A few weeks ago, I read a New York Times story about the pros and cons of airlines beginning to offer in-flight Internet access. One of the downsides, the reporter pointed out, is that business travelers will soon lose one of their favorite excuses for not reading e-mail: “Sorry, I was on a plane” will no longer satisfy someone who wants to know why you didn’t reply to a message before the end of the work day.
That all made sense, but what troubled me was that the article said commercial flights have been one of the last places on Earth where a person could escape cell phone calls and e-mail messages.
Really? A pressurized aluminum tube that hurtles through the air at 500 mph is one of the last places on Earth to avoid electronic communication? It’s a pretty sad statement if people believe that. Sure, maybe it’s the best you can do on a weekday while wearing a tie around your neck, but there are plenty of better places to enjoy some peace and quiet. Mountain bikers are luckier than New York Times reporters, because we already know that.
I hope no one ever figures out how equip a bike with some doodad that provides global Internet access.