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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

#13 Ride your bike

I would have put this higher on the list, but there seemed to be a natural flow to the order it was coming out.

Ride your bike as much as you can. Not just for fun, but to the store or work, even the library.

I have found that on trips of 3 miles or less it can actually be faster to ride my bike. Even on longer trips, the difference can be just minutes. My drive to school, including the parking and walking to class, takes about 25-30 minutes. When I ride my bike (the mountain bike or the single speed) it takes about 40. On my road bike it takes about 35.

My trips to the store are fast. It is about 2.75 miles to the grocery store from my house. There is one closer, but it is much more expensive (I am frugal, remember?). From the time on the receipt to my front door is about 20-25 minutes. That includes all the loading of the trailer too. Normally it is about 10 minutes in the car. The drive is along a major thoroughfare, always jammed up with traffic and an all around nerve-wracker. The ride however, is peaceful. Nobody's load car stereo, or horns, or one-finger waves. Along back roads and along a multi-use path with very few road crossings. I see deer and birds, and don't smell exhaust. No more am I forced to make like a crazy man, yelling behind the sound barrier that prevents my knowledge and advice from reaching the ears of the ones who actually need my help.

It is nearly always worth it. Sometimes scheduling with the musically talented youth of the household gets in the way, but I am starting to find ways around that too.

I am not solely commuting by bike yet, but it is a goal of mine. The metro area in which I live is fairly small. Twelve miles will get you from one extreme to the other (pretty much).

There are plenty of people that will tell you about the benefits of riding a bike instead of driving. I won't preach about the climate and atmosphere, but it does save me money on gas, I feel great, and I am getting healthier.

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