Two Years With out A Automobile – Bicycle Touring Professional

by jpc_touring-bicycle

Two years in the past I donated my automotive to charity and since that point I’ve been utilizing my bicycle as my primary technique of getting round. At about this time two years in the past, I wrote an article and even produced a bit video about my automotive – a 1992 Ford Explorer (image above). If you need to be taught extra about my automotive and why I gave it away, click on right here to learn my article from two years in the past.

This text, nevertheless, is about life with out a car. It’s been two years now since I had a automotive to name my very own, and life since then has definitely modified.

Since I wrote that article in October of 2008 I’ve spent 9 months touring by way of Europe, a complete winter snowboarding within the mountains of Utah, and only in the near past I’ve bought a motorbike as a substitute for a automotive, however as a way of going quicker and additional than I may ever go on a bicycle.

Earlier than I get into the motorbike and all of that nevertheless, I ought to first talk about my preliminary response to making a gift of my automotive. After I wrote that article about giving my automotive away again in 2008, I had but to really go with out the car. Now, nevertheless, it’s been two years… and it’s fascinating to look again and see how completely different my life actually is.

The day my automotive was taken away was a tragic one. On the time, I used to be working simply at some point every week at a close-by mattress retailer and the day the tow truck was scheduled to return and get my automotive was the identical day I wanted to work on the retailer. So, I parked my automotive out on the road the place the tow truck driver may simply discover it, left the doorways unlocked, and positioned the automotive key below the ground mat on the drivers’ aspect of the car. I then referred to as the tow firm and informed the tow truck driver the place to choose up the car and the place to seek out the important thing. I then walked to work that day and after I returned residence later, my automotive was gone!

This was a really unusual feeling – returning residence and seeing that my automotive was now not there. Although I knew that they’d be taking my automotive, returning residence and seeing that it was gone felt like a kick within the abdomen. It felt like I had been robbed… and I feared that I had made a really dangerous choice.

I keep in mind being afraid, considering that I may have presumably decided I might very quickly remorse. I noticed that not having a automotive would restrict me in some ways, however knew that not having it might additionally free me up in others. So at this time limit, I used to be simply very nervous concerning the future and I used to be not sure as as to whether or not I might have the ability to survive with out a car of my very own.

The primary month with out my automotive was the toughest. There have been quite a few occasions after I wished to only bounce in a car and go someplace, however I couldn’t. This is able to normally occur at night time after I’d get a yearning for ice cream and didn’t have any in the home. After I had my automotive I might usually occasions bounce in and drive to the native grocery store, choose up some ice cream, after which return residence to devour the ice chilly deal with whereas sitting on my couch. However with out my automotive, making a brief journey to the grocery store turned a complete lot harder.

After some time, nevertheless, I received used to not having my automotive. Actually, I really discovered that I used to be consuming higher as a result of I wasn’t making these impulsive ice cream runs… and I used to be saving a complete lot of cash as a result of I used to be now not paying for gasoline, insurance coverage, upkeep, and so forth.

After two months with out my automotive, I flew to California to stick with my household for some time. Then, on the second to final day of December, 2008, I jumped on an airplane and flew to Zurich, Switzerland for the beginning of a 9-month bike tour by way of 16 completely different European nations.

I’ve written lots about my bicycle touring adventures in Europe already, so I received’t discuss it once more… however what’s essential to notice right here is that I used to be capable of efficiently journey for 9 months straight and canopy hundreds and hundreds of miles with out a car of my very own.

To get round Europe I rode my bike, walked a whole bunch of miles on foot, took 35 completely different trains, and I did hitch just a few rides in vehicles whereas I used to be there (4 to be precise). In Europe, I didn’t miss my automotive one bit… and I used to be glad to not be paying the outrageous charges that Europeans need to pay for his or her Petrol. We expect we’ve it dangerous right here in America. Europe and lots of different locations around the globe have it some time lot worse! Be completely happy you’re solely paying $3.00 per gallon.

After I returned from Europe in late September 2009, I returned to my residence in Park Metropolis, Utah and returned to my life with out an vehicle. My bicycle was as soon as once more my sole technique of transportation and I’ve been dwelling fairly comfortably for the final a number of months with out a automotive of any form.

The factor is, I don’t miss my automotive in any respect. There are occasions after I want I had a automotive (primarily when buddies or household come to go to and I’ve no technique of driving everybody round), however 99% of the time I’m completely content material getting round by bike and bus (I reside in a ski resort city the place there’s a free bus service that runs all 12 months lengthy that may take you nearly anyplace on the town, so I’m fortunate on this regards).

That stated, I do reside up within the mountains in a considerably remoted metropolis. The closest massive metropolis (Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah) is about 30 miles away and greater than 2,000 toes in elevation under me. That implies that if I wish to go to Salt Lake Metropolis I’ve to experience my bike for about 3 hours down an extended, descending mountain move… after which experience again uphill for a number of extra hours. It’s just about not possible to go to Salt Lake Metropolis and again in a single day by bike… and due to the large elevation acquire, it definitely isn’t any enjoyable.

So, that’s why I  just lately determined to buy a motorbike.

Now I do know that there are some folks on the market who will say {that a} motorbike is not any higher than a automotive, however let me clarify to you why I made a decision to get a bike within the first place.

Initially, I used to be turned on to motorcycling someday turning my journey by way of Europe final 12 months. In nations like Montenegro and Greece it appeared like everybody had a motorbike… and in locations like this the place the vehicles had been usually occasions parked on the sidewalks, a motorbike actually did look like one of the best ways to get round.

Plus, bikes for probably the most half get wonderful gasoline mileage. The motorbike that I bought (a Kawasaki KLR 650) will get about 55 miles per gallon, whereas my outdated Ford Explorer SUV was getting near 12 miles per gallon. Since I’ve had my motorbike I’ve pushed greater than 1,200 miles and it has value me lower than $65 in gasoline. Filling up my outdated automotive used to value me $50 or extra each time I stuffed it up… and that will solely carry me for about 200 miles. So the gasoline and cash financial savings with a motorbike has been vital.

The ultimate motive I wished a motorbike is as a result of despite the fact that it has a motor on it, it’s nonetheless a bicycle. I wished to get a motorcycle (a bike) that I may drive lengthy distances with, that I may tour on, and that will be able to driving on each paved and non-paved surfaces. The Kawasaki KLR 650 that I bought is ideal for precisely that sort of using!

I don’t wish to speak an excessive amount of about bikes, as a result of that’s not what this text is absolutely about. I ought to say, nevertheless, that since getting the motorbike I’ve been capable of go to locations I’ve by no means gone to earlier than, just because my vary has elevated by leaps and bounds. And but, I must also say that the motorbike has by no means changed my bicycle as my primary technique of transportation. My bicycle nonetheless reigns supreme on this regards. When working errands, I take my bicycle. When choosing up meals from the grocery store, I experience my bicycle. After I simply have to get out of the home after an extended day of labor, I experience my bicycle. The motorbike sits a lot of the time and I normally solely experience it after I have to go someplace that’s exterior the doable vary of my bicycle.

I may go on and on right here, however the level I’m attempting to make is that this: Life with out a automotive isn’t as tough as you would possibly suppose. There are occasions after I want I had a automotive, however these moments are few and much between. More often than not I’m not solely completely happy with out a car of my very own, nevertheless it’s been so lengthy now since I final had a automotive that it’s now not one thing I even take into consideration.

Working errands and dwelling a traditional life with a bicycle as your sole technique of transportation isn’t solely doable, it’s an awesome, enjoyable, and wholesome method to reside.


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Two Years With out A Automobile – Bicycle Touring Professional  
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