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
I first talked about Walk Score back in September. I’m a big fan of the site and think it’s a great tool for motivating people to get out of their cars and walk (or ride) more. When you see all of those businesses within walking distance of your home, how could you not walk to some of them?
The new version has already been covered by Eric de La Place at Siteline. and Aaron at Streetsblog. I don’t have anything new to add to their insightful posts. Just go check it out for yourself. I will say – it’s much improved over the last version.
Have a great weekend.
I’m doing the dreaded beginning of the year stuff – cleaning out the closets, getting rid of stuff and reviewing our budget. In the process, I ran across our 2007 budget – it was pretty amusing to read it. The budget contained a line item for gas – $200 a month. According to my girlfriend that’s nothing – she pays $200 a week. We’ve only put 2 tanks of gas into our car since the end of August. That’s a lot of walking around money!
In the wake of gas price increases, have you seen your gas expenditures go up or down?
Posted in alternative transportation, gas, Human Powered Politics, neighborhoods, sustainability, traffic
Tagged alternative transportation, bicycle, budget, cycling, gas, walking
I discovered Alan Durning’s series last year. It was my inspiration for trying to be less car dependent. When I first started reading it, I told myself, ” I could never do that.” (Insert all excuses here). But I was truly inspired. If their family of five can live without a car, I can certainly live with driving less.
We started small – eliminating un-necessary trips here and there, declaring carfree days once or twice a week, doing all errands on one day to eliminate daily short trips etc.
Then we got the Xtracycles. What a truly revolutionary invention. They have changed everything for us. All kid-and-stuff-hauling related excuses evaporated when they were up and running. Now – we barely drive. Maybe once every 2 weeks. Probably less. We’re hooked – wouldn’t go back. It’s so easy and fun.
Give Alan Durning’s series a read when you have a chance.
Posted in alternative transportation, bikes, extravehicular activities, kids, longbikes, neighborhoods, seattle, sustainability, traffic
Tagged alternative transportation, bikes, carless living, walking