Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Missy's Homestead Part 8: Changing my perspective - To Bike or Not to Bike

Changing my perspective - To Bike or Not to Bike
I grew up in California so of course we had a car.  In fact my parents owned a business so we actually always had too many cars.  In most places in the the US you get around by car and big cars no less.  Since I grew up always having a car walking, biking etc. were more like fun activities you would do for recreation or for exercise.  They were not really modes of transportation.  When I moved to New York 6 Years ago I had a car and the first week I was there I got $400 worth of tickets.  In the small town where I came from moving your car for the street sweeper was a courtesy but as I found out the hard way, moving your car in New York is the Law.  Also apparently my depth perception was off  too as one of the tickets was because they said I was parked too close to a fire hydrant.  I sold my car 2 weeks after moving to the East Coast and I never needed a car while living there.  
Recently when we moved back to California we had to get a car.  Luckily for me my parents still had my grandparents car from before they passed away and were wanting to get rid of it.  I am now the proud owner of what I refer too as the HMS Buick.  A lovely 1996 Buick Century.  A very pimp'in ride if you know what I mean.  Unfortunately one car in California is usually not enough if you are a two person household.  Since my husband commutes about 30 minutes each way to and from work he really needs the car.  Since I usually work from home I don't normally need the car.  However, sometimes I need to do things around town when he is gone and that is where my perspective needed some changing.  
My bike totally buried by other bikes.  Not easy to get out.
I love to walk.  I walked several miles a day during the summer when I was growing up with my grandmother.  And in New York I did a ton of walking.  But since NYC is actually pretty small in size walking places can actually get you somewhere.  Plus than you have the Subway.  And believe you me there is nothing like being able to get around wherever you need to go in NYC just  by taking the Subway.  No other city in America can say that there public transit is better than what New York and even the tri-state have going for them.  When I was living back East I got a hybrid bike.  I used it occasionally for afternoon bike rides with my husband but I can honestly say that I never used my bike to get anywhere particular.  I just rode it for exercise or for fun.  Sure we would possibly stop along the way to eat or have a drink but it wasn't planned.  

I live in Bicycle Boulevard! What is my problem!?

Now that I usually don't have a car (and don't want to have to drive the delivery van that we have for the brewery where we work) I either have to walk places if I need to go anywhere or I have to ride my bike.  And the hard part about that is that I usually start walking places and forget I even have a bike.  Northern California overall is pretty bike friendly.  A lot of people ride their bikes where I live and I even live off of a street called Bicycle Boulevard. However, I never think of my bike as a mode of transportation to get me somewhere.  I think this needs to stop.  I need to start looking at my bike as a way to get around and do things that I want to do.  I need to start thinking of my bike not just as a recreational tool but as a convenient and environmentally friendly way of getting myself around town.  I need to have a paradigm shift in the way I look at life.   Currently my strategy is to purposefully use my bike once a week in a situation that I have previously walked in or just not gone anywhere at all.  Slowly I think I can change the way my brain works and get out there and bike with a destination in mind.   How do you make perspective changes?  Comment below and let me know. 
Until next week.  Consume more, buy less.
Cheers, Melissa

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