Thursday, June 22, 2006

The end is near

Since I started this blog 357 days ago, these are some of the things that have happened:

  • I replaced 1,188 miles worth of car trips with bike trips.
  • I still drove a lot more than I should have.
  • I was hit by a car.
  • I was nearly hit by a board thrown from a second floor window.
  • I met new friends online and on the street, who encouraged me.
  • I met angry motorists, who yelled, "Get off the road!"
  • I waved to other cyclists.
  • I wished there were more cyclists to wave to.
  • I sweated a lot.
  • I shivered a little.
  • I almost witnessed a motorhome vs. riding lawnmower accident.
  • I accidently left my bike lock at home almost a dozen times.
  • I tried to finish "Effective Cycling" by John Forester.
  • I finished "The Art of Urban Cycling" by Robert Hurst.
  • I got caught in the rain.
  • I got my pants leg caught in the chain.
  • I developed basic bicycle maintenance skills.
  • I developed a great respect for professional bicycle mechanics.
  • I was startled when motorists blew their horns at me.
  • I startled motorists by blowing my horn at them.
  • I became used to seeing cars parked in the bike lane.
  • I learned that some cyclists hate bike lanes.
  • I frequently regretted getting behind the wheel.
  • I never regretted getting on my bicycle.

Above all, I came to realize that using a bicycle for life's everyday tasks is not really such a big deal. Riding to work, to the grocery store and to other everyday destinations has been relatively easy for me. What started out as a significant lifestyle change is now the norm. That's not to say that my fellow citizens have also become avid utility cyclists. The choice I made last July makes me a rather odd specimen among my neighbors, my friends and my coworkers. But it's become normal for me.

And that's why I must decide, in the next couple days, what to do when the Bike Year ends. Should I continue the blog? If so, what direction should it take? I welcome suggestions.


Evan said...

May I suggest Bike Decade? ;) Seriously I think this blog has been an inspiration to people who really want to cut down on their auto usage. I say keep it up.

Jim said...

"May I suggest Bike Decade?"

Or Bike Life?

When you get around to writing, this is one of the more thoughtful, interesting bike blogs I read. Keep riding, keep writing.

Nathan said...

I've enjoyed reading this and hope to be able to continue to do so. :)

Joe said...

What they said. It will be neat to see how you build on a successful first year. I admire what you're doing. Having grown up in Knoxville, TN, I have some idea of the climate (in all senses of the word) you've been up against. Just don't name it Cycler's Life, that's taken ;-) All the best!

griffin said...

Say it ain't so: don't go! Bike Decade! Bike Life!Bike Universe!
Not only do I LOVE reading your blog, it really inspired me, and helped keep me going on days when things with engines looked mighty good. And, when friends have suggested that I am the only one with the determination/craziness level necessary to shift to bikes, I send them the link to your blog. I am sure your stories and observations have lead a lot of people to bike more (and maybe even park in bike lanes less)
Hope you keep the great stories and insights in this blog going