Posts Tagged bikes

Time to hit the road…

I wrote a few weeks ago how, through the wonder of Freecycle, I had got myself a 2nd hand bike-absolutely free.

Well, now it’s time to use it. The delay? I needed to get hold of new lights, a helmet and chain to make it road worthy, but I’ve now tested it out, and from tomorrow, I will be a commuting cyclist!

It’s going to cut my carbon emissions down significantly as my car does many miles a week.

But, unlike what I wrote last month, it doesn’t look like it’ll save me much money. I’m keeping the car for the occassional long journey to see family and friends. That means it needs to be taxed (£66 for 6 months) and insured (£42 a month).

Can’t win ’em all eh, but at least it keeps me green!

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From four wheels to two wheels…

“When I see a person on a bicycle, it gives me hope for the human race” (H.G. Wells)

This week I’m saying goodbye to this….

My beautiful (but polluting and expensive) Nissan Micra

My beautiful (but polluting and expensive) Nissan Micra

…and hello to this!

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My new "duel suspension" mountain bike!

Yes, it was one of my first aims on my “Green Manifesto” last week, and I’ve wasted no time in getting this one sorted.

In his inspiring book “365 Ways to Change the World” the author Michael Norton talks about all the benefits of taking to the saddle, including saving petrol, not giving your hard earned cash to evil oil companies…and flying through rush hour traffic.

Instead of driving the 1.5 miles to walk, from next week I’m going to cycle it instead, reducing one of my major carbon emissions down to zero.

And environmental benefits aside, this is a massive money saver. My car currently costs £40 a month, just in tax and insurance and another £60 a month on petrol.

I acquired the bike off the website Freecycle – a phenomenon I discovered about 2 years ago, which is steadily becoming more popular. It’s management system – through Yahoo Groups – is cumbersome though, and I think it would benefit from a Gumtree type design.

But still, it got the job done. I posted a message a week ago saying “WANTED: men’s bicycle”. And within days someone contacted me. I didn’t pay a penny for this bike and it’s in excellent condition.

Now to buy a helmet and revise my Highway Code……..

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Giving up the car…

One of my biggest aims in my fight against apathy this year is to change my lifestyle and end my reliance on my car.

I’m pretty sure I can do it (and I’ll keep you updated here!), and after my forthcoming move, I plan to join the ranks of the cyclist!

But how many other people are joining in?

Worrying new research, published yesterday suggests not many. According to research by the AA, our cars are one of the last things we’d ever consider giving up. According to their research, the average person would rather give up:

  • Drinking, 15%
  • Holiday, 15%
  • Flat screen TV, 14%
  • Smoking, 11%
  • Favourite food, 7%
  • Pet, 4%
  • Computer, 3%
  • Job, 3%
  • Spouse/partner (!), 3%
  • Favourite pastime, 2%

If we’re going to have a big impact on climate change, more people are going to have to sacrafice their wheels. It doesn’t look good! But at the same time, research in the news today hints bike retailers are doing rather well out of the credit crunch….

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