Going Green

September 29, 2008

Yesterday I took my car in for repairs.  It’s an old car.  A big gas-guzzling SUV, to be exact.  With rear wheel drive just to make winter driving that much more hazardous.  I asked the repair shop not to do anything to it until they could give me an estimate.  The woman called back with an optimistic and cheery voice telling me “it’s not that bad, actually”.  Relieved, I listened to her rail off the various things wrong with my truck and had almost tuned out when she said “seven-fifty-three”.  There was a long silence and then I said “seven HUNDRED?!?”.  “Yes” she replied cheerily, “seven HUNDRED and fifty-three”.  I nearly dropped the phone.  I suppose I should have seen this coming, but alas I did not.  Last fall GB and I swore that I would drive that truck for one more year and then we’d get something safer and more efficient.  However, when this fall rolled around we had simply not planned well enough to buy a new (or even used) car.

So…I spent a few hours completely stressed about it and pondering over what to do.  I really don’t want to spend ANY money on this vehicle since it’s nearing the end of its life, but GB commutes much farther than I do, and in the opposite direction, so carpooling is out.  I live in rural New England.  My work is pretty far from my house and there is no public transit out here.  And then it occurred to me…

I can bike to work.

If I ride my bike to work I will save $70 a week in gas.  That is a lot of money.  Not to mention that if I get rid of my car, I will save myself “seven-fifty-three” smackeroos in repairs (and that’s just THIS time).  I have  spent more time than I’d like to admit surfing various winter bike commuting websites and trying to establish whether this plan is feasible and have decided that it is.

I already have a great bike light and the appropriate gear for fall riding, at least.  With a month’s gas money I can probably outfit myself with sufficient gear to allow for a warm and safe commute in the snow.  And I’ll have found an easy way to maintain some of my fitness through the winter months.

Since my car is still at the repair shop, I’m going to initiate this nonsense tomorrow.  No point in prolonging the fun and I should probably start getting accustomed to leaving the house in the dark.  Now the only problem is figuring out how I’m going to transport my coffee so that I can drink it when I get to work.

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4 Responses to “Going Green”

  1. Marit C-L Says:

    What a great idea! Although winter riding (especially in NE – what happens if you get 2 feet of snow?) is hard, I know you can do it. Get a coffee machine at work – that will make a nice warm treat for after your ride. How far is the commute?

  2. Jen Harrison Says:

    Ness:
    This is a great idea! DO IT! It helps the fitness so much too! I wish I could do that..but…chicago (hence surrounded by highways) and 2 kids toting around- it will be another SUV for me…but I admire you for doing this!! yes! 🙂

  3. Beth Says:

    Water bottle holder turned coffee jug holder? I’m sure you can figure out a way!! Awesome idea. I wish I would be bold enough to do this too!

  4. Danielle Says:

    I just throw my commuter mug into the bottle holder and drink along the way… If you have any gear questions, let me know. Andrew and I commuted almost exclusively by bike for the first seven years we lived in Vermont. Good luck!!!


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