Our Fleet of “Company Cars”
I post a fair amount of content on Instagram featuring our family’s fleet of bikes, which we affectionately refer to as our “Company Cars.”
Most of the time I’m simply offering glimpses into our daily routines and lifestyle habits— rarely do I discuss WHY we bike so much and drive so little.
First, I should state outright that pedaling here-and-there as a family like we do is a mix of planning and privilege. This lifestyle works for us because of a myriad of factors that don’t apply to everyone.
Yes, we go out of our way to accommodate the mildly inconvenient realities of biking, such as waking up earlier, carving out more time, bringing changes of clothes, awkwardly carrying bulky cargo, wandering around events or this crowded city with a trio of helmets fastened to our belt loops, etc.
But these are things we are privileged to have the opportunity to do. We are able-bodied, we do not have to commute for work, and we live in an agreeable climate year-round.
In other words, we’re on no pedestal about our bikes > cars mentality. My goal in this blog entry is merely to share why we bike, and what it means to us.
In a recent article from the Climate Fwd: Newsletter offered by The New York Times, we learned that if Americans cut back on their driving habits just 10%, we can have a big and meaningful impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Light-duty vehicles (which are basically the models used for everyday life) account for about 1/5th of our country’s total emissions footprint, and more than 1/3 of all car trips are within 2 miles. If those who are able to do so use public transportation, bikes or simply rely on walking instead, a 10% decrease in driving would prevent about 110 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering our atmosphere.
Family Activity or Solo Relaxation
We’ve found biking— both as a family (with the pups included) and solo— to be such a therapeutic and enjoyable activity. Unlike an errand in the car, a bike ride (with or without an end goal) is a wonderful way to be more engaged within our community and aware of its current state. West and the pups clearly delight in the sights we encounter while out. And when Adam and/or I bike alone or as a couple, it’s a wonderfully refreshing way to get outside and clear our minds.
I find it extremely hard to allot time in our schedule for working out. We don’t have a nanny or a babysitter or family nearby, nor do we have help with our small business. Because of these realities, it’s tough to find a chunk of time in which we’re available for something other than work, life’s necessities or childcare. (I’m not complaining— just sharing.) Biking has been a great way to stay active and get our heart rates up on a daily basis without having to hire assistance.
In L.A. (and in other cities in which I’ve lived and biked), cycling has a lot of perks. Due to heavy auto traffic, biking is often more time-savvy and efficient than driving on local roads, and there’s always a place to park easily, quickly and for free. Plus it’s a great way to get unplugged. (Yes, we should ALL be unplugged when on the road, but when I look around I see just how many drivers are glued to their smartphones in traffic, and it’s terrifying. As such, ALWAYS WEAR YOUR HELMET! I love my Bern, and West and Adam are into their magnetic-clasp Nutcase helmets.)