Category Archives: bike

Day 127 thru 131: MLwC –somethin’s goin on

Ever find yourself in the middle of a project, right in the middle where the end seems far away and you can’t remember how it all started and suddenly you just feel like f*ckit, who cares? I’m sort of, but not entirely, in that place with MLwC…and I don’t know why. I mean, I like all the new habits I’m carving out for myself. I’m perfectly happy–no, I’m happier!–taking the bus downtown and am going downtown more often and enjoy it more. So, what’s up?

I think it might be all the summer tasks to tend to, the garden stuff, the out of town visitors, the trips, the fun-in-the-sun…all combined with a lot of work travel lately and I guess I’m feeling like the whole MLwC thing is too much to think about. Or maybe I feel guilty for driving when I do–which still isn’t very often so I don’t know why it’s such a big deal in my mind.

But somehow, it is. Somehow I’ve become a little fascist in my own mind. A fundie about driving. How the heck did that happen?

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To be continued…..

Daily Stats (Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun)
Car: 0
Bike: 14.4 miles
Ped: approx 10 miles
Bus: approx 10 miles
water taxi: 2 miles

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Day 116 thru 118: MLwC and the way things are interconnected

I’m old enough to remember when the term built-in obsolescence began to gain currency. Apparently, the movement on the part of manufacturers to create goods that would have a shorter, definitive life-span started in the 30’s (I wasn’t around then 🙂 ) and really became part of our culture in the 60’s (I was around then) and is now so common we rarely think twice before trashing something we bought a week ago, year ago, two years ago, whatever.

There was a time, really, when you bought things and expected them to last. And last a long time.

This built-in obsolescence or planned obsolescence is, in many ways, at the root of our collective carbon footprint now and I find myself thinking about it with relation to My 30 Days of consumer celibacy and how The Compact works, that was mentioned here the other day. The author, Wendee Holtcamp spent 30 days not buying anything new and chronicled the adventure. According to the Compact, the goal is to wean oneself from our consumer addicted society….

What happens in an experiment like this, I imagine, is similar to what has happened in my own experiment with urban transportation: once you break a pattern of behavior, you begin to view everything in relation to that pattern differently.

So, now I’m starting to wonder about this buy-nothing-new project that started in San Francisco by Rachel and others. It’s not some anti-corporation, self-punishing hard-core movement–it’s smart people who understand that the more new stuff we buy, the more landfill we create and the more we put into motion this global supply chain that is at the heart of an unsustainable consumer culture.

When we first bought the house we’re living in now, we had to do a lot of very necessary repairs right off the bat. Some of them involved new wood siding on the house to repair dry-rot, etc., and I remember thinking, “what would it be like to follow the production of this lumber from the forest all the way to our house?” Because it’s not just the lumber yard where you purchase it, it’s the trucks, trains, ships that get the wood from the forest (sustainable or otherwise); it’s the rubber in the tires, the steel in the chassis, the hardhats, the gloves, the dock with its hauling equipment and cranes; it’s the computerized programs that track inventory, the reports, the finance and banking; it’s the plastic ties, the labeling, the marketing and the packaging…it goes on and on.

Marley’s ghost

For some reason, it makes me think of the Marley’s ghost in A Christmas Carol who shows up to haunt Scrooge dragging a long line of chains and money boxes rattling behind him.

Basically, that’s what buy-nothing-new is getting at: recognizing that the mass of stuff we buy new involves a greater participation in this completely unsustainable pitch of manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and sales–unsustainable because it takes resources to create and distribute stuff, but the model doesn’t put stuff back in.

So, the Compact is focused on not introducing more new stuff into the world, borrowing or buying used, and thereby perhaps driving a market demand that items be built better to last longer. That then got me to thinking about Seth Godin’s post commented on here a while ago that he will know we’re actually gaining ground in the environmental movement when cars have LED readers on their bumpers that advertise the mileage–encouraging longevity over new, new, new.

I’m not ready to do the compact quite yet, and when I do, I’ll definitely do a 30 day trial first; but I’m really captured by the thought of reducing the massive global supply chain that goes into our consumerism–making things last longer, repairing, recycling, borrowing, lending. There’s also a wonderful network and community aspect to the Compact that is attractive.

Daily Stats (Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
Car: 8 (2 tasks)
Bike:7 miles
Ped: 3.5 miles
Bus:0
air: 0

PS. I have a confession to make. I’ve gone back and forth and back and forth on whether or not to include other people’s cars in my daily stats. I’ve been incredibly ambivalent about it but have this last week decided: No. This project is about My Car, not all cars. So, I’m really only looking at ways I use my car…and the possibility of living without a “my car” in the future. Thoughts?

Day 109 & 110: MLwC and who knew walking could be so complicated?

Well, who knew walking could be so dang complicated? Mytechvision (good luck on your exams!) sent along a BBC story about the controversy around children walking to school. I know the world is complex, more so all the time, and making decisions around child rearing even more so, but lordie, where’s our common sense?

What’s weird is that the school in question seemed to almost demonize the mom who thought it was okay for her son to walk a few blocks to school.

Speaking of walking and different cultural perspectives: this project I’ve been on in Chicago. It’s not actually in Chicago but a pretty cushy suburb of same. I told the project owners that next week I’ll stay in a hotel closer to the center so I can walk and they looked at me like I was a freak–no lie. I actually think it took me down a few notches in their estimation, and they pronounced that in no way would I be walking anywhere. It’s simply not done.

No reasons given, just “it’s not done.” I’ve already been out jogging around and have lived to tell the tale…not that I would tell them the tale. This is the same group that disparagingly described their workers as having to take “public transportation.” Hmmm–if they knew I bussed around Seattle, what would they think?

Bottom line: we’re so far from simple, smart, efficient forms of transportation in many urban settings that it’s a tad discouraging to think they could change their mind sets, but time will tell.

Daily stats (Wednesday/Thursday)
Car: about 15 miles total (carpool)
Foot: about 2 miles
Bus: heavens, no!
Plane: 1700 miles.

Day 108: MLwC and oh yeah! I remember!

How quickly we forget…or at least I do. I forgot the worst thing about business travel: the endless throw-away nature of it all. The eating utensils, the plates and cups, the plastic bags and reams of rental car/airplane/hotel paperwork and brochures. It’s like you’re sprouting garbage as you go along…it bugs me and I forgot about it until today.

Still, one can be mindful, and I want to stay focused on that. I ask for a real cup instead of a styrofoam one. I only use one napkin and re-use it if possible. It’s little stuff, I know, but it’s also a mindful thing and because of that it’s grounding and because of that, I believe I do my work better. In this instance, I’m facilitating teams that are not exactly…well, getting along. Not seeing eye-to-eye. And I have to believe that part of the way to keep a sense of humor and perspective is to stay grounded. Well, it’s my working theory today.

Substrata commented yesterday re the weirdness that overtakes most of us in cars:

I read an artist’s analysis of driving the other day. Basically she summed up the psychological transformation that occurred when she drove as “wanting to always be in front and seeing all other cars (people) as obstacles.”

…I’ve yet to see an example of “sidewalk rage.”

Re bikes, B2 comments about his recent experiences in traffic:

I would add bikes to the list of things that drivers see as obstacles, even though legally bike riders have the same rights and responsibilities as any other vehicle on the road — including the right to take up the whole lane.

I want to say here and now that the “whole lane” thing is true: I’ve been hit by a driver who pretty much decided I didn’t have the right to stop at a stop sign a little more towards the center than he liked. When I reported the accident to my insurance company, they couldn’t believe it: “you were rear-ended on a bike?” Yes, and they nailed the dude for several thousand dollars, thank you very much.

Here’s a fabu post from Metroblogging about his alternating consciousness around bikes in Portland. I gotta admire a guy who hates bikers and then decides to try it out, totally both sides now. Bike riders do break the rules, I do myself–I admit it, but I try to be safe, I try to let everyone know what I’m doing, when I’m turning. But I admit, especially uphill when I’ve got some forward momentum, I will do some cutting in and out to keep going without stopping and restarting…if I can.

Daily stats: (Tuesday–Happy Birthday!)
Car: probably around 12 miles/carpool
Bike: 0 ( I don’t even see any bikes around here!)
Bus: 0 (one manager I’m working with here described a team of workers in a disparaging way by saying, “they all use public transit.” Hmmm, I said.)
foot: quick jog, not much more than that.

Day 107: MLwC, comment from B2, and the loneliness of the long distance business traveler

Supa dupa comment from B2 yesterday, if you get a chance. A snippet:

“The 2 years I didn’t own a car in the mid-90s (before I got married and had a kid), I was biking everywhere….

One interesting thing that happened was that … Non-bicyclists would often strike up a conversation with me, and almost invariably I would hear two things from most of them: 1. “How far do you go in a day?” and 2. “Oh… I could never do that.”

And… I got to thinking about why people kept bringing up these 2 particular points, and here’s what I thought: their focus on physical distance is very rooted in consumer culture; the journey itself often had very little value in itself, and they were more focused on getting to a place rather than on the process of getting there, which is actually the most enjoyable part of any trip for me — probably because they were going too fast and thus were feeling too stressed to really enjoy the process of getting there. The very act of slowing down to 10-15 miles per hour on your bike REALLY makes you see the landscape differently and to realize how much of it you miss when you whiz through in a motor vehicle at 60mph.”

I think you have something there. There’s just something about being in touch with the actual trip itself that keeps you present in a way driving just skips altogether.

And speaking of trips…I am on a project in Chicago for the better part of this week. Kind of blows my stats, don’t you think? But I have long thought that I wanted to balance out my business travel, not just in carbon usage, but also in the grand disconnect when you are a body traveling through space and character-free airports, staying at business focused hotels. So, I do–by living a very different lifestyle at home.

Lots of biz people like myself will always have to travel some–there are a lot of things you just can’t do remotely. It’s just not possible, for example, to do effective team trainings, motivation, work process observations… stuff like that which is pretty hands-on. How do you think biz travel will evolve as the availability of fossil fuels become more scarce?

Of course, biz travel is more necessary now that we have massive companies with centers and sites all over the place…Makes me appreciate even more the local hardware store and the West Seattle farmer’s market. Makes me swoon with appreciation, in fact.

Okay, Daily stats: (Monday)
Car: 0 (or about 25 if you count the carpool)
Bike: 0
Bus: 0
Air: about 1400 or so.

Day 106: WLwC and how not-driving has changed my brain

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Had dinner with some pals on Saturday and the subject turned to this blog and cultural notions around transportation. My big concern with friends (and it’s happened a couple of times already) is that they may see my project and questions around transportation as an inherent judgment on car drivers. Of course I do!!

This WLwC project is all about becoming aware: aware of alternatives like mass transit, walking, biking–just thinking differently. I may get rid of my car at the end of the year…but I may not. As it is right now, I hardly drive anymore and my poor old hunka metal just sits gathering more dust every day…so it’s clear I could live without a car, but I need more info, about a year’s worth, so the jury’s out.

So, we got to talking and I was trying to explain the fundamental changes in my brain that are happening as a result of little to no car driving. First: I’m simply more relaxed–just overall relaxed. Life has become simpler. I don’t feel a great need to go anywhere and get anything (no wonder They want to keep us driving!). At the same time, I’m going downtown much more often–approx 16 miles RT.

What’s up with that? Well, it’s easier. Instead of a stressful trip, I now read on the bus, I enjoy the water taxi when that’s the transportation choice, I love the bike ride to the dock–all things that keep me in touch with the world around me, with the community and are pleasant. And I don’t have to stress over traffic, parking, gas, etc–all things that make me feel generally worse about my fellow human beings and my days in general. So I’ve removed a huge piece of stress and replaced it with something enjoyable and more worthwhile and my brain is happier.

Next, the “getting” part. This is sort of embarrassing but really, I used to think of my days in terms of getting in the car and going and doing something. I rarely thought in term of staying where I am and working with what I’ve got (which is a lot, by the way). Now, that’s addiction, pure and simple: my daily sense of self relied on my going somewhere else, getting something else and doing something other than being still. And it was as mindless and compelling as any addiction I’ve dealt with (and yeah, I’ve dealt with one or two 😉 ).

As a result I’m so much more focused and quiet–though my life is totally and undeniably richer than when I was in the “gotta-go-gotta-go-fast-gotta-get-there-and-get-something” mind set. My head is clearer. My overhead is lower. I’m just plain happier. Probably I can’t lay all this at the door of MLwC but a lot of it, for sure. My day used to be defined by going, and now it’s not. It’s that simple–and it’s that profoundly different.

I’ll still be mulling this over and again, who knows how this project will end. I can say that my partner is becoming more interested in the possibility of different forms of transportation and possibly ditching the second car but we’ll see…have to give this a year of observation. Another friend and his wife are considering ditching both cars to get a prius. There’s lots to think about….

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Daily Stats (Saturday/Sunday)

Car: 0
Bike:0
Foot: approx 6 miles
Bus: 0

Day 102 & 103: WLwC and doing more, not less

Seth Godin has a recent post about global climate change and marketing. I hate it that the two are inextricably connected, but they are. His point: don’t ask people to do less, ask them to do more. We, as humans (at least in this hemisphere and on this continent), are hard-wired for more–we don’t like less.

I agree with the more idea and think we can expand it endlessly, whereas less can be sort of a dead-end discussion.

In fact, I think that’s what we’ve been discussing here for the last few months–do more! Walk more, recycle more, compost more…and in its own systemic way, those actions will lead to less. No muss, no fuss.

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For example, compost more. At our house, a few months ago we began taking advantage of Seattle’s compost program wherein you can put veggie/food scraps in your yardwaste bin, which then goes into a massive composting process and becomes the basis for gorgeous flower and P-patch beds all over the city. We’ve done it big-time: recently when taking the garbage out, it seemed almost empty…and it was! The only thing in it was a couple of bags of cat-sand. We’d managed to compost and re-use almost everything during the week.

So, do you think Godin’s onto something when he says do more, not less and what kinds of good-more are you seeing in your neck of the woods in response to climate change?

Daily stats (Tuesday and Wednesday)

Car: 0
Bike: approx 10 miles
Foot: 3.5
Bus: 0

Walking, and how to think about “transportation”

Tom followed up yesterday’s piece on walking with a great entry of his own–with gorgeous snaps of his daily route through Lisbon–including time, transportation mode (mostly walking) and some thoughts about the added benefits of not driving. It reads at time like a poem, at other times like a mini-travelogue.

Jodene followed up this morning with a comment on her own walking method and a tangential thought about the long term (very nice nod to investment strategies!) benefits of walking–intellectual, physical, emotional, environmental.

So, I got to thinking: how cool would it be to get feedback from anyone/everyone who actually shakes it up in the transportation department. Those who are doing something other than the regular single-car/single-passenger-moving-through-urban space routine–and what you think about it. What does your transportation method allow you that you would not get from driving?

This would be more than a survey with radio buttons. This would be postcards from the urban-travel edge. We’ll see, maybe it could work.

Day 90: My Life w Car…the 90 Day Round-up!

The truly big news today is that this is Day 90 of my ongoing project to see if I can wean myself from a car in the space of a year. Mostly, I’ve been interested in just becoming more conscious of

  • How I use transportation
  • How I use my car specifically

So, here’s the lowdown: when I first started this, I thought of using my car every single day. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t have to struggle at least a little to think around the use of the car.

I can very happily say that somewhere along the line, not sure where, that all changed. Now it feels like a drag to use my car. Gas, parking, traffic–you name it, it’s just not pleasant.

traffic jam

Next big news: I paid some bucks to have my bike fit me and tuned properly and it made all the difference in the world. I don’t think twice about using my bike now, and I’m more fit, happier and more connected to my sweet West Seattle. I look forward to running an errand most days–it’s a great break from my work, and a chance to get ouside.

bianchi bike

Next really big news: The Bus. The first day I took the bus, I hated it. It was around Day 60 and I only did it because it was part of this experiment and I needed to learn about it. Well, guess what. Now I love it–I bought a pass to make the whole change thing easier, it takes me right downtown in 15 minutes and I get to catch up on reading or ipodding or whatever. And once downtown, I get a nice walk to whatever meeting I’ve got set up. Sweet deal–return trip within a couple of hours and the whole thing costs $1.25. Look, I’m not poor, that’s not the issue. But suddenly I begin to see that the money I’m spending on gas, parking, insurance, upkeep, etc could be going to something I enjoy a whole lot more…with very little trouble. Just a matter of changing habits. Which they say takes about 90 days.
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90 Day Round-up!!!

Overall stats:
Car: 535 miles, approx 85% multi-task, multi-occupant
Bike: 176.30 miles, increasing daily mileage from Day 1 to Day 90 (by a lot!)
Hybrid-electro Bus: 60 miles (didn’t utilize the bus until around day 60)
Flexcar: 9 miles (didn’t hold quite the attraction I thought it would…)
Plane: 6,018 (that’s where my carbon footprint turns into carbon karma that I try to work off)

Day 90 stats (that’s today):
Car: zip
Bike: 5 miles
Bus: zip
planes, trains, flexcars: zip

Day 85 & 86: my life w car, Urban Birds and Green vs. Gray

Cornell Ornithology Labs–which sounds pretty daunting for us average folks–is really stellar at bringing bird watching to kids and communities all around the world. Their focus is the coolest: Citizen Science. They make awareness of birds fun for urban kids and country kids, for seasoned bird watchers and rank beginners, for scientists and regular folks as well. I’m a huge fan of this organization!

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So then, I’m really psyched about their latest online endeavor: Urban Bird Watch. Mainly for kids, but for anyone who wants to participate, it’s an online, multi-month, easy-as-pie survey of the birds around us. Sign up and they’ll send you a packet of pretty cool stuff to get started. If you have kids, or have friends or family with kids–check it out. It’s a great way to spend 15 minutes with the birds…and your kids!

Here’s an interesting site with a discussion of Green vs. Gray Economy. Not sure “gray economy” conjures up what they hope it does–it really does feel more akin to Black Market than Green Economy. But the point is: there are companies that are taking steps toward sustainability or improved carbon footprint…and then there are the other companies. The ones that will live and die by fossil fuels.

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Daily Stats:
Car:0
Bike 19.5 miles (4+ tasks)
bus: 2 miles
flexcar: 0

day 81 & 82: My life w car

Read an oldie the other day, The Victorian Internet, by Tom Standage. It was a quick, fun read but sort of silly in some ways.

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His claim is that the singular invention of the Telegraph was the first Internet…and to take a phrase from Standage himself (out of context): “Well, sort of.” In fact, it seems the invention that is most strikingly a first step on the way to the modern internet is the use of electrical pulses as a means of conveying information and data from point A to point B. The rest—how humans wrestled with the new communication potential—may well be a repeat of previous “great leaps” in human history and a reflection of the human impulse or instinct to communicate and share information—whether it be in words, electrical impulses, art, oral tradition, trade, or teaching, we seem driven to communicate—and to leverage communication to our own ends.

Among the interesting tidbits that have stayed with me is the change in work culture (from a sun-up-to-sun-down schedule to a newly global 24/7 schedule)–we struggle with our 24/7/365 always-on, always-open global culture and it’s interesting to consider how 24/7 changed things way back in the Victorian age. But in the end, Standage lost me when he boldly asserted that the changes Victorian era society went through during the introduction of the Telegraph so thoroughly modernized them that “time traveling Victorians…would, no doubt, be unimpressed with the Internet.”

I mean, come on. In my own lifetime, I’ve marvelled at the new forms of technology that interconnect the world. I’ve even marvelled at the innovations with bicycles, ferchrissakes. To think that folks from the 1880’s would not be blown away by our technology and interconnectedness now is surely ridiculous. But, someone 100 years from now will be writing something similar to Victorian Internet and gather together a treasure trove of quotes about how the internet made our lives (choose one): easier/smarter/harder/better/faster/worse and will come to various conclusions about technological impacts based on that.

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The world is on a trajectory of inter-relatedness (interesting related thought here). When the printing press was invented, it spawned the creation of entire new religions and the Holy Roman Empire took a huge hit. Suddenly the written word was available not just to those in the cathedral but to anyone who could get a hold of a manuscript. The rise of the first person narrative novel can be linked to MySpace; oral tradition can be linked to the blogosphere; tribal knowledge can trace a direct line to wikis; and certainly the old market and bazarre network can be linked to craigslist and ebay. But all those parallels speak more to human nature and the impulse to inter-connect than to any of the devices invented to achieve that goal.

Daily travel stats:
Internet: a million miles, give or take
car: 6 (4 tasks, 1 person)
bike: 10.5 miles
bus: 2.5 miles
flexcar: 0
passenger ferry to downtown Seattle: 3 miles

Day 73 & 74: My life w car

Our beautiful planet:
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Green investing: some people are saying that we’re at a tipping point in our culture wherein we have the opportunity and the will and the ways to radically change how we lead our lives–work and personal. The technology for green energy is evolving more rapidly than ever, local energy companies are beginning to offer alternative energy, car companies are offering greener models, WOM on tax advantages of energy wise alternatives is showing up in the mainstream.

All of this leads to some investing ideas that you might want to investigate. The mutual fund field for green investing is grouped under a larger category called “Socially Responsible Investing,” but that has usually indicated companies that have progressive approaches to people issues, not green issues. Still, for your consideration, here are some ideas re green mutual funds:

Winslow Green (WGGFX)
Parnassus funds (many to choose from)
Powershares (PBW)
Sierra Fund
Spectra Green (SPEGX)
Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy (GAAEX)

Note that some of these are so new they don’t yet have a Morningstar rating but several do, and the ratings are certainly comparable (if not better) to other funds that actually invest in destructive industries. Check em out, give em a try.

Daily stats:
car: 6 miles (3 tasks)
bike: 6 miles
electric hybrid bus: approx 14 miles
flexcar: 0

Day 71 – 72: My life w car

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Oprah goes green: Going Green 101. I really loved seeing this show at the gym while I was working out, even though some of the ideas seemed really, really old. I thought: we can recycle just about anything.

Green investing: I truly believe that this will become a big deal in the near future. We’re about to be cornered on everything from energy to sustainable foodstuffs. So, one day soon, all these “wacky” alternative ideas may become more mainstream than ever thought possible.

What’s up with the bees?

Use one less paper napkin!

Daily Stats:
Car: 10 miles (two tasks, two people)
bike: 0
bus/flexcar: 0

Day 67: My life w car

Interesting links:

Great article by Neal Peirce, long time bike rider in Washington DC wondering if biking is closer to becoming mainstream. Particularly interesting is the idea that in congested cities such as NY, Washington, DC, etc, biking is actually faster than a car.

Bicycle League, a clearing house of information related to transportation, particularly bikes, but other issues as well like transportation bills, etc.

Seattle Times Carbon Challenge: figure out your carbon footprint and starting May 1, join a thousand households as they try to reduce their energy use. Calculator and information for the asking!

Seattle Times blogger Nicole Brodeur confesses her carbon sins and seeks redemption.

Daily stats: a stay-at-home-office-work-day
Car: 0
Bike: 0
Bus/flexcar: 0

Day 65 & 66: My life w car

Yesterday, all across the country, there were peaceful demonstrations about global climate change. The purpose was to raise awarenes and consciousness. From awareness and consciousness, one hopes, comes change.

Yesterday in my home town paper, there were dozens of articles about global climate change, how we as first worlders impact it, and what we can do. Everything from incandescent lightbulbs (How many governers does it take to change a lightbulb?) to transportation (Seattle’s master bike use plan) a million small changes that add up to big cultural change at the family home level.

Exciting times. I was talking with some friends about all the stuff happening, and explained my blog–my personal transportation game–where I’m trying to become conscious of car usage, see if there’s a reasonable, workable way to ditch my car at some point in the future, and what I’m learning in the process. It seemed a good time to review some of these ideas here and also some of the conversation that ensued yesterday.

I started the “My life w car” series as a year-long plan to be conscious of transportation habits, dependencies, etc. The hope was that some day we could become a one-car family with lots tasks and travel delegated to bike, bus or flexcar. My secret hope was that it would all happen quickly and easily. Wrong.

Some of my rules around this transportation game: no single use trips (unless it really really can’t be avoided); multi-passenger use whenever possible (task combos); at least two days of non-carbon based transportation per week; improve bike mileage by 10 miles minimum per month. Obviously, the rules won’t work sometimes–last week was sort of a bust. But they work more often than not, for sure.

After 65 days, what I’ve learned: I’m not a big car person, I don’t really drive a ton or put a lot of focus on my car and I really don’t have an attachment to it. But even with my limited dependence on a car, I have found, after 65 days, that limiting one’s use of a car is dang difficult. Our entire culture is built around cars, about zipping here and there, about the luxury of simply not having to plan, think, or consider one’s dependence on cars at all.

Now, if we are really expecting people to reduce their automobile usage, combine trips, use mass transit, or bikes, there’s going to have to be some serious-ass change in our culture. A willingness to revise time and access across a lot of channels to make this work. Mass transit has got to be better than it is, biking has to be safer, and jamming schedules with non-stop action and to-do lists will have to lighten up. I’ve done it, to a degree, and while it’s been hard, I have to say: I’m happier for it. But the point is, this is a massive change on a massive scale…but it will all start at home, in your own backyard.

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Upshot: after talking about these learnings with my friends, and coming to the conclusion that it would be very difficult to jettison one’s car in the near term, we turned our attention, each of us, to how we could reduce our daily car use by one or two days a week. Carpooling, bus, combining trips to reduce trips, planning ahead…all the things I’ve started to incorporate into my thinking on a regular basis.

We are learning creatures (nice article here): it’s what we do best, and on a continual basis. Not saying we learn good things, just saying we are constantly in “adapt” mode, which means learning. This key feature may be what saves is in the end.

(One among us who is clearly lagging behind on the learning curve, however, is discussed here. Oh, Dear Leader! Once he’s outta the way, though, maybe we can actually begin to build a future instead of destroying it)

Daily Stats:
days without carbon trans: 0
car: 18 miles (multiple tasks, two riders)
bike: 0
bus/flexcar: 0