Here's a post from Rapsodie from our Sustainable Communities Group. She is doing a 100% no car to commute challenge. Take it away Rapsodie!
Well this is officially my first blog! I've been so inspired by your blogs - i've set up a channel from the down pipe of the shed to my lemon tree (a la bathtub model), i'm very interested in the ankle support for walking and i've re-committed to the joys of lentils. Not a bad start
I like this idea of committing to a challenge to start the year. Maybe it'll give me a bit of a shake up. Although I do a fair few activities to reduce my impact on this earth, i'm busy (like everyone) and my priorities get skewed with the hustle and bustle. I don't like driving much so I've
set myself a 100% no car to commute challenge. It started off great! Work is only 5km away but i'm a bit ricketey so it takes me about 25 mins. I've allowed myself a couple of escape clauses to ensure it would all go to plan. Firstly I'm allowed to catch the bus if its 35 degrees or more - don't want to get too hot and bothered. Secondly if i'm meeting someone in town after
work, I can catch a ride with them in their car home. My usual pattern for work is I ride my bike 1 - 2 times a week, catch the bus once (usually when i have a meeting in town) and drive a couple of times. I live in Stepney and work on South Terrace - so the car journey always seems like the
quickest and easiest - a 10-15 minute journey in peak hour plus a ten minute walk from the 4 hour parks. All up about 20 minutes from front door to desk. I have to move my car at lunchtime to another park which is another 20 minute walk round trip. The bus stop is about 10 minutes walk and then another 5 minutes at the other end and the journey is about 30-35 minutes so
all up a journey of about 55minutes - 1 hour.
So Monday went beautifully. Spent about an hour packing the bike. It's like i'm touring. I've got the work outfit, my lunch, the water bottle, bike lock and the kitchen sink. The lemon scented gums were at their finest - the early morning air transformed by the subtle wafts of eucalyptus
lemon. Galahs and parrots were everywhere and it just felt good to be outside and feeling my body work. I'm very lucky, my journey takes me along Osmond Tce down Victoria St across Victoria Park and on to South Terrace - very leisurely. It feels so good to be starting this challenge - when i arrive at work I feel invigorated and calm.
I don't usually ride 2 days in a row so Tuesday was a tad harder - I had to stop at the servo and pump up my front tyre (probably the touring load was getting out of hand) - and by Wednesday I wondered whether perhaps I wasn't as young as i used to be. I needed to pick up a couple of things at the supermarket on the way home on Wednesday - strangely this was much easier
than i expected it to be. It was quite hot (about 34 degrees) and I had to ride a bit further and carry a bit more on my already overloaded bike (minus lunch) but it was easy albeit that i had to unpack all my 'stuff' onto a trolley and cart it around with me while i shopped.
Thursday was bus day (39 degrees) - it was lovely and cool on the bus. I didn't get a seat until town but I always love watching all the people on the bus trying to imagine what their mornings have been like and how they're going to spend their days.
To my enormous disappointment - Friday I failed in my challenge. The plumber came early to do the final bits to connect my rainwater tank to the toilet and he struck a cracked pump head. This was my downfall. Unfortunately he didn't finish til 10.10am and it was 39 degrees - so it was
bus day but not an hour to spare to get to work. Always with these sort of personal challenges its tempting to chuck it all in at the first failure but I'm wise to this and I'm going to get back on the bike (after the 43 degree bus day on Monday!).
I'll keep you posted on how things go. I think i'll need a good book this month because i can see a lot of bus days coming up.