When my family decided to move from sunny Arizona fourteen years ago, I had no idea that I would revert to the ways of my youth and become a bike commuter. In Arizona, both of us had lengthy commutes. We no longer wished to have that be a part of our lives. We decided that we could live with just one vehicle.
So, when we purchased a house in South Bend, we moved to a near downtown neighborhood about a mile and a half from my work. We had a 2 year old and one on the way. As the pregnancy progressed, I did not want to make Angela get up and drive me to work any longer. We decided that I would get a bike. When work brought us to Fort Wayne, we drew a 3 mile circle around my workplace and bought a house within it. For me, 3 miles is a comfortable distance to ride to work.
This set up comes with many challenges, especially as our children have grown older and more involved with extracurricular activities. Many of you know what I am talking about. For many years we have been able to still maintain just one vehicle and make it happen. We live close to my work, we plan, and when there is a serious conflict, Angela takes one kid one way and I ride with the other kid the other way. I take the closest appointment and she drives to the furthest. Often times we use the 1970’s era Schwinn Tandem (that I picked up at a garage sale 15 years ago) as our second car.
What do we do when it is raining? We ride. Cold? We ride. Hot? We ride.
It is not hard although most would say that it is. As a society, we are soft. We like our cars and our heated seats. We like to look at our phones at red lights (and even while we are driving).
I think what kept me going through all of those winters is that we just do not have much adventure in our American Consumer lives. It is refreshing. I enjoy biking when it is cold way more than I do when it is warm. Biking is my adventure. It is an event. I know that sounds pathetic but it is true.
So, pump up your tires, jam your stuff in a backpack and take your bike.