Day 260: World Carfree Day – Sept. 22

20 09 2010

Wednesday, September 22 is World Carfree Day. Each year on this date, people around the world go without their cars to give priority to public transportation, cycling and walking. As explained on their Facebook page: “World Carfree Day is an annual celebration of cities and public life, free from the noise, stress and pollution of cars. Each year on September 22, people around the world organise events of all sizes to showcase alternatives to the automobile!” They’ve even provided a list of resources such as action ideas, how to plan an event in your area, art and graphics to help promote the event and tips for writing a good press release (PDF file) for the media.

I’m a bit ashamed to admit I’ve never commuted to work on my bike. It seem simple enough until I start thinking about the details:

— what time to get up (crack of dawn)
— how to transport my work clothes without:
    (a) having panniers
    (b) wanting to bother with an overstuffed backpack
    (c) looking like a wrinkled rag-a-muffin when I get to work
— where to clean up once I get to work
— making it up the hills in Cherokee Park and Seneca Park

Okay, those seem like nothing more than lame excuses, don’t they? Hmmm. Well, if I don’t figure out the details before Wednesday, I plan to at least take the bus and leave my car at home. That’s better than nothing, right?

Do you commute on your bike to work? If so, how far is your commute? Do you carry a change of clothes (panniers, backpack, etc.)? Do you have shower facilities at work?

Today’s food journal:

Breakfast:
— Chocolate, peanut butter, banana smoothie = 6.5 points

Lunch:
— Peanut butter on whole wheat = 3.5 points
— Sugar free strawberry jam = 0 points
— Fat-free, sugar-free chocolate pudding cup = 1 point
— 1 banana = 1.5 points
— Sugar-free blueberry pomegranate drink mix = 0 points

Dinner:
— Salad with Ranch dressing = 4 points
— Soft pretzel = 10 points (est.)
— Iced tea = 0 points

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( ) 

Thanks for visiting.

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5 responses

22 09 2010
Tim S

I’m gonna be honest, since increasing my commuting over the past years, I find that I like it- commuting- more than my non-commuting these days. It’s a great way to wake up, a great way to get 2 workouts in in a single day, and of course you can list all the positives.

I would say that, to make an effective commuting routine, you need the following:
panniers- I bought mine on-sale from Nashbar and they’ve worked well now for years
lights- front and rear. Anymore there are nice LED sets that work for within the city limits. You can go up to $600 if you want. My main commuter has a generator hub, which I will never part with as long as I’m city riding
layers- for winter mostly

A decent sized set of panniers can make it all SO much easier, as you can neatly fold up the work clothes and have room for lunch AND get the stuff of your back. It can be done.

The morning question, though, is personal. I’m a morning person, so I get to work around 7.00. I do have an advantageous earlymorning/afternoon commute, instead of the rush hour grind.

22 09 2010
Alice - cyclingproject365

Very good advice! Thanks Tim! I don’t have panniers yet and can’t decide whether to put a rack and panniers on my road bike since I don’t want to weight it down. I don’t ride my mountain bike much, other than errands around town, but that bike has a rack and a large-ish trunk bag which I find helpful. I find riding that bike so much more of a struggle though since it’s so heavy and clunky. Maybe I need to buy a commuting bike! 😉 I probably just need to get used to my MTB. My girlfriend has panniers on her mountain bike and loves says they really make her commute much easier. The morning thing I’m trying to get used to. 🙂
Thanks for your comment and thanks for visiting! Ride safe!

22 09 2010
Day 262: Summary of World Carfree Day « Cyclingproject365

[…] 262: Summary of World Carfree Day 22 09 2010 As I mentioned in Monday’s post, today was World Carfree Day. I didn’t plan far enough in advance to do my first bike […]

22 09 2010
Apertome

I commute by bicycle every day, regardless of weather or anything else. My wife and I share one car, and she uses it for commuting, so I really don’t have much choice. This is actually a good thing because riding to work is just part of my routine, something I always assume, always know I’ll be doing. It’s never a question. It wasn’t always that way though, at first I had the car backup option. It’s nice to have a safety net, when you’re not sure.

Anyway, how long would your commute be? When I first started commuting, my commute was less than 3 miles each way. I rode this on a mountain bike with slick tires, and it worked fine.

Now my commute is over 5 miles each way, and I ride my touring bike, a Surly Long Haul Trucker. I haven’t tried it on the old mountain bike, but I do think that the longer commute would be a real drag on that bike.

I suggest you try testing a commute route, but on a weekend, when you have plenty of time, so you can see how it goes. Maybe try it on that mountain bike, and see how it feels.

I use panniers for commuting. Some people use backpacks or messenger bags, but I don’t really like having weight on my back. Actually though I usually only use 1 pannier most of the time, it’s enough to hold what I need. Since your mountain bike already has a rack, you could easily attach panniers to it right now. The road bike would need a rack and I certainly understand the desire to keep it lightweight. A commute-specific bike might be good at some point, but I suggest trying it with what you’ve got first. You can see if you like it, and at the same time you can see what works and what doesn’t work with your current bikes, and you’ll have a much better idea what kind of commuting bike you’ll want.

23 09 2010
Alice - cyclingproject365

Thanks for your tips, Michael. I really think once I do the commute once or twice I’ll be hooked. I can’t think of a better way to start my day and end my day than with a nice bike ride through two beautiful city parks. My girlfriend commutes about 3 miles to work each way. She enjoys the low-stress ride on her bike. My ride would be about 10 miles each way which is totally do-able, especially once I get better at climbing hills in the park (I think there are only a couple though and they probably aren’t as bad as I think.)

Good idea about trying the ride on a weekend. I’ve planned to do that for the past few weeks, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I think that should be a good way to figure out the hills, and route. I hadn’t thought about trying it on my mountain bike also. Great idea. I’d prefer to use my road bike just because it’s more comfortable, but since the MTB has a rack on it already, adding panniers would be easy. Maybe switching to slick tires or at least hybrid tires would be better also. I plan to try the ride this weekend, so I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for your tips and your visit! I’ve enjoyed your photos of the beach! Looks like you had a great trip. Take care and ride safe!

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