Sunday, March 14, 2010

Give up your car for a year challenge

The Bike Lane has challenged area cyclists to go car-free for a year.
The Bike Lane is taking applications from people who are ready to go by bike and want to tell the world about the benefits and challenges of doing so. The person who stands out as the most committed, most challenged by giving up their car, and has the most desire to make it happen will earn a new Trek Ride+ commuter bike; decked out with a rack, panniers, and lights. The Bike Lane will also provide you with some clothing, riding gear, and commuting support to make things a little easier.

Applicants must agree to commit to using a bike for at least 80% of their transportation needs, to blog and use other social media to journal about their experience at least 3 times a week, and to track and report how many miles per week are used going by bike.
You also get a free one year Zipcar membership. Visit The Bike Lane website to apply before April 17.

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This seems like one of the better "car-free challenges" that I've seen. The problem I have with many of them is that the participant locks up the car in the garage for a month or two, but continues to make payments on it, buy insurance, etc. One of the best benefits of being car-free is the monetary benefit. When all you're not buying is fuel, the savings are much less than you would otherwise realize.
Fantastic! I cheer on all bikers and others who would try this challenge.

I have been car-free for over 20 years. I walk, bike, and take the bus and other transit to get around.

Being car-free can be done. There are a few quick pointers I could give: 1) if possible, live as close as possible to your regular destinations, or along a good route (bike path/direct bus route) to them; see; 2) shop regularly so that you stock up on your non-perishable foods and can make regular walks to a decent grocery store or farmers' market or public market; use online shopping for many supplies to avoid big box stores in the burbs; 3) be flexible to use different transit modes as needed--know your local transit system and have tickets for it and a map of the system with you--know which buses take bikes; check on regional bus lines, train connectiones, etc; see

Have fun!

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