Well, at least I am — or riding my bike, or taking public transit — because from now on I’m leaving my car parked in the garage on weekends, from when I wake up on Saturday until I go to sleep on Sunday (so if I happen to sleep-drive at 4 a.m. Monday morning, that is totally acceptable!).
Here’s the part where everyone leaves comments like, “You know what you should really do? GET RID OF THE DAMN CAR!”). I’ve considered this, and it might be a possibility in the future, but because it takes me an hour and a half to take transit to work (streetcar, then train, then bus, then walking — it’s not my fault, it’s the office that’s in the boonies) and it takes me almost two hours to bike (I tried last summer and had to shower three times that day), yet just 20 minutes to drive, I need the car for work.
On the weekend, however, especially now that it’s Spring, leaving the car behind shouldn’t be that big of an issue. Even if I’m getting groceries over at the St. Lawrence Market or going out for a drink at night up in the Annex, I think I can manage with two feet and two wheels. Of course, like many of my green changes, I’m sure that come February of next year I’ll be crying into my homemade compost bin about it.
Photo courtesy of pastorbuhro on Flickr
have you thought of making / buying an electric bike? there are some pretty powerful ones available in kit form (http://www.teamhybrid.co.uk/pages/video.htm) comes to mind. They do take some technical knowledge but can be made to go a good distance.
Plus I also know how you feel about commuting by bike – but i can tell you – while it might take 2 hours for the first few times – you very quickly get the time down. I commute a 60k round trip through hilly areas. took me just over 2 hours the first time (that was 2 years ago) – now i max out at around 50mins (which really buggers me).
– i do this commmute twice a week. I’m saving up for an ebike so i can do it without needing a shower at each end.
Good for you, Vanessa! And I will NOT be one of the ones leaving snide comments about having a car in the first place. People must realize that sometimes a car is an absolute necessity (my bipolar son’s psychiatrist is an hour away, for example). My personal answer is buying a Prius, but again, everyone has different needs, different money situations, different abilities; do what you can with what you can. So, IMO, leaving it home on the weekends is commendable.
P.S. Are you still visiting my place? I’ve posted a cry for help over there, and you being the newsie, you’ll be perfectly suited! 🙂
Cool Vanessa…I’ll be doing the same very shortly, our car pool is dismantling for the summer so that we can all ride our bikes to work, we luck out because we are at most 20 minutes away at a leisurely pace…10 if you don’t mind playing chicken down some busy streets…
Good luck on your weekends!
Thanks guys… Ryan, the electric bike sounds awesome but I’m totally broke. My car was given to me by my mum when she was getting a new one; otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to afford even this. I might try biking to work again soon… it’s just the fact that I have to shower at either end that annoys me, and i have to carry all that stuff on my back (or in panniers, but still).
Anyway, we’ll see how it goes!
Vanessa, I would just like to tell you that I am proud of you and I am really enjoying the daily adventure of reading your green adventure.
Your dilemma reminds me that I had a friend in PR school that used to ride to work part way and bike part way. She would leave her bike at somewhere safe along the way that was convenient. Might not be possible for you, but it is another option. For her she biked uphill 10 kilometers or something and it was a clever way to fit in a workout. Her commute was essentially the same time and she would not otherwise have been able to ditch her children in order to work out.
Hey Vanessa, with your honest intentions and commitments you shouldn’t feel bad about the drive. It’s a good example of poor urban planning as well as corporate irresponsibility imposing the auto onto people.
Giving up the use of the car on weekends is a great effort … even just the symbolism is important.
If this means you can drink more on Saturday nights during my visits home I’m all for it.
But seriously.. impressive, Vanessa.
Actually, it might. Except the one time I tried to bike home while somewhat intoxicated was a little sketchy. I remember thinking to myself, “Who made these bike lanes so f—ing narrow?!”
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