Saturday, September 15, 2007

Biking because I like it

Just got the old Schwinn back from the mechanic's today -- the rear hub is still bumpy but they couldn't do anything for it. It is so nice to ride it again, and today was the day when I needed a tank bike, riding through the orange and blue-clad throngs of Gator fandom to get to work.

I've been thinking a lot about commuting by bike, especially since these two things have occurred: I am supposed to write short responses on three eco-friendly activities for REL4936, one of these being commuting by bike and; our little Honda Fit is not so fit after a smack-up last weekend so we've been driving my in-laws' humongous SUV.

In this blog I've talked the talk about commuting to campus by bicycle and wanting to commute by bike with DJ. Even after getting the ride-along working properly and DJ becoming acclimated to it, I still never took that step to taking him to his preschool on campus via bicycle. Now he goes to a school that's not as close to campus, but still not that far, either. I did a Mapquest calculation of how long the commute would be to DJ's school by bike and it's almost 4 miles. Then it's probably another couple of miles to campus from there. This is not bad but it would take a little more planning.

By now, commuting to campus by bike is like nothing for me, so writing that short response for my class would be a piece of cake, normally. But I want to do something more so I think for this part of the assignment I'm going to write about taking DJ to his school and then mine on one of the days that I would normally take him by car. Planning out a route would be the first step, so I went to Bikely.com and created a route that I thought would be the best way to get there. I wasn't too far off in my estimate -- 6.5 miles one way. Ouch. Okay, 13 miles round trip, I can do that -- the real question is, will DJ want to do that...

I like WikiHow because people write how-to's on things like how to clean your room -- I just read that one, in fact, and it was very instructive. I also just read one on How to Commute By Bicycle and it was really a good read, and for anyone ready to take the plunge and commute this way, it's a good place to start. Another good article to read for planning is How to Not Get Hit By Cars, a handy little e-pamphlet connected to Bicycle Universe out of Austin, TX.

Snaked the image for this bumper sticker from Microcosm Publishing
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