. Enjoy the episode!

Dave Cohen: And then we watched as the other kids were being driven up to school, and really feeling sorry for them in some way because they didn’t know about the experience we had. And one day there was a woman who approached me after I dropped him off, and she said—like, and that day it had been sleeting and hail. It was like everything was coming at us. The birds were singing, they were fine. We got up to the top, and this woman says, like, “You know, every time I see you, I pray for you.” And I looked at her and said, “Hmm. Actually I do the same thing for you.” And I couldn’t believe her response. She said, “Is that because I’m in a box?” I said, “Yeah!” [laughs]

Aaron Naparstek: Welcome to The War on Cars. This is Aaron Naparstek. You know, here on this podcast, we focus mostly on issues related to big cities. And over the years, I’ve personally had a lot of people ask me, “I get that walking and biking and transit are great solutions for places like New York but, you know, I live in a suburb or a small town or even a rural place. And what can I do to reduce automobile dependence where I live?” And I’ve got answers to that. I’ve got a stock set of responses like, you know, “Retrofit suburbia.” Or, “We need to build out passenger rail.” But I’ve often felt like these are not very good answers. They’re systemic change kinds of answers that individuals can’t really deal with on their own. And that I’ve generally felt like I don’t have great answers for how to win the war on cars outside of big cities. But this summer kind of changed that for me. I was living in Vermont, and my wife and I have owned a house there in the center of this tiny, classic New England village called Newfane since 2013. And with the pandemic and school and work all being online, my wife and two sons and I, we had a chance to spend more time in Vermont than we ever have before.

Aaron: In July, after the governor of Vermont lifted some of the state’s public health restrictions, my friend Chad Farnam invited me to play on his men’s slow pitch softball team down in Brattleboro. It’s a small city in the southeastern corner of the state. Now, playing softball is one of my favorite things. Playing softball in the summer, at night, under the lights in Vermont, after four months of COVID lockdown and zero social activity beyond my immediate family, that was basically heaven.

Aaron: As the season progressed, and as I got to know my teammates beneath their face masks, I began to notice how people were traveling to practices and games. Vermont is hilly, it’s sprawl-y, it gets cold, it snows a lot, and the roads are very much designed for cars and trucks. Despite all that, a bunch of the guys on this team—I’d say at least five of them—were showing up, not in cars, not in huge pickup trucks, but on electric-assist bicycles. Like K.J., our deceptively speedy right fielder.

Kris Johnston: Hi, my name is Kris Johnston, and this is my commuter bike. It’s a Raleigh, and I use this one whenever I’m going shopping or just kind of getting around town.

Aaron: And is this an electric bike?

Kris Johnston: It is, yeah. It’s been retrofitted for electric.

Aaron: Were you using a bicycle before you retrofit this one with an electric motor, or not really?

Kris Johnston: No, I didn’t really ride before I got an electric bike. It was one of those situations where the hills of Vermont, everywhere you go, you’re going up a hill. And so I’d go somewhere and I’d be all sweaty and everything. And if I was going to a meeting, you know, maybe I was in nice clothes or something like that. And this really makes a difference, where I can just kind of cruise there.

Aaron: And Todd, our trusty first baseman.

Todd: I was working at a place where it was 10 miles to my office, mostly uphill. And so I would feel kind of—I wanted to buy an electric car. I was like, this would be cool if I could make this commute in an electric car. You know, use as much battery as I could going uphill, regenerate the battery coming downhill. But electric cars are really expensive. So then I saw this bike and I thought, “Oh, man, what if I could—it’s 10 miles. I could commute on my bike. Battery assist.” And so that was kind of the light bulb that went on in my head.

Aaron: And Andrew, our star pitcher. You know, I never actually saw Andrew on his own e-bike—I know he has one. But his wife and daughter showed up to just about every game on one.

Sueno Leblond: My name is Sueno Leblond, and this is Autumn Rose, five and a half year old bike guru. And this is our minivan, except for that it’s actually a two-wheeled electric bicycle which functions as our minivan. And I have always been a cyclist as a commuter, and then when Autumn Rose came along, I immediately stopped riding my bike. And that was a problem. And the bike trailers never seemed safe to me. And so I—and there’s a lot of electric bikes in town, and I was getting pretty curious.

Aaron: Hey, Autumn Rose. Here’s my question for you: how do you like riding in the bike compared to riding in a car?

Autumn Rose: It’s better to be on a bike with electric, because gas cars and electric cars, they don’t use gravity, but actually bikes do. And usually on the bike I can feel things.

Aaron: As I started asking around how it came to be that there are so many e-bikes rolling around Brattleboro, Vermont, one name kept coming up.

Sueno Leblond: I consulted with Dave Cohen, and he let me try a bunch of different bikes out. He did most of the research for me, what I would need and what rebates I could get and how—you know, where I could buy it through in town. So it was very helpful.

Josh Trager: Yeah, exactly. I mean, I was hearing about e-bikes from Dave Cohen, like, long before I thought about buying one.

Aaron: This guy, Josh Trager, he wasn’t even on our softball team. He heard I was doing e-bike interviews and he just wanted to talk.

Josh Trager: Dave Cohen is, like, he could easily be a psychotherapist if that was ever PhD material.

Aaron: Dave Cohen. Who was this mysterious Johnny Appleseed of e-bikes? Actually, I know Dave. And the fact that everyone was crediting Dave Cohen for getting them into e-bikes was not a big surprise. Dave Cohen is a bike advocacy legend. In Berkeley, California, in the early 1990s, Dave founded the city’s first cargo bike delivery service, Pedal Express. Claim to fame? They fought off Federal Express’s attempt to force them to change their name. Dave rode in the world’s first Critical Mass bike rides. He helped to launch and build Bay Area bike advocacy projects and organizations that are still active today. Dave, his wife Rachel, and their young son Eli, moved to Vermont in 2007, where Dave works as an integrative psychotherapist. In 2010, Dave founded VBike, where he has forged partnerships with state government and electric utilities and bike shops to make e-assist bicycles more accessible to Vermonters.

Aaron: Dave is also kind of a philosopher king of bicycling and automobilism—his word—and he’s developed a pretty unique view of the impact that the car has on our bodies, minds, communities and the natural world. So on a beautiful afternoon in mid-August, Dave jumped on his e-bike, pedaled 12 miles up Route 30 from Brattleboro to Newfane Village—a 50-mile-per-hour, two-lane state highway, by the way—and he met me outside our house. As per War on Cars protocol, we started the interview with infrared thermometer checks.

Aaron: 97.8. Wait. Oh, 97.3.

Dave Cohen: Yeah, really?

Aaron: Nice and cool.

Dave Cohen: Yeah. Jeez.

Aaron: Let me bring this back inside. We don’t mess around here.

Aaron: Dave and his family had just returned from a camping trip about 50 miles away from Brattleboro. And of course I figured, oh yeah, they must have biked there, and that would be a great story to start the interview with.

Aaron: This camping trip you guys just did, did you do that on the bikes?

Dave Cohen: No, no. This time we—yeah, we used a car. Fuck! [laughs]

Aaron: Was that Rachel’s insistence, or you all agreed it was car?

Dave Cohen: We sort of all agreed. Yeah, yeah. But, you know, I get, like emotional fallout just myself from doing it. Yeah, from being inside of it. And it’s hard for me to even land, you know, in a place after I’ve been in an automobile. It’s either I know too much or I’m too sensitive. Or I think I know too much. [laughs]

Aaron: What’s the feeling when you arrive somewhere after driving there in a car?

Dave Cohen: Well, you know, I think it’s something about, like, we’re so linear about transportation. We’re thinking about getting point A to point B, and then all the places in between are almost like—you know, they’re blunted and they’re profoundly compromised, as far as our sensory awareness, our ability to kind of know our impact on the world as we’re getting there. And that bothers the heck out of me.

Aaron: So transportation isn’t just about getting from point A to point B?

Dave Cohen: No, transportation is a metaphor, because actually, transportation and metaphor are exactly the same words they both mean “To carry over.” And, you know, from studying metaphors and looking at the neuropsychology metaphors, they affect us in our senses. And then we’ve got this emotional experience. You know, we’re kind of transformed in our understanding when there’s a really good metaphor. And transportation does the same thing. We’re using our bodies, we’re using our senses, and we’re emotionally engaged in the world, hopefully. You know, depending on how we’re moving on the landscape.

Aaron: It was a little bit noisy in the center of the village, so to find some quiet, Dave and I walked across Route 30, we hiked up some woods, and up a hill to a little pond where I knew there was a bench we could sit on.

Aaron: We’ll just cruise down this path and I think up to the pond will be a good spot, and it’ll be pretty quiet.

Dave Cohen: The soundscape totally shifts here. It’s a total different experience.

Aaron: So do you think the bicycle or bicycle transportation in some way connects you more to the natural world?

Dave Cohen: Yeah. I mean, one thing I like to throw out a little bicycle heresy. I like to say the bicycle’s not green. There’s nothing green about it. It’s an industrial product. There’s metals, paints, plastics, rubber, all kinds of greases and lubricants. So there’s nothing green about it. What is green is us, when we get on it and we use our energy. And so, you know, the basic rudiments that I think about are just that we have bodies that—we need that in order to move. We have senses so we can know where to go, what direction to go in. And then we have an emotional connection that’s formed through the combination of those bodies and our senses.

Aaron: And you feel like when you’re traveling in a car, you’re no longer really a sensing being moving through the landscape?

Dave Cohen: Yeah. There’s a question of what kind of being we are. We’ve become really kind of a hyper-modified technological organism. You know, human beings, we are modified by our technologies, but in a car, it’s vastly different because of the extreme power and the sensory—almost like sensory deprivation, because our senses are truly blunted.

Aaron: Okay, let’s go here.

Dave Cohen: Oh my God!

Aaron: This is a nice spot.

Dave Cohen: You should do all your interviews here.

Aaron: Yeah, I take all my interview subjects to the best places.

Dave Cohen: [laughs]

Aaron: We arrived at the pond with a little bench next to it, a.k.a. War on Cars Studio North. And just a heads up, you might hear bird and insect sounds in the background.

Aaron: So you feel like the car destroys our experience of the world or our experience of getting from point A to point B, and that makes us more destructive?

Dave Cohen: I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Motor Mania? Goofy in Motor Mania? It was a—I guess, a Disney thing, and it was put out to kind of educate people on how to drive a car, you know, how to do it responsibly. And so it shows you this guy, Mr. Walker, who’s Goofy.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Motor Mania: He’s a kindly man. Courteous, punctual and honest.]

Dave Cohen: And then he walks out of his house. He doesn’t even want to step on an ant.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Motor Mania: He believes in live and let live.]

Dave Cohen: You know, he’s so careful about everything, and he’s very polite. But then he gets into his car.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Motor Mania: Once behind the wheel, a strange phenomenon …]

Dave Cohen: He gets in the car and he becomes Mr. Wheeler. And he’s this raging maniac.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Motor Mania: His whole personality changed. Abruptly, he becomes an uncontrollable monster. Mr. Walker is now Mr. Wheeler, a motorist.]

Dave Cohen: He’s, like, crashing into other cars.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Motor Mania: “Watch where you’re going, stupid!”]

Dave Cohen: All kinds of car races going on. And then finally he gets to town.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Motor Mania: Deprived of his protective armor, Mr. Wheeler, motorist, becomes Mr. Walker, pedestrian.]

Dave Cohen: And then he becomes Mr. Walker again, because he gets out of the car and walks around. And he’s accosted by all these cars. It’s really hysterical. And the whole voiceover is really funny.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Motor Mania: But let this be a lesson, Mr. Wheeler. Drive safely. Play fair. Give the other fellow a break. And ah, shut up!]

Dave Cohen: And I think even that, even though they’re portraying a real kind of transformation of a human being transformed by this automotive experience, and then he becomes Mr. Walker, I don’t think that’s so accurate. I think what happens is we’re even affected after we get out of the car. Our whole worldview is shifted because, you know, time and space has been crunched. We haven’t experienced fully the places that we’ve passed through in order to get from so-called point A to point B.

Aaron: So let’s get into VBike. So just tell me the story about how VBike started, and what it is and what it’s doing.

Dave Cohen: VBike, you know, came out of just coming to Vermont and being really depressed. [laughs] Because I was going, like, I thought everybody was going to be, like, on bikes and totally rugged and outdoorsy. And sure, like, they go biking and maybe skiing. But everybody’s in their cars. And I was like, “What the fuck,” you know? We need a war on cars.

Aaron: Well, there you go. Oh, so you started The War on Cars too, huh?

Dave Cohen: Yeah. So, you know, I was really upset about, like, the bike culture is just not happening. I mean, we also moved on, like, the noisiest street ever. And I was so freaking depressed. I couldn’t believe we made this move.

Aaron: So Dave and his family moved to Vermont. Their street is too noisy, there’s no bike culture in town, and Dave is depressed. And on top of all that, his son is starting a new school, and the school is at the top of a very big hill. So Dave does what anyone would do when they’re feeling depressed and they’re trying to get themselves out of it. He buys a bicycle—an electric assist bicycle. His first.

Dave Cohen: One of the big issues was going to be going up this hill every single day. And it’s a significant climb. And it’s—even when you get to where the sign says “Hilltop School,” you’ve got another, like, you know, 300-foot climb or 400-foot climb to go. So we decided I’m going to find a bike that really works. And ended up getting the Yuba El Mundo. And it was really extraordinary. You know, I was just, like, taken with this thing. And so we started using it for our daily commutes. And before you know it, we’re hitting the winter. And then I got studded tires. And so one day it was 20 degrees and there was snow on the ground and a little bit of ice. And we went out. And finally there was a day where it’s like, you know, three degrees. And Eli and I have kind of perfected, you know, how to keep things warm, putting our stuff on before we go out while we’re eating breakfast, and we hit critical heat and we get so hot that you have to go outside. And before you know it, we’re biking in, you know, three degrees. And then it goes back up to 30 and it feels like a heat wave.

 

Aaron: And this entire time, does it never cross your mind, like, “Hmm, I do own a car. I couldbe driving it up to Hilltop and staying warm and listening to music.” And was just, like, driving the kid to school was just out of the question to you?

Dave Cohen: Oh, totally. I mean, the things that we saw. Like, you know, a fox going across Living Memorial Park in the middle of the winter, Or I was seeing, like, an owl, you know, in the early morning. Or experiencing really in the flesh the world, and then seeing the change of the seasons is so powerful, you know, up front and close, close to it all. And then we watched as the other kids were being driven up to school and really feeling sorry for them in some way, because they didn’t know about the experience that we had. And one day there was a woman who approached me after I dropped him off and she said like—and that day it had been sleeting and hail. It was like everything was coming at us. The birds were singing, they were fine. We got up to the top, and this woman says, like, “You know, every time I see you, I pray for you.” And I looked at her and I said, “Hmm. Actually, I do the same thing for you.” And I couldn’t believe her response. She said, “Is that because I’m in a box?” I said, “Yeah.” [laughs]

Aaron: Not only did the e-bike help lift Dave out of his depression, it gave him a new mission and a sense of purpose.

Dave Cohen: Yeah, so the start of VBike really had so much to do with the Yuba El Mundo, this electric cargo bike. And I was so taken with it. I’m going like—you know, my phrase was, “This is so Vermont!” You know, we’ve got all the clothing to go snowmobiling or skiing. Why couldn’t we just use these things also during the winter? And eventually, I started to get to know one of the legislators here, Molly Burke. She’s a representative who happens to be on the House Transportation Committee. She’s been on that committee for many, many years. And I started talking to her about it, and she was interested. And she said, like, “Well, why don’t you give me a bunch of talking points?” I drew up a whole bunch of talking points for why the state should, like, embrace this idea. And so she ends up taking some of these talking points out to different people. And then she brings it to the program director for something called Go! Vermont, which is the state alternative transportation agency, part of our agency of transportation. And the program director, Ross MacDonald, gives me a call and says, “Hey, I’m going to be in Brattleboro. Why don’t you meet me and we’ll have lunch?”

Aaron: Dave assumes that, you know, this important state transportation official just wants to come and pick his brain. But before the lunch is over, MacDonald asks Dave …

Dave Cohen: So how many hours a week do you think you can do this? And I’m like, “Do what?” He said, “You know, work for us. You know, we can sign a contract.” And I’m like, “What are you talking about?” And finally, he says, “Yeah. Well, you know, I’ll call you, we’ll work things out.” And he leaves, because he has to go to another meeting. And I’m just sitting there, like, looking out—staring out the window. I’m like, what happened?

Aaron: If you live somewhere like New York, California, Illinois, I’ll give you a moment to pick up your jaw off the floor. Okay? I mean, Vermont’s definitely got its own issues, but apparently this is how creative new policy ideas can get done in a smaller state. It can be a lot easier.

Dave Cohen: Yeah, yeah. And then, you know, we set up this idea that I can provide consultations for Vermonters. For local people, we can do in-person consultations. People can try out bikes. I’m in touch with the bike shops and know what people are carrying or just knowing the different brands. And people come to me for, you know, they want the bike that fits their lifestyle, their terrain, the range that they’re going to be using it, whether they’re going to be carrying their kids, cargo, you know, whatever.

Aaron: But pretty quickly, Dave realizes e-bikes are expensive, and if VBike and the state of Vermont want more people riding them, then they need to come up with ways to make them more affordable.

Dave Cohen: One of the first things we did was contacting a credit union, the Vermont State Employees Credit Union. And they attached their VGreen loans to bikes and electric assist options. So that was the first thing, you know, get low interest loans set so people can at least get a loan.

Aaron: The low interest loans make it possible for Vermonters to pay for electric bikes, you know, in relatively affordable monthly payments, rather than having to pay the entire cost up front. In other words, people can get financing for e-bikes, just like they get financing for cars.

Dave Cohen: Then the next step was like, really, we need subsidies. I mean, the state should be paying people just to get these bikes, particularly cargo bikes, you know? But to get the state to do something like that, that’s a huge hurdle.

Aaron: In 2015, the state of Vermont adopted a sweeping set of new renewable energy standards. And these standards require electricity utility companies to hit carbon emission reduction targets in a variety of ways, including providing Vermonters with cash rebates for upgrading their home hot water heater, or for purchasing an electric car, for more efficient appliances.

Dave Cohen: They also included a provision for replacing fossil fuels with electricity. And so that set up this whole thing where all of a sudden—certainly electric cars, electric buses, electric trucks, but electric bikes would totally fit in.

Aaron: So Dave teamed up with Vermont’s statewide bicycle pedestrian advocacy organization, Local Motion, and began approaching the state’s electric utility companies to talk about e-bikes.

Dave Cohen: And we hammered out this idea of the Burlington Electric Department offering a $200 rebate for electric bikes based on this provision that is now part of state law. And then that idea then spread around Vermont. And now the largest utility, Green Mountain Power, is offering a $300 rebate. And there’s two other utilities. That covers a good 90 percent of Vermont with these four utilities offering these rebates.

Aaron: Probably these rebates and financing deals have made the bikes more available in local shops too, right?

Dave Cohen: Oh, yeah. Yeah. And then it gets the bike shops really excited. And a lot of those people, you know, went through a VBike consultation. And some of them didn’t because, you know, just the flywheel starts turning, more people start doing it, it becomes normalized and people go, “Oh, I could do that, too.” Once you try it out, it’s just like, “Oh, this is a no-brainer. I can do this. I can climb those hills, I can carry my kids. And I don’t have to lug a 3,000 pound box around with me all the time.”

Aaron: So VBike’s been up and running for about six years. What’s been its impact? What has it accomplished?

Dave Cohen: Well, the rebates thing has been just this year, and probably over 500 rebates processed. The bike shops are all carrying electric bikes. And we’ve got at least—I don’t know—40 cargo bikes in Brattleboro alone. And I’m hoping that’s going to double next year. Burlington’s got a whole bunch, probably way over 100.

Aaron: Some of VBike’s accomplishments can be quantified. Others are less tangible. Talking to Dave and my e-bike-riding softball teammates, it was the intangible benefits that really stood out the most. Here’s Todd again.

Todd: It felt, you know, invigorating. It’s a kind of sense of, like, a little bit of, like, liberation, like, not relying on my car for this.

Aaron: And Sueno and five-year-old Autumn Rose.

Sueno Leblond: She can feel me. Like, when we’re on the bike, we’re more connected. And it’s very obvious that she’s more connected to the trip. And she can see—she’s getting a picture of where we live. Like, the sense of place is so much clearer when we’re riding on the bike.

Autumn Rose: Did you know that actually, when I’m on the bike, I can touch pretty much everything that I’m close enough. And I can also snuggle Mama.

Aaron: And K.J.

Kris Johnston: Yeah, biking around has absolutely changed my perspective, really on just the world in general. Like, everything goes by so quickly when you’re in a car. You know, I don’t—I don’t feel like I’m connected to the world at all. Like, I’m kind of in a bubble, really. And then when I’m out on my bike, like, I’m waving at people, I’m saying “Good day.” You know, just being out, like, I feel connected. I feel like I’m in community.

Aaron: Sure, VBike was putting more electric-assist bicycles on Vermont’s roads and in people’s garages. And it seemed to be proving that, in fact, there might be a way to win the war on cars in small town, rural and suburban America. But there is more happening here than just transportation. Liberation, connection, community, snuggles, these are not the words that come up when people describe how they feel when they’re commuting by car. Before I finish with Dave, I just wanted to get back to that camping trip that he was talking about when he first arrived at my house down in the village.

Aaron: You and your family recently went on a camping trip. And you drove there, you said. You didn’t ride your e-bikes like you often do. Yeah, how did that feel? How did that feel to drive in a car and go off on a camping trip in a car?

Dave Cohen: I loved it and it sucked. We used the car, and I usually pay for it in the end, you know, or even in the beginning. I don’t feel well for the first day. And then coming back, I usually feel disoriented. But that’s just me.

Aaron: So you’re saying you literally feel kind of physically ill from—or emotionally ill from being in a car?

Dave Cohen: Yeah. I often—I feel really kind of sickened. And sometimes then I realize, you know, we’re going to do it, we have to do it, I don’t even know what that means. But on some level—you know, at one level I’m totally—I’m fine with it, and on another level, I’m totally not fine with it. Cognitive dissonance, baby.

Aaron: But I mean, so what? So what? You weren’t perfectly connected with this 50 miles of space between Brattleboro and your campsite. Like, do you really have to be connected to every inch of wildlife that you traverse?

Dave Cohen: Is this like a tease the eco-psychologist session? [laughs] Yes. The answer is yes, because we are so habituated to being disconnected. And even though, you know, it’s complex, it brings me to a place that I can really enjoy and love and hear the sound of a loon and go bird watching and do some magical things, it’s also laced with, you know, something else. It gives us this immense power to go distant, but sacrifices our sense of the local. And that’s what—all technologies do that. They tend to extend us in ways that we understand, and they impoverish us in ways that usually we’re completely blind to. Blind spots. Do you know what time it is?

Aaron: Yeah, we should—we should—it’s almost six.

Dave Cohen: Oh, yeah.

Aaron: We should head down the hill. I mean, that’s good. I got plenty. I got two hours of stuff here. Actually, let’s just take one second and let me just get some background noise for 30 seconds. That plane is kind of fucking it up.

Dave Cohen: Yeah, yeah. And we got this wood thrush back here and it’s, like, flute-y sound.

Aaron: Is that what that is? A wood thrush?

Dave Cohen: Yeah, it’s our state bird. Yeah.

Aaron: Ah, it’s such a nice sound.

Dave Cohen: Oh, it’s the best. Yeah, I love listening to them. You know, you hear the whole bunch of them together and it’s just like this flute-y …

Aaron: And that’s it for this episode of The War on Cars. Thank you so much for listening. If you want to learn more about Dave Cohen and his work at VBike, the website is VBikeSolutions.org. We’ll post it in the show notes.

Aaron: Even though we now have some sponsors, we still mostly depend on the support of listeners like you. So please go to TheWaronCars.org, click “Become a Patreon Supporter,” pitch in a few dollars to the war effort, and we will send you stickers and t-shirts and the occasional surprise treat. And, you know, we really couldn’t produce this podcast without your help. Speaking of which, thanks to our top Patreon sponsors, the law office of Vaccaro and White in New York, Charley Gee of Human Powered Law in Portland, Oregon, Drew Raines and Virginia Baker.

Aaron: Don’t forget, you can get 20 percent off on Cleverhood’s new Rover Rain Cape and all of their other products. Go to Cleverhood.com/waroncars, enter coupon code “waroncars” when you check out to get that 20 percent discount. Now as a general policy, you should not be taking fashion advice from me, but make an exception in this case. Cleverhood makes great rain gear for biking and walking. If you have gotten this far, then you either fell asleep or you really like this podcast. And if you are a member of the latter category, then please rate and review us on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. You have something to say? Send us an email: thewaroncars@gmail.com. You can find us on Twitter and Instagram @thewaroncars.

Aaron: This episode was produced by me, Aaron Naparstek. Editing sound design and additional production by Ali Lemer. Our theme music is by Nathaniel Goodyear, our logo by Dani Finkel of Crucial D Design. On behalf of my co-hosts Sarah Goodyear and Doug Gordon, I am Aaron Naparstek and this is The War on Cars.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Motor Mania: But let this be a lesson, Mr. Wheeler. Drive safely, play fair, give the other fellow a break, and, ah shut up!]