The Car-Free Month

It's The Cabinet Man again. Long time no post.

We gun nuts are so often accused of being mono-topic drolls, incapable of interests outside of rolling naked in piles freshly reloaded ammunition. But just like most folks, we actually enjoy other pursuits at times. For me, well, I'm a bicycle freak. I yoosta be a USCF flunky and had grand aspirations for racing the RAAM. I once competed in the Eagleman (Half-)Ironman Triathlon as the bicycle leg of a team. My greatest bragging rights, though, lie in my completion of the 4400-mile TransAm Trail that runs from Virginia to Oregon. I rode that solo -- and unsupported -- in 1998. While my ambitions are far tamer than they were a decade ago, I still enjoy throwing a leg over the top tube and grinding out the miles.

(And I'm not the only bicycling gun-nut. Tam and Xavier are two more examples...)

So the Missus and I are gonna' try this whole bicycle-to-work (-grocery store, -gun shop, -porn outlet) for a month. In May.


Fair question. It'd be easy to say that we're tree-hugging Earth First'ers that want to save the planet and be a good example to Gaia-loving bipeds everywhere. Or that we like making Arab oil shieks pissy! But that'd be 180-proof blatherskype. (Well, maybe there's some truth to that last one...)

In all honesty, we just like riding our bicycles. And we have a couple of them:

(Yes, that's a titanium Litespeed you're drooling over, blessings and praises be upon it...)

I recently picked up the TerraTrike Tour (TTT) tadpole recumbent for me:

and a BOB trailer off Craig's List for the Missus:

(I have an old Rev 1.0 BOB for myself. The Missus doesn't wanna' haul all the groceries...)

So with all that, we wanna' ride!

We plan to use this car-free month as a springboard for developing better ride-to-____ habits. Just as importantly, we're hoping the commitment will result in more pedal time and less waistline. I need to shed about three stones and the last time I decisively lost tonnage was when I was riding religiously for 10+ hours a week. (20+ hours, actually, but we gotta' start some where...)

I'll probably split my time between the TTT and my beloved Cannondale T2000, the latter being my trusty TransAm steed. The TTT is a blast to ride and the very definition of comfortable. It's an imperfect solution, though. It's so low to the ground that I get the wiggins in heavy traffic. It climbs a bit slower than my two-wheelers but the Missus likes that since I don't drop her on the hills. She'll be riding her GT mountain bike that we've fitted with road tires. We'll both be towing the BOBs on grocery day.

There will be some exceptions to "riding everywhere". We have obligations to our local gun club that can't be fulfilled by bicycle. Hauling hundreds of pounds of steel plates under human power is entirely out of the question. As is the 240-mile round trip to The Property. The Missus isn't keen on riding to the base of the Manitou Incline for our weekly summiting, so that's probably an exception as well. But everything else is fair game: work, groceries, dentist and Sportsman's Warehouse.

I'll try to keep the posts coming on our progress and failures. At least once a week. Check back early and often!



jed said...

+1 to your count of cycling gun nuts.

I don't have anything near as nifty as those, but it gets me around when I want to ride. I'm a bit out of shape right now, but that'll change as the weather improves.

I did the car-free thing for about 6 months once -- not exactly by choice. I was certainly glad I was able to get a car come November. Fortunately, the grocery was a short ride away, so more frequent trips with just a couple saddle bags worked fine.

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