Sunday, January 31, 2010

Carless Days

My re-focus on riding over the last several days has been the best kind of medicine for my soul and body. John and Joe took me out this morning and finished off anything that was left of my legs on the trails at Riverside and the South Hill bluff. I need some recovery, so tomorrow I'm off the bike, resting and eating. Not stupid eating, but whatever I want of good healthy stuff.

For a while, I've had this pretty serious obsessive thought about doing a 7-day car-free stint. Why 7 days? Because that means you could get through the routine of one whole week without relying on a car. My rules are no driving or riding in a car. Bikes and public transit are cool. I realize that for a lot of my harder-core bike friends, 7 carless days is childs play, but for me it's fairly epic and a worthy challenge.

So four days into my bike cleanse, I suddenly realize that I'm well on my way to seven carless days. Furthermore, my schedule looks good. There's challenges, but no real showstoppers. I tell Patty about it, and she's totally cool with biking where we need to go over the weekend. Unfortunately, something family-wise came up yesterday and I had to abort. No big deal, just wasn't supposed to happen right now. But I seriously can't wait to give it another go.

Even though I didn't do the week, I got into enough of a groove to re-remember some of the great things about getting out of your car and onto your bike:

- If you eat halfway reasonably, you can drop weight like crazy. You burn about 600 cal/hr riding, so 1-1/2 hrs of riding gives you almost 50% extra on a 2000 cal/day diet.

- I process mental shit like crazy when I ride. I dream up wild new ideas and put the day's problems to bed.

- The fears of what can happen in the dark and bad weather totally evaporate once you are actually on your bike. Once you start riding, you just go.

- If you can just get there, you will figure out a way to get home.

- Something interesting and memorable happens on *every ride*.

I could go on and on, but I won't. Instead, I'll be thinking about my next assault on the 7-day barrier, and hoping that you're getting out there on your bike, having the same kind of fun as me.


Hank said...

This could be something along the lines of the Locavore Challenge. You get a few people to sign up for the challenge and they write about their experiences, how they overcame obstacles, how great/horrible it was, etc.

Once the weather and daylight hours are more amenable, I think it'd be great to have a Newbie Cyclist Challenge. Use print and web media to reach out to people interested in trying Seven Days of Pedals. Create a forum where they could ask questions answered by experienced commuters. It fit in great during Bike to Work Week.

Alan said...

"The fears of what can happen in the dark and bad weather totally evaporate once you are actually on your bike. Once you start riding, you just go."

You're like a modern day Confusious.

FBC Spokane said...

The most difficult part of not using the car is major krap hauling like groceries, some are quite fragile. Or getting stuck out in the worst lightning storm I've ever seen; that's pretty bad, too. But now I can taste color so it's not all bad.

joe said...

So - I wake up today - 4:30am. Put on my bike stuff, walk outside - 34f and raining. Take off bike stuff, get in car, come to work and read this. Damnit - should have rode my bike.

Anonymous said...

You hippies make me sick.

If God had intended us to ride bicycles He wouldn't have given us pine-scented car fresheners.