Thoughts on using my bike more often

Today’s blog post was submitted by Kristi Moen, a Bicycle Alliance member and volunteer.  She lives in Burien.

Photo by Kristi Moen.
Last year at this time, I decided, rather spontaneously, that I would set a goal of using my car only 600 miles each month in 2010. While it seems like a lot to some who ride most of the time, it’s well below the national average. I thought I had a shot at achieving my goal. I live near the new Link light rail line so that I can easily get downtown. I commute to work on my bike roughly half the time. My community in Burien is fairly small so that I can walk, jog or ride to most places.
But – and you knew this was coming – I didn’t make it. My total mileage was 10,269, 255 miles above my monthly goal. It seems that other interests can get in the way of riding. For example, if I want to snowboard or hike, I must drive to the mountains. And I participate in a swimming workshop 20 miles from my house. Plus, sometimes I simply need my car for work or for appointments.
Still, taking a conscious look at how I get around put my routine under a microscope. So I learned. I learned that the true achievement from setting a goal was in the understanding I gained about my driving and riding attitudes. The actual miles I drove or rode were not that important. I also learned that I can comfortably ride my bike in street clothes, something I’ve avoided. I learned that a little rain doesn’t ruin the groceries I carry home on my bike nor does a little cold weather cause me any harm. And I learned that helmets don’t have to mean bad hair, a popular reason cited by women for not using a bicycle for transportation.
There’s more, some frivolous, some not, but I’ll stop there. In 2011, I will continue using my bike for transportation and encourage anyone in our urban area to find ways of putting walking, cycling and public transportation together for better health and a cleaner environment. It’s not hard, just a different way of looking at mobility.
This article was posted in Attitudes, Commuting, Go By Bike, Guest Blogger, Sustainable Living, Transportation. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are closed.

One Comment

  1. Posted February 8, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I drove my car 2,443 miles last year! I get the oil changed ever 3,000 miles. Oil change in January 2010…and the next one was last month! I have been riding to work, the grocery store, restaurants… it is easier than you might think. Just takes a different mindset to disregard the car.