For 30 days at least. In the month of August, I will be giving up car for public transit, biking, walking, running and all other modes of transportation that don’t include a car.
This effort has a lot of benefits. Not only do I look forward to a cost-savings benefit, eliminating the need for gas, and wear and tear on my car, but also a sustainable benefit with less caustic emissions being released into the environment. On top of that, I will have the pleasure of learning the ins and outs of alternative transportation means. This includes the city of Chicago’s public transit system and safe cycling routes for me and Hot Pinkness. Oh, and there’s always walking.
The exceptions when it comes to driving my car include moving my car from one side of the street to the other, as well as in VERY extreme emergencies—such as life and death.
I’m looking forward to this challenge for a number of reasons. Obviously the cost savings is appealing. But also it will force me to figure out ways to navigate this great city without the need for my car. Being a Logan Square native will make using the CTA slightly difficult. Living along the Blue Line is limiting, and often forces the use of the dreaded bus.
I’m also hoping to realize my biking potential. I know I can bike far distances and, being the competitive person that I am, I will push myself pretty hard to attain my goals. But I want to become more reliant on on my bike as a mode of transport, turning to it instead of my car. I think this partly a comfort thing and partly a timing thing. If i become more comfortable with biking as a mode of transport, and I learn how to better time activities with bikin in mind, then that’s a win win.
Some difficulties I foresee include getting to and from work: I carry a lot of stuff back and forth, including my computer, purse and lunch. My lunch I think I could fix if on Mondays I take most of my lunch items to work in one big bag and keep in the fridge. My computer going to and fro will be fixed by switching my bag from an over-the-shoulder tote to a backpack. That will make it easier to travel. Shoes I can also carry my heels or dress shoes in my bag and wear flip flops or gym shoes.
There clearly will be an adjustment period, but I’m looking forward to navigating this challenge. So this coming Monday, my challenge begins. Wish me luck!