Saturday, September 29, 2012

15-year Anniversary

As September, 2012, goes into the books, I celebrate fifteen years since I last drove a car to work, which was sometime during the month of September 1997.

To put that into perspective... that was a couple years before "Y2K."  Google just celebrated its 14-year anniversary.  My father passed away in 1998 - I haven't driven to work since he's been gone.

And no - I didn't hang up the car keys "cold turkey"... I'd been riding my bicycle for the vast majority of my work trips since 1986.  I just hadn't kept track day-by-day, month-by-month, before '97.

In late 1996, I bought a shiny new motorcycle - a Harley-Davidson XL1200S Sportster.  (Dang, I loved that bike!)  And as 1997 began, I decided to keep a log of what transportation I used to get to work.  (I'm still maintaining that log.)  That year I drove a car 3 times, rode the motorcycle 58 times, took the bus 4 times, and rode the bicycle the rest.

In 1998, I rode the motorcycle 42 times, took the bus 3 times, and bicycled the rest.  No car.

1999 - motorcycle 49, bicycle the balance.
2000 - motorcycle 24, bus 1, bicycle the balance.  (2000 was the year I sold the Sportster, and bought my Dyna Glide, which I'm still riding.)
2001 - motorcycle 22, bus 1, bicycle the balance.
2002 - motorcycle 8
2003 - motorcycle 3
2004 - motorcycle 2
2005 - motorcycle 2

Since 2006, I've ridden the motorcycle twice (in August 2009... hmmm...), and I've ridden the bus a few times.

At some point in the past - looking at the numbers, it was probably in 2001 - I was trying to encourage more bicycle riding among my family members.  And my bride said, "Well, you're a hypocrite, because you don't ride your bike everywhere."  She obviously didn't understand my encouragement, and I was probably doing a bad job of it.  I'm not very persuasive.  But I'm rather stubborn - I'm sure I thought to myself, "Well, I'll show her!"

For many years now, my bicycle is my default mode of transportation, and I use it unless there's a compelling reason not to.  (Usually distance, passenger capacity, hauling capacity, or weather.  Occasionally I'm just a lazy bum like everybody else.)

But I can't drive to work any more!  Can't break the streak!  (And besides... no car!)

1 comment:

Clancy Anderson said...

Congrats... commuting for you is "As easy as riding a bike"