Saturday, May 31, 2008

Parking the jeep for a healthier Earth (and great legs)

So here it is, the last day of May. For three years, we've managed as a one-car family, but twenty days ago, we parked the car in the garage and dedicated ourselves to alternate transportation. That monumental day, was a Monday. But going car-free isn't easy. By Tuesday we were back in the car as a wave of thunderstorms belted the area for two days straight. Hmm. That didn't quite work out the way we planned.

Thunderstorms behind us,  by the end of that week we were back on track. Dave has his new commuter bike to cover the daily 14 mile round-trip distance, and get this - I actually have starting biking to work (about 16 miles round trip) instead of walking/bussing in! Yep, that's right. Little miss "I can't bike that far 'cause I'm a wimp on a bike" got her butt in gear. I'm now biking to work 2-3 days a week (I work from home the other 2 days) and am loving it. Not only do I save time (takes me WAY less time biking than walking to the bus stop, taking the bus to campus, and then walking the rest of the way to my office), but I feel really great afterwards. Yep, me and my thighs of steel (remember that video?). Watch out world, I'm totally mobile!

Right. Anyway, as it turns out, even starting well into the month (May 12), we managed to have 9 days where we didn't use the car at all. And the math?

$3.79 (ish) for a gallon of gas (former daily driving was using 1 gallon per day) 
9 days of no vehicle use
$34.11 total savings

That's a week's worth of food at the farmers market (as it turns out we're going to need the extra dough to cover our health insurance premiums. We just found out premiums are going up 70%. Ouch. But that's another story). Anyway, in biking to work we are also reducing emissions (green) and getting some much needed cardio without the use of a gym or fancy equipment (simple and frugal). He he. I'll be making my own Thighs of Steel video before long (cue cheesy workout music)...

P.S.  I've been wanting a bell for my bike and Dave surprised me by bringing one home a few weeks ago (see photo). Cool, huh?  (Ring, ring) Crazy bike lady, coming through!


Anonymous said...

This is wonderful. And I'm so envious. I really need to get some exercise into my days. Enjoy watching your muscles grow (and your gas savings)!

Beany said...

I've been wanting a cutsy looking bell for a while. I think I'll get one after I move.

I feel that if we did have a car, we wouldn't be able to eat as well as we do now. I like food more than I like transportation so I consider our choice a good one.

Sharli said...

I love biking to work....of course I don't have near as far to go as you do. :) Once a get a trailer to put the kids (and groceries) in, I'll be able to use it for errands as well!

Heather @ SGF said...

ruralaspirations - I was so bummed I got that flat Friday afternoon but the bike shop says they can get me back on my bike by Tuesday at the latest. I'll just take the bus until then. I'm all about the whole idea of functional exercise (exercising to accomplish something and not for it's own sake). I want to be going somewhere. I'd never be in shape if I had to go to a gym. And we're saving so much money in the process!

beany - Isn't it a shame that we have to make those choices (food or transportation), but then again, I really like not having a car of my own. So you guys don't have a car at all?

sharli - The trailer sounds great! I saw someone off Copperfield on Friday with one. You could also leave the kids at home and load it up with farmers market food - use it as your shopping cart :)