Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pedal Power Update - August 2008

August. Yeah. Um. Well...

So here's the thing. Our mileage sucked in August. Now part of that was because we took a 947 mile trip to Arkansas in the Jeep, but it was to visit Dave's mom who we hadn't seen in over a year. I'm totally cool about that.

But August also meant some extreme heat here in Texas. I can cope since I only go on short trips on my bike and only in the morning hours when the chance of heat stroke is far less. But Dave doesn't get off work until 5-6 at night and the heat is just too unbearable at that hour. So he pretty much drove to work every day. But, hey, you pick your battles right? And risking his health just wasn't one of them. 

On a positive note, we now have Elphie (our new Prius), so our emissions are WAY better than they were in the Jeep. We may be putting the miles on, but they have less of an impact. And I'm trying to balance us out by doing most of my errands on the bike. 

I'm also seeing greater improvements in my strength as a bike rider. Sections of road I used to struggle with are now much easier for me and I'm rarely hesitant about hopping on the bike for a ride.

Best of all, we have cooler months to look forward to (ok, so maybe not until October, but they're coming), making those bike-to-work-days just a little easier. In the meantime, we do what we can and are thankful for the help that Elphie is giving us in becoming a little bit greener when we do have to drive.

Here's a question for all you readers out there:  Do many of you bike for transportation? I'd love to hear your stories - how you got started, how you got over the fear of the road, do your kids go with you, etc. 

14 comments:

ttammylynn said...

I wish I could. I usually drive my big truck to make deliveries and run errands as I go...which saves because I work and run errands in one trip and you really can't deliver cases of product from a bike. Parking is a problem, but I can park a delivery truck in a largish parking spot if need be( I can even parralel park it if I have a little room). I do still know how to ride a bike. I did it a couple of years ago, but the bikes were stolen and so...
I was always a walker anyway, I won an Atari game system(3rd prize) in the Walk a thon when I was in 6th grade, I believe(about 25 years ago). Then, I used to walk home from Bryan High. We lived 2 1/2 miles up Leonard Rd off 2818, if you know where that is. I walked anywhere I wanted to go as a child and loved it. Bikes are fine, but I usually just walked.

Burbanmom said...

Alas, the subdivision we live in is boxed in on all sides by very busy roads with no bike lanes or sidewalks. So biking for errands is out of the question - it is simply too dangerous.

However, our subdivision DOES have about 12 miles of bike/walking trails that we use a lot! We are able to ride to a number of playgrounds, the pool and, in a pinch - the gas station fastMart thingy where you can pay $8.00 for a gallon of milk.

We don't go there much.

:-)

ib mommy said...

My youngest child and I are hopping on our bikes this morning to ride to school! Luckily, our neighborhood winds around to the back of her school so we don't have to travel on the main roads. Hopefully, I will remember to ride the bike back to school this afternoon to pick her up.....

greeen sheeep said...

If I am going anywhere in my hometown it's on bike. Unfortunately most of my meetings and errands are in the next town over. I have only biked there once, mistakenly. I was joyriding on the bike trail and didn't realize how far I had gone. It was a long ride home!

Green Bean said...

I bike when I can which means the road to where I'm going is not too dangerous and I have enough time. I take my kids in a traile when I go.

My city recently formed a community biking group. We're trying to build a base and get people comfortable with family friendly rambles through the flat streets. Eventually, those people may turn out for city council meetings or organize campaigns for more bike friendly streets, more bike parking, etc. That's the hope anyway.

Stephanie said...

In the cooler months I bike to get groceries, go to the post office, the bank, and in other errands I can do in our small town. My hubby and I will even bike to church on Sundays. We haven't done that all summer, being in central Arizona it is just too hot, heat stroke is an issue. I cannot wait for October when I can begin biking more! BTW I have not lost my fear of the road, we have two highways that run through town that I have to ride on to do my errands which is scary enough, but I swear the parking lots in this town are out of control!

sunflowerchilde said...

I started a combination of biking and taking Amtrak for my commute a few months ago. I live in Davis, CA and commute to Sacramento, about 16 miles. Several times a week I bike in the morning (for exercise) and then I take the train back to Davis and bike home from the station - Amtrak is very bike-friendly. Other days, I take the train both ways, and just bike to and from the station. This is working well right now, but it's already starting to get darker in the morning, and it's still too hot in the afternoon to ride from Sacramento back to Davis. I'm not sure what I'll do in the winter when it's dark before AND after work, and when it rains. Also, Amtrak is very expensive - my office subsidizes half of my monthly pass, but I still pay around $65. But it's cheaper than driving!

eco 'burban mom said...

We don't bike to work, it's much too far. However, from time to time, we will bike with the kids. Though, with 4 boys we must have a destination in mind as the goal. Oh, yes, and that destination must be a food establishment of some sort. We look hilarious going down the road, dad with the trailer containing a 4 year old and three middle school boys with the scrappiest shoes/clothes/hair you've ever seen and bike helmets covered in skull tattoo stickers and flames. Followed by me, barking at everyone to stay to the RIGHT or slow down!!! We're an interesting bunch all right! ;o)

DramaMama said...

I have been attempting to bike 100 miles this summer which may not sound like a lot, but we have 2 things hindering us: we don't need to go very far - lots of things we do are close! - and my hubby broke his ankle at the beginning of summer. So...we're still on track but we may not finish the 100 miles until fall. Anyway, I started a blog about it http://100bikemiles.blogspot.com I love hearing about others' experiences so thanks for posting this question!

Heather @ SGF said...

ttammylynn - I've always considered myself a walker too. I just love a nice long walk. It's relaxing.

burbanmom - wow! The trails sound awesome! I imagine you can find hours of fun with the family. Any good places to picnic along the way?

eb mommy - a good friend of mine has been biking her son to school as well. What a great example you are setting.

greeen sheeep - that's wonderful that you can do all the errands in your own town by bike. Too bad you have to take the car to the next town for meetings, but it's all about balance, right?

green bean - do you feel pretty safe with the kids in the back? I've talked to a few mothers who are hesitant about the kiddie trailer.

stephanie - I totally understand about the heat and the drivers as well. There are still areas where I'll bike on the sidewalk instead of the road. Come on October! :)

sunflowerchilde - What a great plan. I've thought about biking to the closest bus stop, parking my bike and taking the bus the rest of the way, but have never done it. The fact that winter will be darker will certainly pose a problem. Do you have options to do flex time or work any hours from home to help organize your commute once it gets darker?

eco 'burban mom - I'd love to a picture of your entourage :) And, of course, bribery never hurt anyone, right? As long as it gets the kids on their bikes for a good time and a little exercise!

dramamama - what a great goal! I'll be sure to check out your site. Sorry to hear about your hubby's injury. Hope he gets to feeling better soon and good luck with that 100 miles!

Simply Authentic said...

i actually don't bike. i prefer to walk or take public transportation, although walking is my preferred mode of transport. when needed i drive, especially when there is no public transport access. for the most part, portland is a big bicycle city however.

Heather @ SGF said...

Simply Authentic - I was always big walker too. Just something about getting around on your own two feet that meant independence to me.

connie said...

I've been taking my son to school on our tandem bike. Being in 2nd grade, he is still willing to be seen in public riding with me. My favorite thing about the tandem is not having to worry about where he is, or yelling all the time to stay over to the right.

Our Prius is named Prissy.

Heather @ SGF said...

connie - I'll bet the tandem is fun!