Day stats, feel free to skip.
Miles Biked: 4
Miles in Car as Passenger, not mooched so car pool points, not even to pick me up: 25
Blog Posts in One Day: 6 (ok, ok, sometimes focusing on work is hard)
Musings of a life without a car in California, well at least San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley. Full of tips, observations and impact of automobiles on our lives. Check out the links to the right for resources and tips for reducing car usage. Get Active! Start Moving on your own energy! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Miles Biked: 4
Wow! I didn't know owning a car was so expensive. over at MSN there is a great article Should you share a car? that has some great statistics about the cost of owning a car, and some car share resources. Very nice summary.
Grand Forks, N.D.
Sioux Falls, S.D.
*The figures reflect the annual costs, including fuel, routine maintenance, tires, insurance, license and registration fees, finance charges and depreciation costs for a 2006 midsize sedan driven 15,000 miles a year for four years.
So taking a page from one of my other favorite blogs My Open Wallet and investing the $9,600 ($800/month x 12 months) saved each year, imagine how much you might have if you invested it conservatively. The article talks about reducing the dependence on foreign oil, environmental and community benefits. Could it work on a large scale?
This is a really politically incorrect post, but I really don't care. Now I am going to confess, I use to be a fatty when I was young, mostly gained when I spent a summer with cousins in LA. Through conscientious effort, I've lost a fair amount of weight, and I've seen the same in friends. It can be done. So now, I'm just mildly overweight, I know I am not out of shape but it's not like I'm the fastest person in the pool or on the road. I share this to say that there is a choice involved, and I think it has to deal with the lives we lead dictating exercise or lack off. People in cities may go to the gym, but they may not. But the act of getting from place A to B involves some expenditure of energy.
I've been talking about living car free, but one thing that I started doing when I went car free, was that I started going mostly elevator free at work. My office is on the fourth floor, and the rest of our company is on the third. I decided that as part of my fitness regimen that I would start walking up the stairs. Now it's a habit and I have a hard time waiting for the elevator at work, I normally bee line for the stairs, much to the consternation of my co-workers when we head out to lunch. As a bonus, I've probably helped built up some calves, and it's hard to say what is what in my improving stamina, but it's not that big a deal.
Today I was going through my keychain looking for my locker key at work and I realized that I have my bike rack key, my car key, and other keys that I'm not using. It's almost as if my car is another lock, now is it to keep me in or out, I can't remember. How many keys do you have related to your car?
Today I was reading sfgate.com (The San Francisco Chronicle's website) and there was a story about the future traffic congestion here in the Bay Area. Verdict from the liberterian group in the article. It's getting worse and we should abandon mass transit and build toll lanes. Very economic in thought. Monetize time and money in the equation and you can justify anything. My favorite quote is:
one of the hassles of riding a bike in the suburbs is traffic lights without traffic. now technology has improved a lot of things, and that's true of intersections where congestion control is usually not a problem. It use to be that traffic lights were pretty naive just changing based on the time. Well new traffic lights have sensors built into the roads that detect when a car is present and adjust the lights accordingly. This works great if you are a car, since they can detect them and change accordingly. Doesn't work if you are a bike since you don't trigger any lights. And you can be stuck by a light if you are law abiding, well like speeding let's just say things happen.
Today was a car infused day if any, no bike riding, no walking of meaningful distance, I once again returned to an automotive existence. My friend K is visiting from NYC and has rented a car while he is staying at my place. Since there is no way for him to jet around the S.F. South Bay area without a car and besides working from home today (which would make my transit 10 yards!), meant that I was shuttled around as we did hit the usual geek haunts, there really is not much to do down in Silicon Valley. Sad but true. The only thing better than having a car is to be chauffeured.
OK, my time in Colorado has made me a little soft. Today going to and coming back from work, dare I say it, it was a little chilly. I may have to break out the cycling tights. I think this is a summer lapse, but it is foreshadowing that summer is coming to an end. :( I shouldn't complain, my friend R use to live in Minneapolis where he biked 12 miles to work in the WINTER. Surprisingly Minneapolis comes out as one of the most friendly bicycling cities despite their winters. So I SHALL not WHINE, ok, maybe not, I'll keep it to just a little bit.
Today was a crazy and sad day. I went up to San Francisco to participate in a total waste of time. Remind me to not donate to public television for the drivel they put on during pledge week. I volunteered and got some passes to this terrible real estate wealth seminar, I paid nothing for it and I still overpaid. Thankfully, I'm a member of SFMOMA and went across the street and took a docent led tour of the permanent collection and watched a portion of Matt Barney's "Drawing Restraint 9" which also included his partner Bjork. Salvaging a day in the city.
Before I post, I usually like to look at the tenor of my past posts to set the tone for the next one. I've been talking about living a life with out a car and the struggles and blessings. I've also been interested in what Google's Ad placement algorithms (non sequiteur, my favorite constant incorrect use of words is the use of the word logarithm for algorithm. Now what is fantastic about this substitution is that the words are anagrams of each other. So perhaps the misusage isn't ignorance but the result of dyslexia, you decide). The most recent postings have been dealing with buying a car, which I have been investigating. But it misses the gist of the blog writ large. I miss the postings of cycling singles, which by terms of usage with Google AdWords I am not allowed to click, but would have on my own volition. Ironic again.
Today was an interesting day transport wise, first the stats
I was too tired to update last night, but here's the numbers from Friday 8/25
Miles Biked: 5
Ok, before I get to my next realization...
Today was a fairly typical day.
Some random thoughts.
What a wild day, today I'll go a little off topic. Today was a complete social day and as a result I had to Mooch a ton of rides to achieve my social ends. Here are the stats:
After learning to drive a manual transmission, my day was filled with the usual weekend duties. Catching up with friends, a little shopping laundry. I would try to go out this evening, but I have my annual 2 x 1 relay Mile Swim. A four year tradition that is most likely coming to an end, when my friend Phil moves to Germany. But I wish him luck, and he is my ride to the event.
Today my landlord Matt taught me how to drive a manual transmission using his car, a Honda Civic hatchback. We spent about an hour driving around a parking lot, and then I drove from the parking lot to the apartment and made it ok. I got the trick that the release of the clutch has to be very gradual right when the catch is engaged. After that, everything becomes smoother. Very Very cool to learn how to drive a stick shift, opening a lot of opportunities for different cars.
An odd consequence of riding the few miles that I have, has been that I seem to be tired more in the morning. There is no way to get my legs, especially my calves or gastrocenemeus from suffering more clinically myalgias (don't ask, it's just means muscle soreness but is a fun word to say next to schwarma). I don't know if this is a side effect that my job is incredibly dull and sendetary, or something else medically. One of those things in life that is making me go "hmmmmm...."
Today the stats are as follows:
Continuing on this morning's post about having to plan ahead. Today I walked to work, taking 30 minutes to get to work. I did this instead of riding a bike since I knew I would be going somewhere after work. I had to mooch a ride to the event, at the Sports Basement and mooch another to get home.
OK, it's 7:04 AM and the fact that I am writing a blog entry instead of in the locker room getting ready for a swim is a consequence of carlessness that I did not account for, and that's planning. A car for short distances lets you get away with doing things at the last minute, now that I have to allocate time for the simplest errands. In short, I have to plan and I'm really bad at that, after all I am a Myers-Briggs "P" person.
In an email to my friends about an OpEd piece in the New York Times about "Beyond Propaganda" by someone who worked on the British Petroleum "Beyond Petroleum" ad campaign (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/14/opinion/14kenney.html?n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fOp%2dEd%2fContributors). I wrote the following.
Dang I'm having a hard time sleeping...Must of have been the mountain of food I ate earlier.
Well it's finally happened, the Altima is Dead, Long Live the Altima!