RRR – Ride & Run & Ride

About a year ago, I read an interesting article written by Ellie Greenwood about being “self-propelled“. It immediately caught my attention as I typically try my best to use my bike/bus/train/legs to move myself in my daily errands.

I had been living car-free until several years ago. I saved a ton of money and hassle but I have to admit that some tasks required more organizations and time.

VLUU L100, M100 / Samsung L100, M100
Back in college, Manu and I coming back from the grocery store. He had the great idea of using duct tape and a broom to be able to carry back all the groceries. 2009

While I would prefer not to own any car, it would not be possible to accomplish all of our family activities without it (we do the groceries by bike as a family from time to time though!). That being said, as a family of 3, we try to limit our car usage to a minimum and as a matter of fact, we haven’t driven our van for several weeks now as we keep it for our adventure runs, camping and road trips.

As I always try to explore new trails, I sometimes feel guilty of driving 100+ miles to run 20-30 miles and I try to limit my trips as I don’t want to end up spending more time sitting in my car than actually running. But as I easily get bored of the running routes around our home, I use my bike to reach local trails.

Today, I explain how to combine a weekend long run without the use of any car. I will take the bike as the transportation mode but one could use the bus/Rollerblades…etc.

  • First, you need to plan how you will carry all your belongings on the bike and while running. If you have access to a locker, of course that is the best case but as I usually run in the wilderness, there is no such thing available

I usually make sure to have the following items (see on the photo below) :

  1. A backpack to carry my nutrition/fluid and my bike gear.
  2. 2 locks : A very robust one to lock my bike and a smaller one acting as a theft-deterrent for my helmet.
  3. A small toolkit. In case you get a flat or other mechanical issue (I plan on doing a dedicated post soon on my recommendation for what to carry in a toolkit)
  4. A cell phone in case you’re not able to ride your bike back due to a major mechanical failure or simply if you don’t find your bike when you finish your run!
  • Your bike: the crappier it looks, the better it is. Indeed, a crappy bike can be a great theft-deterrent. I used to have an old mountain bike on which I would only perform the basic maintenance. I used it for grocery shopping and mainly short commutes. I owned it for 15+ years until I donated it to a family member so he could commute to work.
  • You need to make sure that you can lock your bike close to the trailhead. A tree can work but an appropriate bike rack is the best.

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Riding my bike not only allows me to reach my trailhead without spending any money on gas, it also provides a great warm-up as well as a good recovery after my run.

Go ahead and move car-free !

Do you already practice car-free activities ? How do you blend this lifestyle into your daily life ? What other advantages do you see by doing do ?

2 thoughts on “RRR – Ride & Run & Ride

  1. Hi Frederik,

    Nice post! I totally agree with your sentiment and I have lived the “bicycle lifestyle” for my entire life (starting at about 3 years of age). I have managed to use a bicycle for transportation to and from school, classes in college and graduate school, in my time as a post doc, and when I established a career as a scientist. The key to being able to accomplish this, at least for me, is in choosing where one lives- not what city or town but in what proximity to your school, college, or workplace. Choosing a house, apartment, or whatever abode that facilitates the ability to cycle or walk or use bus/rail for transportation is critical to being able to have a car-free (or car-minimum) lifestyle. But here in the US the “suburban ideal” lifestyle (big house in a “pop-up” neighborhood off the interstate) dominates and, as a result, people are way out in areas that can only be safely accessed via automobile. There is a movement towards a more accessible living style in the US, but we a long way to go. It all comes down to one’s value system, in particular- are possessions more important than convenience and sustainability. For me it has always been the latter.

    btw, I routinely do a R&R&R workout by riding to the base of Baldy here in Sun Valley, run up the 1000 m climb, run down, and ride back home. It’s a staple!

  2. Robert,

    I am glad to hear that you also regularly practice 3R or R&R&R. You’re right, “car-minimum” is a better term for what I was trying to express in this post.
    You also made a great point, and personally, I have chosen to DO things instead of TO HAVE things.

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