Friday, August 04, 2006

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike, I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I like

We used the bicycle trailer for the second time yesterday, and we loved it! The girls enjoyed the breeze, view, and adventure. I liked passing cars, not looking for parking spaces, the exercise, feeling of freedom, and knowing that there was one less car on the road. This is actually my neighbor's trailer. She is loaning it to me while she is pregnant and unable to use it herself. Nice huh? I've been wanting to do this for such a long time, but the girls just weren't old enough. If you're looking to get one, may I suggest Craig's List.

In "An Inconvenient Truth" on page 311, it states:

The average car in the United States releases about one pound of carbon dioxide for every mile driven. Avoiding just 20 miles of driving per week would eliminate about 1,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year.

Perhaps we could learn to get around on less. Reduce the number of miles we drive by walking, biking, carpooling, or taking mass transportation whenever possible.
My goal is to use the bicycle trailer for going to the park, library, destination picnics, the discovery center, zoo, & museum. Basically, anytime that I don't need to go a long distance, or need to carry things back (like groceries), or when time isn't of the essence (pre-planning helps here).
Link here for better biking conditions.

Link here for a free national service to coordinate your travels with other commuters.

Link about how to use & support the expansion of mass transit.

Link for advice on how to lobby for better pedistrian conditions.

From reading other blogs, I know that many others ride their bikes for pleasure and transpo. Do you have any tricks of the trade to share? Anybody else use one of these child chariots?


At 8/04/2006 11:18 PM, Blogger EatPeacePlease said...

Vicki, it's great that you can use the trailer right now. You mentioned everything but groceries, but have you thought that would be a great place to stash the groceries sans the girls. I have a bike (it's very heavy though) and I have 2 big baskets for groceries and such on the back and a basket in front.

They say that Tempe is a very bike-friendly community, but really it's not. I tend to fear for my life while riding (cars don't seem to stop for people), but it is nice for close distances. I always feel really good while riding as well. What about a red wagon?!

At 8/05/2006 10:06 AM, Blogger Vicki said...

Hi Leslie: So great to see your face here! :o) Thanks for brainstorming with me.

I can't imagine shopping for groceries with the bike. I always have both girls (each under 4) when shopping in addition to the 5 or 6 or more heavy canvas bags. There's just no way.
Boise is bike friendly too - except for the winter - and has an extensive greenbelt system along the river & to the mountains. Inattentive drivers are always a concern near the street, but I am cautious.

We have a red wagon & is it very useful - but there is only room enough for the girls & a few small items. So the wagon is handy for casually walking around places like the farmer's market or zoo.

My goal is to use the bicycle trailer for all outings that don't require long distances, or where I don't need to bring back items (shopping). I need to keep track, but I estimate that would cut at least 20 miles per week off our driving. That's my goal.

Thank you so much for visiting here!

At 8/05/2006 10:34 AM, Blogger Dori said...

I don't have a bike and I live a considerable distance from anywhere, but I plan my trips out very well so I reduce the amount of driving I do. If I lived in a more urban setting I would love to have a bike. But only if it had a big cushy pad on the seat so I could avoid the sore butt.

At 8/05/2006 12:18 PM, Blogger EatPeacePlease said...

I guess you can say that I also plan my driving trips too, especially running errands that aren't close by (the PHX metro area is very spread out). I like to make a mental map or write numbers in order on my list as to the order I will go.

As for your comment back to me, I guess when (and if) I have 2 little ones (that are human), I will understand about the load and responsibility, and I have no idea what that is like now. Maybe I was way in over my head suggesting 2 girls and groceries to feed 4. Oops.

At 8/05/2006 2:25 PM, Blogger Vicki said...

hi leslie: probably the biggest reason for not putting groceries in the cart has less to do with my kids and more to do with the hill i have to ride over to get home. it's a big one!
taking 2 non-human little ones to the store must be a challenge! LOL!! :o)

hi dori: that is so great how you plan your trips and combine different errands into one trip, which is exactly what gore suggests in his book. Kudos to you! :o)

he also says:
1. avoid rush hour if possible because you'll waste time sitting in traffic & your vehicle will consume less fuel.
2. observing the speed limit is not only safe, but a car's fuel economy drops off sharply at speeds above 55 mph.
3. regular maintenance improves performance and reduces emissions.

wow, this is probably the most i've ever written/talked about cars in my life!

At 8/06/2006 2:04 PM, Blogger laura jesser said...

Hi Vicki! I really like your post. Lately I've tried to be very conscious of hopping in the car to go somewhere that I could easily walk to. From where I live, I can walk to school, to church, to the grocery store, to the bank... That encompasses many of my daily trips! As often as I can, I try to make sure I'm not rushed for time, and I walk wherever I'm trying to go. Sometimes I can even get my husband to walk with me, and it's great leisure time for both of us!

Athens is not bike-friendly. The road situation is terrible right now, but the city has been doing all they can to add and extend bike lanes. I really need to get a new bike!

I love that picture with the quote from The Lorax. That's one of my favorite books and SO RELEVANT today!

At 8/07/2006 2:07 PM, Blogger Village Mama said...

I live in Toronto Canada. We don't have a second car, so to get around I walk, or take public transportation. On days when I have lots of errands I buy an all-day pass. For a mere $8.50 I can get all over the city by bus, streetcar, subway or light rail transit all day long! We all have pet peeves and it drives me crazy when moms tell me that you NEED a car when you have kids. You don't. It's definitely hard to get around with a small child, his amenities and groceries, but, it's the 'change I want to see in the world'.

At 8/07/2006 2:56 PM, Blogger Tanya Kristine said...


someone buy my car!!!

At 8/08/2006 11:56 PM, Blogger KleoPatra said...

Nice Queen reference, Vicki.

I ride my bike when i can on shorter errands and also walk, run or blade with my backpack when i can to get me from here to there!

At 8/10/2006 11:16 AM, Blogger meesh said...

Hi Vicky,

Now how does a cool gal out in Idaho know about nifty vegan fare in NoHo, CA? Small world!

I love the quotes you took pics of, especially the one from The Lorax. That was one of my favorite books as a kid. "I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees..." (sigh)

Great post and a great blog. I could spend way too much of my time at work reading through your stuff. :)

At 8/11/2006 5:47 PM, Blogger Vicki said...

hi laura: i couldn't agree more about The Lorax! :o) and i think walking is such a wonderful thing to do together. it made me happy to see you visit.

hi village mama: i love your spirit & i think you are absolutely right. i admire your "all day pass" and wish the US would get it's mass transportation act together already. great to see you here! :o)

hi tk: :o)

hi kleo: you are so athletic! it does a body, mind, spirit, & earth GOOD! :o)

hi meesh: i lived all around southern california for 13 years... yeahh, another Lorax fan! :o)


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