Sunday, November 02, 2008

Zipcars and Bicycles: We're Taking Over

I wanted to go to the store today. Not just any store, though. I wanted to go to Trader Joes and Hinata.

Hinata is an excellent Japanese grocery store boxed into the space of a 4-seat barbershop. Hinata has the cheapest Japanese goods, including rice, mochi, seaweed, miso, natto, green tea, rice crackers, and Japanese curry. They also have the best sushi in Bethesda. Their chirashi (cheap way to have all your favorite fish, cut on top of a bed of rice) is worth fighting for. Hinata is on St. Elmo's Ave in Bethesda. Here's how you get to it from the Metro (10-15 min walk)*:

But I didn't want to take the Metro; Silver Spring to Bethesda is like 45min on a good day. And I didn't want to bike; that would be 40min each way, and I was planning on buying a lot. So I Zipcarred it. Specifically, I biked to a Zipcar about a mile from my house and rented a Honda hybrid for 2.5 hours.

On the road, I saw 2 bicycles on my way to Hinata. On my way home, I saw four bikes. These people weren't just biking for fun or sport; they were using their bikes to get from A to B. You could tell in the way they dressed and the way they rode, as well as the way they all had backpacks on.

I even was behind another Zipcar, with a bike in the backseat. So awesome. I would have done that, but the hybrid's backseat was too small to fit my bike. Instead, I locked up my Trek bike in the parking lot where I got the Zipcar from.

Eff yeah. Bikes are taking over the roads, even outside of the city. H-E-double-hockey-sticks yeah!

*I don't get any money from Hinata or anything. It's run by a sweet lady and her husband, and they don't seem to be marketing themselves very much. Maybe they don't need to, but I'd sure hate for them to go under. Hinata is worlds better than Daruma (also in Bethesda) in that it's cheaper, friendlier, and the fresh food is more of a good value. And yet it seems like nobody ever hears of Hinata, and everybody hears about Daruma. That's got to stop.

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