Look. Over there in your garage. Behind that pile of old cardboard boxes from your last move. Or maybe under a dusty old drop cloth. It’s your bicycle.
Clear away those old boxes and stick them in your recycle bin. Pull that bike out, dust it off and throw a leg over it. Do you remember how fun it was to ride when you were a kid, before you ever dreamed of owning or driving a car? It’s still fun, and it’s an easy, healthy and environmentally responsible way of getting around town.
I often use my bike to take the kids to the park in a trailer, run to the library or to go to the store to pick up something. A backpack is all that is needed for most errands, but with the addition of a basket or a rack, a bike can be very useful.
Maybe your old bike has some flat tires, or the chain has succumbed to rust. There are now bicycle co-ops in town that, for a small yearly fee, supply very inexpensive parts and even help you build the skills to maintain your existing bike or even build one.
If you don’t have a bike right now, you don’t necessarily need to go to a bike shop and buy a new one. While a new bicycle will be nicer, there are many resources for finding inexpensive used bicycles. Garage sales, thrift stores, Craiglist.org, Freecycle and the aforementioned bicycle co-ops are all excellent places to look for a bike. While I have newer bikes, my “errand” bike was a $10 garage sale find. I invested a little time and a little money and now have a very lightweight and fun bike that I can bang around on.
When you get your bike in working order and start to ride, you’ll be looking for places you can go. Visiting a neighbor? Ride the bike. Going for a haircut? Ride the bike!