Posts Tagged 'Craigslist'

Closure for the Excursionist on Craigslist

By now, you have probably used, or heard of craigslist.org, the king of the classifieds. Craigslist was started in 1995 by Craig Newmark as a hobby in his San Francisco apartment. CEO and ‘anarchist’ Jim Buckmaster took over in 2000, and runs Craigslist with a mission of non-commercial, non-corporate public service. It is wildly popular, used by 25 million people every month in 70 different countries. It is a haven for finding new life for used or unwanted items. Carpenters, plumbers, and tilers can find building materials. College students can find couches, and families can rescue pets that would otherwise be put down. Another beauty that Craigslist blesses us with is a rideshare board.
It is too often that we drive ourselves, and only ourselves places where many people are looking to go. On Craigslist rideshare, people offer or ask for rides to be shared. Gas is usually split, company is had, and everyone gets where they need to go, not to mention the carbon footprint of the ride goes down with each passenger! As my trip came to a close, I had my first experience with sharing rides.
In Eugene, OR, I shipped my bike home. With no wheels, I boarded a train to San Francisco to catch my cousin’s wedding where I was able to see my friends and family. While everyone flew back East, I could not justify it. I had just biked 4,500 miles, and flying home would be like someone who was a vegan for five years gorging themselves on a Philly cheese steak. I knew there were people looking to drive back to NYC, I just had to find someone who was leaving when I needed to. Through Craigslist I found many folks driving to the East coast, but only one leaving in the small time frame I had. The only problem was I was in San Fran, and they were in LA. What did I do? Looked for a ride to LA, of course. I found a guy leaving the next day from Berkley. He was a prodigy auto mechanic from LA who was visiting his girlfriend in San Fran. We arranged a meeting place, he picked me up, he dropped me off in LA, and I gave him $20 bucks. We did not have much in common, but it was a pleasant drive. During our conversations I tried to spew any facts or stories I had about cars but came up short.
My ride back home was epic. It took two and a half days to drive from LA to NYC. In the car was orchestrator Ehud, an Israeli jazz musician studying the drums at the New School for Jazz, and a Russian TV repairman who was living and working in Las Vegas. We had the best time, sleeping, driving, and laughing at each others stories. We all rotated driving, and when someone felt like they were endangering the others lives, they said something and we switched. It was a blast, and I fully support anyone wondering if sharing a ride is right for them. If you are unsure of their character, you can e-mail back and forth, chat on the phone, and nowadays most people are on a social networking website so you can thoroughly check out who you are going to ride with.