two-wheel travel :: getting around on a bike

Trail1
Biking is one thing (of many, really) that the boy and I really enjoy doing and doing together.  Where we live now, we can ride our bikes into the center of town in less than five minutes to have breakfast, and in just over 6 minutes be on the Struble Trail for a nice 12 mile bike ride on an old railroad bed.   Riding our bikes is mainly recreational for us though, not a necessity or way of life the way it is in say Amsterdam or in other bike-friendly cities in Europe.

The town we are moving to (in 30 days…eeek!) is bigger since it’s the county seat and a bit more spread out but we’ll be able to walk to work on most days, to a drugstore, a couple restaurants and a beautiful park.  But I am most looking forward to discovering the art of getting around on a bike. 

As romantic as it sounds though, most American towns have a long way to go in becoming truly bike friendly and I’m not sure if there is really any hope for American drivers in becoming more patient and tolerant of bikers.  Hummers and bikes just don’t go well together.

Grar01_livingwellI’m thinking of investing in a bike helmet.  Good idea.  And I clipped a great article from the July issue of House & Garden about bikes and accessories.  West Chester has a Saturday farmer’s market from May until December every year.  So when I saw the image at left in the mag, I immediately had visions of me on my bike on my way back home from an early Saturday morning jaunt at the market, sun shining, birds chirping and of course no cars or SUV’s honking.  How great is that black mesh Pannier?

I’ll need a rack (planetbike.com) and pannier (sunlitecycling.com, inertiadesigns.com, banjobrothers.com).  The preceding links are from House and Garden as is the photo.

In a true effort to embrace the town life, I have my car up for sale.  You’ll think it much less of a sacrifice on my part when I tell you that for the two of us we currently have three vehicles; two cars and one SUV.  In effort to save money, guzzle less gasoline and generally simplify life a bit, we felt it was necessary, especially since both of us will be able to walk to work.  I am looking forward both to having the extra money, worrying about maintenance on one less vehicle and a much less stressful commute to work.

On a side but related note, you can find out how walkable your house is at Walk Score (via Unclutterer).

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