Well, looks like Bike Month is just about over. In my last two posts (101 and 102), I compiled links on buying bikes, riding bikes, keeping your bikes safe, and keeping you safe on your bike. In this last post, I’ll talk about the most hardcore stuff you can do on a bike.
As I say on my About page, I don’t have a car, and owning a bike is really the only way that I’ve been able to do that. My current ride is a single-speed Pure Fix, and I love it. It’s perfect for riding around town, doing grocery runs, and navigating light street traffic. It’s also very affordable as far as this style of bike goes, though you can still get cheaper. Schwinn, for example, has a similar style for a similar price (the “Racer”), and they have simple comfort bikes for closer to $200.
The simple fact is that I can’t afford a car, even if I wanted to; but more importantly is that I don’t want to. Living in Los Angeles, I get more than my fair share of guff from fellow Angelinos, and it’s oftentimes a futile effort to explain why I feel that owning a car wouldn’t give me the sense of freedom that I personally desire. But I think it’s something my readership here will understand!
So how do I go about my day not feeling stifled and trapped by the modes of transportation available to me? Mostly, I’m lucky to live in a place where I can walk to most of the amenities that I would ever need, and where it’s too far for my feet, I have access to commuter trains and an extensive bus system. But another part, too, is my mindset. I don’t generally find myself longing to get to places that I can’t personally get to, and I make extensive use of online stores. And if I really need to get somewhere that would be difficult for me to get to alone, there are no shortage of friends and family with cars.
- “14 Months Without a Car” on Lovely Bicycle!
- Bicycle Commuting and the No-Car Life
- “Two Weeks. One Bike. No Car” on Slate
- How to Live Without a Car In 14 Steps
- Portland Bike Move Breaks Record
The other side of the car-less coin is how to vacation without a car? That is, without renting one or bringing your own? This is called bike touring. The camping version sometimes goes by the name of bikepacking.
- REI on Trip Planning Basics
- Adventure Cycling Association
- Pedaling Nowhere
- Advocacy Organizations in the US
- Advocacy Organizations in Canada
- Advocacy Organizations in Other Countries
- Incomplete List of International Critical Mass Events
That’s all, folks! Hopefully you’ve been inspired to either start riding or to start riding a little more. Bicycle advocacy plays a crucial role in the dismantling of environmentally unsustainable car culture and car infrastructure throughout the world. Let’s all work toward having more than just a month dedicated to cycling.