The simple pleasure of bike errands

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.  – John F. Kennedy

PCO Joan

 One of the joys of our new home is that our new location is a mile or so from downtown and right near the bike paths or lanes.
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I WFH full-time now, and the only time we take the truck is for our outdoor trips.

Joan commutes almost daily by bike through red rock canyons and over the Colorado River to Arches. Not a bad morning!

Photos c/o Joan from her morning commute to Arches along the Moab Canyon Bike Path.

We bike to see our friends in town, do quick pickups, errands, etc.

We find it relaxing, less stressful, “free exercise,” and quicker than dealing with the sometimes crazy traffic in our little desert town. We used to bike for errands where we lived in the past, and I think we both missed it. Often, it’s quicker to hop on a bike to get places than drive through town.

The bikes we purchased are nothing fancy. We bought “townie” or “hybrid” bikes because, for us bicycling is transportation more so than recreation. Though we arguably live in one of the mountain bike capitals of the world, we find we’d instead hike for recreation. The local bike shops tend to sell road and mountain bikes well outside our budget and needs, too.

Joan has the standard REI town bike that works well enough with tires more on the mountain bike side of the equation. I went with a bike I assembled more on the road-bike side of hybrid. Doesn’t matter all that much, in the end. Any similar bike works well. I learned of a local and somewhat new community bicycles program that sells refurbished bikes for a reasonable price here in town. I’d have gone with them if I had known before! Similar programs exist in many towns, too.

For the past few months, we have made our bikes a part of our daily lives. And use the cars less and less.

We do most of our daily errands with a cargo rack and some detachable panniers. The panniers, in particular, work exceptionally well for us at just the right size for a daily commute or a large bag of groceries.

Carries an NPS uniform AND hat, too. PCO Joan.

In short, most of our weekly transportation needs get met by bike.

The exception? Our once-a-week central grocery pickup. 

However, it seems silly to start the truck, drive, get stuck in tourist traffic, park, dodge cars in the crowded parking lot, etc. All for apples and spinach! 😃
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So with Joan working this past Sunday, I put together a simple bike trailer meant for children but works well for getting groceries for two.

We do not plan on bike touring or towing children, and this entry-level trailer should work well enough for my fewer than five-mile round trip errands in town once or twice a week when I need more cargo capacity for biking. The Burley, a benchmark carrier in this class, is not only more expensive but more than we need.

It did not take long to put it together at all. And I wanted to pick up some food for dinner, too.

Time to take it out for a quick resupply run.

Success!

And today? I did a full load and am pleased to report that getting groceries makes for a more enjoyable time when you can bike to the store.

I biked into the pickup lane, received a bemused look from the person dropping off the groceries, and then biked back home in less than thirty minutes from when I left my door and back. And without worrying about the congested parking lot.

More than saving money on gas, or even the exercise, it is the efficiency and practicality I’ve enjoyed about biking where we live.

Joan’s trusty 2005 Honda hybrid just turned 200k miles recently. But when it finally needs to get replaced (it’s a Honda, so who knows when!), I see us as a one-vehcile household. Even if fuel prices go down again, I don’t see car prices going down, and I think $30k+ for a new vehicle could get better spent elsewhere.

Nothing like living in a town of 5k or so people that gets up to 3 million visitors to incentivize NOT driving through it! 😜

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M.B.
M.B.
4 months ago

Big pile of awesome right there!

Bike commuting for errands and things like groceries can really improve ones quality of life.