Rising fuel prices is something that affects us all, no matter what country we live in. Fuel has always been nearly 4 times higher here in Europe than it is in the US so things like bikes, trains, buses, and even walking, have always been common forms of transportation. We’ve wanted to do away with our car for a long time now, not only because of the high fuel prices but just because we hate being tied down with a car and everything that comes as a result of owning one. Now that we are paying $9.50 a gallon here for fuel, we have re-doubled our efforts and are only using the car when absolutely necessary.
Since I work at home, we only really need the car for the weekly grocery shopping, or for when we need to transport something big, or the occasional trip out of town. Peer also uses it to get to work.
It was about 4 years ago that we bought our bikes, it was a first step toward our dream of someday becoming totally car-free. Peer now rides his bike fairly often to work which is about 10 miles from here but the problem is that it is so easy to revert to the car when faced with things like cold, rainy and icky weather or just when you are feeling tired and don’t wanna pedal. But he keeps at it and eventually he hopes to be able to ride his bike to work every day with only the occasional exception.
Last week we took our next step toward becoming car free. We bought a bike trailer.
The trailer is fairly lightweight and sturdy. It weights about 25lb. It should hold up to 6 full grocery bags which is much more than we need in a week. The front and back will collapse so we can carry things that are longer and the whole thing collapses for storage. Peer has ridden a bit with it and says he doesn’t really notice the weight or that it is even back there. We’ll see how it goes with our first shopping experience. We have 2 grocery stores that are within about 6 miles of us, the only difficulty is that they are both down hill from our house meaning that the trip home will not only include more weight, but will be more strenuous and might even require that he gets off and does a bit of pushing at the steepest parts…it will certainly take a bit of training.
As for me and my bike? Well, I am definitely out of shape so no trailer pulling for me until I do quite a bit of training…I plan to work on it though! :O)