Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Taking the steps

So I said we met a wonderful lady who enjoys riding her bike like 4 weeks ago and I got to thinking about some things she had asked us.  One of the questions we get from other like minded people who have apparently thought about this much more than I is 'Did you practice or just go cold turkey?' The answer is we Practiced!  Zac and I spent a year trying not to use our vehicle.  We were blessed enough to have Zac work close to home in March of '07. He was so excited to ride his bike to work.  You should have seen him.  It was like the first day your mom says you can ride to school on your own, and you feel like you own the world. It was great.  Of course we had to outfit his bike with the proper equipment.  We had to buy a back rack and some bungees to hold his lunch box and proper pedals so he could wear his boots.  Minimal costs in comparison to driving.  At the time we were living with this wonderful older woman named Afton.  I was prego and was basically helping her full time, so I didn't need to drive hardly at all.  Zac and I fixed up an old bike trailer to be our grocery cart and it worked great.  All the people in our old neighborhood asked us if we were going to take Afton in it.  We never did.  But she would always smile when she saw us get our bikes out.  The only time we used the car for 3 months was to take Afton to church.  We went 3 months on less than a tank of gas.  Zac was so proud of me. I did have to use the car a couple of times though.  I was so sick when I was prego and Zac and I would have lunch together on Friday's so sometimes I cheated and went to Wendy's and drove to give him lunch.  Bahh I was so sick! Any way we practiced alot.  When we moved to Idaho we were very blessed, the town we lived in had a great bus system so we would ride it into town for anything we needed, laundry, groceries, movies, dinner.  We did still use the car quite often because I had a babysitting job that was quite far and the bus didn't go that far. Before we moved back to Provo we knew how close things were we felt we had practiced enough.  We also prayed about the decision to get rid of the car.  It was kinda scary. We had a small daughter and making sure she is safe is a BIG  deal. But in the end we felt we made the right decision and we haven't looked back since!
So these are the steps we took.  
 1.  Try to have a job close to home.  5 miles on a bike is Not  that far.  It usually takes about 30 min. if you don't have to many hills (and are in better shape than me ;)
 2.Try a trip to the closest market. Take your kids or whatever and just go get a popsicle! Get two and you can have one as a reward when you get home!
3. Get the proper gear.  Being car dependant means your bike is your car. Packing your bike for trips means lighter, smaller and more efficient. Take only what you need and make sure you have proper equipment in case of flats!
4.Bike paths and wide shoulders are our friends.  Riding the road is important.  You obey the law and it is safer in intersections.  Take proper precautions and wear a helmet and safety gear! 
5. You don't have to be car-less to be car free! 
6. Public transportation is our friend.  It does not make you 2nd class and if the buses look sketchy rally for better upkeep!
7. The best advice I can give is really to set goals and to reach them.  Just a little at a time.  Also try to find someone to do it with.  I always find that more enjoyable!

Happy Riding!

1 comment:

Nelson Family said...

OH if only that was possible in logandale! I'm sure I 've said it before - I couldn't make it to Overton on a bike without AC! But maybe someday!