Bike More: Self Challenge

Here’s A Challenge : Bike More and Reduce Your Weekly Miles Driven Across the Entire Year !

Challenge yourself and your family to ride more and drive less every week – especially on those short errands around town.  Did you really need a two ton car to accomplish the task of picking-up a few pounds of merchandise?

As of 2010, 80% of Americans lived in urban areas. That large majority is fortunate to have just about every imaginable convenience within a relatively flat, one mile bicycle ride from our homes.

Within a few miles, we have doctors, dentists, banks, coffee shops, cupcake stores, grocery stores, pet shops, paint and hardware stores, bookstores, bakeries, pharmacies, barber shops, salons, swimming pools, even car dealerships.  

So why do we default to using the car every time?   Cause its comfy !





How To Bike More

Self-Challenge:  Pick a small achievable number of weekly miles or errands and strat keeping track.  Think about all the errands you run every week and identify 2-3 that could just as easily be accomplished by bike.  Start small and build.

Some tips for making it a reality:

Get A Good Basket – Local bike shops carry a nice selection of all types of baskets: front handle bar detachable baskets that can serve as a shopping basket, or rear wheel collapsible baskets that can hold bulky items.   A comfortable backpack can be invaluable on errands.

Everything in Working Order – If its been a few years since the last tune-up, take it in for a check-up and be sure that the tubes still hold air for a long period.  The bike needs to always ready and willing.

Get a Good Lock – The new cable combination locks work well.   The locks are flexible and there’s no key to lose.  Just set the combo to your birth-date for memory ease.

Keep it Accessible – Successful transition to a bicycle friendly lifestyle, depends on making sure its always accessible and ready to go – otherwise you’ll return to your old driving habits.

Stress Free Benefits  – Errands on a bicycle are actually easier, less stressful, and a healthy hassle free alternative to jumping into our over powered cars.   No parking meters to feed or finding that last parking spot on the top floor.

Bike to Work Day –  A really big day in some cities (bike to work day) The date varies by city but is usually in late Spring every year.





Map a Bike Route – Google Maps for Bikes is a big help and will help you stay on the side streets.

CO2. Emissions – Instead of driving a 20 miles per gallon Minivan around town on countless errands, let’s assume that you diverted 10 miles every month between May and October from your car to your bike.   A mini van traveling that distance spews out 600 cubic feet of CO2., enough to fill an 8 x 8 room.

Must Have Bike Accessories :

Get A Good Basket – Keeping your hands free is critical. There are all sorts of options online and at your local bike shop. Look for either front handle bar detachable baskets that can serve as a shopping basket, or rear wheel collapsible baskets that can hold bulky items.   Also, comfortable backpack can be invaluable on errands. These options are popular with our staff: Sunlite Standard Mesh Bottom Lift-Off Basket, Nantucket Stained Bicycle Basket, Retrospect Bicycles Cane Woven Rectangular “Toto” Basket, Schwann Quick Release Wire Basket, or Bushwhacker Rear Pair of Bags.

Get a Good Lock – The new really thick cable combination locks work well.   These are flexible and there’s no key to lose.  Just set the combo to your birth-date for memory ease. These options are popular with our staff:Kryptonite Kryptolok U-Lock with 4-Foot Flex Cable, Etronic Combination Cable with Lock, or Csocoweb U-Lock with Flex Loop Cable. And the ultimate, never have to worry about your bike again! – Kryptonite Keeper Integrated Chain Bicycle Lock.

So get off the couch and bike more. Give it a try, it’s a blast.  And parking is FREE.

Our editor’s suggestions on other green living articles on Green Blizzard are: Vampire Electricity, Less Meat Means Less Carbon, White Roofs, and Japan’s Energy Diet.

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About the author

Keith Blizzard

A life-long environmentalist, Keith set out on the never ending journey of adjusting his lifestyle to a more sustainable one, with a goal of annually shrinking his carbon footprint. When he looked around for a dependable source of meaningful carbon footprint reduction ideas, it was pretty lame - so he launched Green Blizzard loaded with eco-friendly lifestyle tweaks. When he's not managing Green Blizzard, you'll find him on the trails around Mid Coast Maine with his trusty trail companion mutt, Moose.