Cycling & Driving

On Sunday I needed to borrow my mum’s car to get some heavy bags of compost etc for the garden. Something that I am still not apt in carrying on my bike.

I don’t own a car, not since four years ago, as Manchester has a great public transport system (not a cheap system mind you!) and owning a car to be used once a fortnight was just silliness. I reckon I save about £1000 (or more) a year by not having a car, as I save on petrol, insurance, road tax, MOT and yearly services.

I am not against driving, I just reckon that if one lives in a city/town that offers good public transport system (and can commute easily to work by bike or buses/trains) then it makes more sense to make good use of it than owning a car just for the sake of it, or worse to prove a status quo.

When I need to I hire a car, or for short trips for heavy stuff (week end usually) to the garden centre or Ikea etc then I borrow my mum’s car.

So on Sunday I needed the car, I thought to catch a bus to mum’s, instead I decided to cycle (it’s only a 3 mile short trip anyway). I highly recommend cycling on a Sunday morning especially for inexperienced cyclists, as the roads are pretty quite and so it is possible to gain more confidence cycling around with a fewer number of cars, and build on from there.

When the roads are this quite panda shots are much easier, much fun and you don’t risk your life!!

You can take views from your flowery basket, immortalise a fellow female cyclist on her way to the supermarket with her super panniers, and nod to fellow cyclists as we are all going about our life in a leisurely way.

The great thing of cycling on a regular basis is that when you do drive you are much more aware of other cyclists on the road. I notice how much calmer and conscientious I am! And I am also much more aware of how quicker it is to get places by bike!

Although I enjoy driving, I enjoy cycling more. I forget how stressful and frustrating it is, to get stuck in traffic jams in a car, while by bike that is a problem that just doesn’t exist!

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3 responses to “Cycling & Driving

  1. If you find you want to transport more stuff by bike on a regular basis, a cargo bike might be a good idea. I use a Yuba Mundo but there are lots more, including the Bakfiets which has a large cargo box in the front. Dutch mums use them to take the kids on errands and to school etc. Its also useful if you want to take someone else a short distance too. The rated loads for these bikes is in the 200 kg + range.

    • eheh don’t get me started on cargo bikes 🙂 I would have shipped back a lovely nihola (if I had my way) from Copenhagen last year. Although I don’t know how Manchester drivers would react to that… two wheels throw them enough, let alone three with a box at the front!

      I’d like to try a Bakfiets, I think I have seen one at the Bicycle Doctor (I have seen a bike like a Yuba Mundo there too! or was it yours?)… I don’t know how balance would work for me especially starting off at the lights. Dottie of LGRAB test rode one once and she had only praises for it.

      We have a trailer though, that PB uses very often, it has served us well on the many trips to B&Q.

  2. Hi – I went car-free about 2 1/2 years ago, and my friends & family thought I was crazy….! But I have really enjoyed getting around by bike and the “slow life”, instead of zipping around in a car and getting caught in traffic jams. Getting around by bike is a stress-free lifestyle, as you know. 🙂 I recently bought a flat-bed trailer that I can attach to any of my bikes, and it can haul up to 150 lbs.

    I can rent a car or use a car from the car-sharing service available (called Zipcar), when I REALLY need a car, but it’s expensive, so I try to avoid that. Anyway, I’m always glad to get back on my bike after being in a car…. 🙂

    Charmaine

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