Thursday, March 28, 2013

How do you get to work?

Every chance I get, I bike to work. I have a 2007 Women's Specialized Expedition Elite. I love it.
This is what my ride looks like, more or less:


OK, maybe a little less...over the years, I've added lights, a rack, a waterproof saddle bag, the little things that make riding safer and more convenient. (It's also not as pristine. I've taken a couple of spills, including the time that I didn't wear my prescription sunglasses, and rode directly into the side of a semi-trailer. True story. Grace is not one of my virtues, I'm afraid. Nor is 20/20 vision. Only in hindsight.)

I've wanted to expand my range, and start doing ALL of my errands by bicycle, but Boise's somewhat hilly territory, and I live on the Bench. I can haul groceries from the box store, just up the road, but I can't manage it from the places that I prefer to get our foods and stuff. So I was really, really excited to discover that EVELO is sponsoring a 30-Day Electric Bike Challenge! EVELO is a maker of excellent power-assisted bikes, perfect for commuting, errands, you name it- as they put it, "Over 1,000 miles for the cost of a gallon of gas (or 1.5 Starbucks Lattes)." And you can use 'em offroad, too! With an e-bike, you can not only expand your range- hills are no longer a problem! Legs tired? Turn on the motor! Talk about having your cake, and eating it, too!

Plus, they're cute:


I'm excited about the 30-Day Challenge because if I could afford one of these babies, I'd already have one. I'm so on-board with this. I'm really, reeeaaaallly hoping to have the chance to put my money where my mouth is. I'd love to try to do all of our errands, shopping, etc. without the car, even if it's only for 30 days. As it is, just by doing my commute on my Expedition, I save my family's budget around $100 a month. Seriously, that much. We're on a pretty limited income, so anything helps.

Boise is not currently one of the cities listed for the Challenge, but hopefully, that will change. Boise's unusual, in that cyclists are allowed to ride on the sidewalk, even where there's already bike lanes in place, which makes it the ideal place to commute on two wheels. Even where automobile traffic is perilous at best, two-wheelers have options. We're a bike-friendly city, with bicycle routes all over the place- you can literally get anywhere around here, without a car.

There are also the health benefits, for the planet, and for myself. Bicycles don't use fossil fuels, or emit harmful fumes- it's the ultimate in green-ness. Those few miles, five days a week, help to keep me fit, as I'm not an athlete, and I don't work out (unless doing "Just Dance" games with my kids counts!) Also, I find that my blood pressure's lower, and my demeanor is much, MUCH sunnier when I'm not dealing with rush-hour traffic in a car. The world looks different, on a bike. You can hear the birds singing, in the morning. And smell the flowers. And feel the wind on your face. On a bike, I'm smiling, instead of cursing like a Roman cab driver. Even when it rains.

It's the best.

Wish me luck- and take a minute to enter the 30-Day Electric Bike Challenge yourself- it could be the start of something beautiful, for you, and for the planet!

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