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.
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) :
- A backpack to carry my nutrition/fluid and my bike gear.
- 2 locks : A very robust one to lock my bike and a smaller one acting as a theft-deterrent for my helmet.
- 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)
- 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.
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 ?