My region suffocates

As a long time lurker, I admit I’m a bit nervous to be addressing such an illustrious crowd. But I feel I must speak: my whole entire damned town is suffocating. There is no gas, anywhere. Not just my town, but every other surrounding town. Asheville, Black Mountain, Fletcher, Lake Lure, Hendersonville, Flat Rock, all empty. There are no working pumps within driving distance. I’m substantially pissed off.

The second a gas station gets back into operation, it is immediately besieged by hundreds of cars. I’m not even shitting you, for effect. Hundreds of cars. I can’t get to class, my mom can’t get to work. The news says that we’ll be fucked for another week. Who is the dumbshit that decided to build my neighborhood seventeen miles away from a grocery store, and the grocery store five miles from the college?

I’m a good student, but it doesn’t mean shit if I can’t get to school. My mom’s a hard worker, but it doesn’t mean shit if she can’t get to work. So, fuck everyone who ever took part in developing this precarious lifestyle, where a hurricane over a week ago, halfway across the country, can so thoroughly put a halt to the lives of so many people, so far away. No, I don’t want fuel pumped into this bullshit way of life. The kind of lives we are trying to lead only have value as long as there is gas in the car. You know what I’m going to do tomorrow? Stay home and fume, because I can’t get anywhere!

Maybe you need to invest in some bikes. There is no public transportation at all?

What does not being able to use your cars have to do with suffocating?

Is this your college? Link. Says they’re closing temporarily until the situation gets better.

At least when this sort of thing happens now one still generally has the Internet.

You did read where the grocery store is five miles away, right?

I suppose you could make do with a bike, through careful planning, but it’s not something most people would–or possibly could–do routinely, given the distances that seem to be typical in the OP’s region.

I’ve got an SIL out that way, but I didn’t realize that this area was affected by the gas shortage.

and yet every time I come on to suggest we build transit friendly communities, everyone calls me a loon…

We’re in Greenville, SC, not far from you. Last month, my husband got a full time gig managing a gas station. He’s lost many many hours over the last week because his station can’t get the gas. They call, say they are bringing it, then call again and say oops they can’t, cause they didn’t have a lot and the other stations sucked it all up. He’s banging his head against the wall. They have had gas today and yesterday, but who knows about tomorrow. It hasn’t been as bad here as it has been up there, but we are feeling it.

Unless the weather is bad I don’t get why this is a valid objection to a bike. I don’t know maybe I’m just weird. I rode a bike 15 miles to college and 15 miles back on several occasions last summer do to not having gas money. The grocery store is 5 miles away. I’ve road there and back on many occasions as well.

My car is down so I’m taking a bike to work. It’s 7 miles away. It’s a bit creepy peddling back in the dark, but that’s the only real objection I can find. I find it refreshing and it leaves me in aerobic mode ready for working hard at work.

One of my friends needed a ride in to work Saturday morning. I told him if I had the car up I could give him a ride, but if I don’t does he wanna barrow one of my bikes? (I have two). It’s about 8 miles there. He thought I was crazy. How could someone ride a bike 8 miles and work? He said he’d have to leave at midnight to be there at 7 am. I told him even if he only rides 5 miles an hour, barely faster then walking the bike, It’d only an hour and a half.

I personally have a good clip of 10 to 15 mph on level ground. My bike has a speedometer. I make it to work in a half hour to 45 minutes.
Now I can sympathize if OP is out of shape. It is hard on your body if you’re not used to it. Also it uses alot of time you’d rather use for studying. 17 miles is a couple hour ride atleast. Plus biking in the dark (incase of night classes) is creepy as hell, but I hate the dark so maybe that’s just me.

17 miles is not that far for peddling for chrise’s sakes. Our ancestors used to run zebra down by relentlessly chasing them into exhaustion. Friggen zebra.

Just got back from a 10 day vacation in Montreat, North Carolina. My wife and I stayed up in an old house in the hills. We walked around the trails and old cracking paved roads every day and were completely oblivious to the gas crisis going on below us. Then, on Monday, we decided to drive to Asheville and go up to the Craggy Mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Figured we’d need some gas so…

Literally no one had any gas. Station after station, no gas. We limped back into Black Mountain trying to figure out what to do. We had to be back in Charlottesville Virginia to work Thursday and only had a quarter tank of gas.

The Shell station in Black Mountain finally got some gas yesterday, but the lines were unreal. Not wishing to spend a majority of the last day of our vacation waiting in a gas line with no guarantee of actually getting any gas, we decided to call around to friends in the area to see if their communities had gas. A first cousin 60 miles away in Hickory assured us there was gas there, so today we drove home.

The stations beside Interstate 40 in Hickory, unfortunately, were now out. We were beginning to panic with thoughts of ourselves and our 3 dogs stuck on the side of the highway. Then we found a station (cash only) that still had premium gas. We emptied our pockets of change and bills and got enough gas to get to Greensboro, where supply seemed to be plentiful again.

What struck me about the whole thing was how crazy some people in Asheville were behaving. We read stories in the paper this morning about fights at gas stations and the police having to control the public to ensure orderly filling up of gas at the few stations that had fuel for a few hours. This was occurring in what I always thought was one of the most laid back areas in the country. Yet at the first sign of trouble all of a sudden it seemed the whole crunchy community had gone Jerry Springer.

And why the heck is Western North Carolina suffering so badly, while the central part of the state has gas for all?

How well have your frozen and refrigerated stuff survived a five mile bike ride, never mind stuff like seafood? I’d think it’d depend on stuff like the carrying capacity of the bike, the quality and grades of the roads, etc.

My bike has a trunk, it’s called a back pack. I wear it on my body cause I’m sexy like that.

If op lives around a bunch of hills I can see that being a problem though. Hills suck.

My backpack as a refrigeration system. It utilizes a polymer chamber filled with a universal solvent crystallized into a solid matrix via low thermal ambient energy enabling it to collect and absorb additional thermal energy.

It’s what laymen call a frozen bottle of water in the backpack. works great for keeping things cold. Can’t carry any electronics or anything that can’t get wet though.

Well, how do you keep stuff cool when you go picknicking? In a cooling box, of, if that is too big, a simple freezing bag (basically a bag with an aluminum foil outside and inside, and a layer of bubblewrap in between).

As for the OP, why don’t you treat this time as an holiday that has been forced on you? No-one will blame you if you start doing some cleaning, catalog old photo’s sleep in, spend some family time. You can’t do anythign else, after all, and no-one will expect you to.

Plus it’s a perfect chance to get ahead in your classes. Check your syllabus, maybe you can get some of it done in advance at home. It’d make a nice little breather for later.

Well, I don’t mean to be unsympathetic, but did anyone FORCE you to choose your current home? I realize the answer may be “yes, it is my grandfather’s home and the family has lived in it ever since” or something like that. However, assuming your family made a conscious decision to live somewhat far from the usual amenities, it seems a bit petulant to snarl at the world because all of the sudden a problem related to your geographic location has arisen.

As for my family, our home in the US is 12 miles from the nearest grocery store, and most everything on our side of the island is closed down by 7 or 8 pm. The specter of isolation is always with us - while we don’t generally suffer hurricane damage, we do have periodic weather scares. Earthquakes and tsunamis are likewise a possibility. Finally, while those problems are mostly hypothetical, we actually do have floods and landslides from time to time that cut off our access to town.

We don’t get to live there all the time, alas, but when we do, we deal with the situation the same way our neighbors who live there full-time do: we keep a good stock of toilet paper, non-perishable food, hurricane lantern fuel, etc. So when we get trapped, we’re ready.

Oh, no, no hills.

It’s in the fucking mountains.
Yes, lots of hills, hills I had trouble WALKING after an hour, nevermind biking. Now, mind you, I’m a flatlander, but I had trouble even navigating in Asheville, because my brain doesn’t, apparently, do maps in three dimensions. I’m sure there are areas where people bike even there (not to mention in the bigger mountains out west, where the bikers are courteous and always stay to the right to let the SUVs towing horse trailers past), but I couldn’t do it.


Does anybody else find it amusing that somebody without gas is fuming, or am I finally on the road to hell?

To the OP: I realize that your campus is closed down, but is can they still maintain their internet presence? Or can profs working at home at least email lecture notes or AVIs to their students?

To the bikers, the ones who bike to work specifically: if you have to wear dress clothes to work, how do you manage to ride a bicycle long distances and not arrive with you and your clothes all sweaty?

I’d think refrigerated perishables would be fine with any decent, Thermos-type insulation system, even over a bike ride lasting several hours. For example Thermos lunch container, including deep-frozen cool-packs, can keep food at refrigeration temperature for up to five hours. On the other hand, this was mostly in the air-conditioned interior of an office.

I would think deep-frozen items like popsicles would be a different matter though. No way you can keep those from melting.

This is when a location is useful under user profile.