Monday, May 18, 2015

Don't drive for a month

I have this dream that one day we can be a one-car family. In general, I don't like driving and I don't like the expense associated with it. My rough guesstimate is that my car costs me $150/month. It's fully paid off so it's just gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs (which have thankfully been few and far between). So, I wanted to see what life might be like if we got rid of a car.

Heavy things are annoying

Carrying my laptop to work on my bike stinks. It's heavy, and I worry about damaging it if I crash. I also buy salad bar ingredients for work once a week. Thankfully Angie worked a block away, so I just had her bring that stuff in for me. I have a fancy pair of Ortlieb panniers (bike bags), so I am capable of carrying a lot, it just stinks.

Follow this one crazy trick to take the enjoyment out of something!

I genuinely enjoy riding to work, but when I make a hard rule around it like I did for this month, it became a chore that I didn't enjoy. Many days I would have to argue with myself to get on the bike, trying to think of every excuse in the book to not ride. This reaction to hard rules is something I've learned with a few of my goals this go-around.

How can you not enjoy this? Make it a chore.


I generally say riding your bike to work is a net time saver. It took me about and hour each way to ride to work, plus 30ish minutes to get ready for biking. So, 2.5 hours total each day devoted to biking. If I wanted to work out 2 hours a day and drive to work, it would take 2hrs + 50 min for driving + 15 min of workout/car prep. If you're going to work out 2 hours a day, it definitely is the way to go because it saves ~1 hr every day. However, at this point in my life, I didn't want to be working out 2 hours every day, so this resulted in my regularly getting home after 6:30, which is much later than I would prefer.

Things happen

It's worse than it looks. 4.5 weeks later and it's still not healed
One day, I was just turning right and biffed it at about 15mph. I didn't hit anything, just biffed it. These things happen. You need to brush yourself off and continue on. Thankfully, this particular day was quite nice, so I was able to ride the 2 miles into work and then do the full ride home without too much consternation.

Lesson learned

By the end of the month, I missed my car. It was great to grip the steering wheel and accelerate like crazy once I was driving again. I don't know if I could have done this without Angie working a couple blocks away. That enabled me to do a lot of things I couldn't have otherwise. Essentially, this comes down to whether $150/month is worth my time and freedom. At this point, it is. That answer might change though when I have to buy another car when my current one breaks down. In the meantime, I'll still ride my bike to work occasionally, but only on nice days when I'll enjoy it.

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