Note to Self:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Things That Can Be Carried On A Bike (#91), and how to spend a day without a car

$67.00 of groceries from two separate stores carried in four plastic crates.


Most times I don't even think about it, but other times I do...tonight was one of those times. As I was riding home (a bit slower than usual) I was enjoying the cool autumn air on my face and it occurred to me how easy it is (in most cases) to go without a car for days and sometimes weeks. I personally travel within a very small geographic area on a daily basis...this is a conscious act because over the years I have molded my life to be this way (I have actually turned down employment simply because it was more than five miles from my house). Now I'm not saying that everyone is able to do this...or that everyone would want to do this, but it is easy.

Living and working in an urban environment means that I have many options within a short distance, and as aforementioned, in the same way a body builder may sculpt their body, I have sculpted my life so everything is relatively close...all of my basic needs (home, work, church, health club, stores) are within a two or three mile radius, and all are easily reachable by bike or walking. Anyhow, this is how I got around today...the mileages are estimates.

Rode the folder to work (1 mile)
Left work; rode to the bank (1.25 miles)
Rode home (1.25 miles)
Switched bikes, hopped on the Yuba and rode to the health club (1.5 miles)
Rode home (1.5 miles)
Loaded the Yuba with four crates for shopping, but stopped for pizza and wine first (1.5 miles)
Dropped off a dvd at Blockbuster (1.25 miles)
Rode to the local co-op for groceries (.25 miles)
Went down the street a bit for dog food (.25 miles)
Rode home (2.5 miles)

All-in-all it was only a little over 10 miles of riding, done in short spurts...but I enjoyed each ride, whereas I doubt I would have in a car. Riding a bike and walking as modes of transportation are easier than one may think...no need to mention the benefits, health and otherwise...they're bi-products and are obvious enough.

But one last thing before I get off my little soap box. You may be thinking something like: well, he can do that because he has that big fancy cargo bike...I can't afford one of those. Let me put it into perspective: this week I need to have a new exhaust system put on my vehicle, the same vehicle which I rarely use (I never said I was car-free, just car-lite...really lite). The exhaust system will cost almost as much as what I paid for the Yuba, so would 3 or 4 car payments, or a few months of pay-parking at work...you get the picture.

Then again, if you're reading this blog I'm most likely preaching to the choir.

If you are interested in tracking your ride, click here; if you are interested in seeing the walkscore of your neighborhood, click here.

2 comments:

WestfieldWanderer said...

As you say, sometimes circumstances preclude a "local" lifestyle. I managed it for several years, with employment just a mile from home, which prompted my return to cycling as transport. Then came redundancy followed by three years unemployment. So when a job offer 25 miles came up it was difficult to refuse. The job's great. The 50 miles a day car commute definitely isn't. Some suggest moving home nearer the job. But family and children's education commitments preclude that. I look forward to the day when I can become car-lite again.
Keep up the good work. An example and an inspiration to everyone.

Joe said...

WestfieldWanderer,

Thanks for the kudos...I enjoy your blog as well. And I totally understand the distance of things...it's even worse in the U.S. I suspect. Thanks for reading.

Joe