03 August 2010

living the velo life - a check in

When Nikki and I got married - a little over nine years ago - we said that we'd always try to be a one-car (or less) family. It hasn't always been easy, and for a while in the year after we got married I needed a car for the 60+ mile commute I found myself facing twice a day. I bought a beater Volvo station wagon for $800 and drove it for a few months before we bought our first house, which was a more reasonable mile from my work.

At that point, I bought the Breezer and really started my love of bike commuting, and bikes as transportation in general. At the time, we were living in Concord, New Hampshire, and most people riding bikes were doing it for exercise. A guy riding a bike loaded down with groceries, towing a trailer with an infant was a peculiar sight.

Fast-forward a few years (like, way past the two years I spent working 7pm to 2am twenty-five miles from Concord; but, because of my hours, maintaining the one-car family thing) and we've found our way to the bike mecca known as Portland, Oregon.

I ride the Breezer to work every day - roughly 12 miles roundtrip. Most of my ride takes me along the beautiful Springwater Corridor which runs parallel to the Wilamette River. I see Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Blue Herons and something like 150 other bird species, along with other bikers, runners, kayakers, tug boats and more.

We recently bought a used Bakfiets (Dutch cargo bike) and have used it for everything from grocery shopping to basic transportation of the kids all over Portland. We've owned it for almost two months now and have probably put a couple hundred miles on it. In that same time, I doubt that we've put as many miles on our car.

I've decided to keep this blog updated, so stay tuned. I promise that I won't let a nine-month lapse occur between posts.

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