Let’s talk about motivation. What drives you to ride your bike or walk? Why on earth — especially during these sodden, cold winter days — do you commute via bike or feet over a warm, dry car?
A little housekeeping first: when used in the same sentence as bikes, commute has many definitions. Most people associate commute with work. But work isn’t the only destination for a commute. What about school? or play, activities, errands, appointments, or even to run kids here and there? Maddie, for example, is a bike commuter in our eyes. And for the purpose of this article, if you use a bike to “get around” (say, any use not strictly for sport), then you are a bike commuter too. This article mostly refers to “bikes.” But if your needs are better met by mentally substituting “walk” or “scoot” or “multi-modal” instead of “bike” as you read this post, you have our blessing.
This discussion is not new, our bike tribe has been talking about this topic for years. Back in 2008, Kent Peterson did some posts: why do you bike commute? / Why don’t you bike commute?“
You’ve heard of first world problems, right? Most people who live in the world’s wealthiest nations have abundant choices. One of those is the option to choose our mode of transportation. To get from point A to B, we can drive or walk or take the bus or use a bike, a scooter or a unicycle, or even hire a town car. Us first-worlders are blessed (cursed?) with commute options. Continue reading
This past Saturday my biking motivation was in the toilet. I had a terrible cold that left me feeling a tad lethargic, plus Tim was out of town and I was flying solo with the kids. I tapped all of my energy pedaling both kids to a soccer game in the morning. So, when it was time to go out again in the afternoon, I heard the car calling my name and begging me to take it for a short drive. I convinced myself that I could justify a trip in the car to pick up a birthday gift at our local bookstore and then drop the seven-year-old at the party. At least I was combining trips.
I had all of the excuses covered.
As we were walking out the door, I said, “Let’s go get in the car, kids” To my surprise, the seven–year–old protested said trip: “we’re not driving, I hate cars, let’s take the Xtracycle”. Continue reading
Tim has spent the last couple of rainy days in the garage with the Xtracycles putting extra coats of polyurethayne on the snap decks and footies and installing my Christmas present – Brooks B17 Women’s saddle. It’s like having my car in the shop – I have to find alternative transportation.
Yesterday, the seven year old and I were all set to go to PCC – dressed for the weather with hats, gloves and coats etc. We were helmeted and ready to go. We went out to the garage to hop on the bike and found it apart. I didn’t know the bike was “in the shop” (I guess Tim and I should work on our communication). Bummer. Dinner guests were arriving soon so we had to _gasp_ drive to the store – no time to walk or take the bus.
I felt pretty dirty driving 1/2 a mile to the store – first time I’ve done that in months.