Friday, March 16

Introducing the bike

One thing I have automatically gone to when thinking about simplifying my life, reducing my driving, losing weight, or just recovering more of the physical playfulness that characterized my youth is, "I should ride my bike more!" And I should. But the truth is I'm the kind of person who needs a concrete destination and purpose before I'll get on the bike. I have to imagine the enjoyable breeze off the lake as I ride around it to be able to get myself to go over there.

I've been looking in my driving journal for trips I can make on my bike. I actually used to do this quite a bit in my 20's when I was recovering from Overspending. But I got out of it after living in a couple places where things weren't quite as conducive to biking.

But I'm back in a very bike-able neighborhood. As I wrote earlier today, there's a Park n Ride two miles from me that's along a side street. And I pass the neighborhood gardens and three friends' houses on the way. The Asian market, natural foods store, and electronics shop is a little closer along another route. I can either take the broad sidewalk or ride along the path that follows the creek to get there.

The recycling center, 7 coffee shops, two grocery stores, two tea shops, and my currently favorite restaurant are all within a mile. There are also two bike shops in that distance. And one of my drives this week was a well-lighted, rolling route to and from the personal growth classes I do. It makes the trip 4 miles instead of two, but perhaps I will get more out of the classes.

So all of this has me itching to ride.

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NotSoBigLiving is the story of a woman inspired by Sarah Susanka, Bill McKibben, Airstreams, Tumbleweed houses, Mennonites, Jimmy Carter, hippies, survivalists, Anasazi, Pema Chodron and Joko Beck, Scott Peck, Buckminster Fuller, and Al Gore to see what she can do to reduce her carbon footprint in her mid-80's suburban townhome. Strategies include roommates, alternative travel, organic eating, planting a victory garden, mindfulness, and a belly full of laughter.