Many of you, having read the previous posts on car trouble (part 1 and part 2!) will likely be asking why we think we need to have two cars. And why we don’t do something a little more healthy, like bike commuting.
And, to be honest, I’ve considered it. We have bikes, and our commute is less than a mile, so the distance wouldn’t be an issue. Neither would the time. There’s just two big reasons holding me back.
- Winter. We live in North Dakota. From mid October to Mid April, we’re lucky if the temperature gets above 40. I don’t think that 35-40 would be so bad, but it really is only in these ranges for a few weeks in those months. The average high in January is 18, but there are days where it stays below 0 as well. And our annual snowfall total is over 3 feet. Put those two together and you take about 6 months of the year out of the biking season. Combine that with the second reason, and you’ll see why it really would only be feasible a few months out of the year.
- Kids. My wife and I split duties here. She drops them off in the morning, and I pick them up. The oldest can ride a bike, but would never make the distance from daycare to home. So, I’d have to get a trailer for my bike that would carry both of them. Adding 100 pounds of trailer and kid to the back of my bike would certainly help with the workout, but would also make it pretty grueling some days.
At the moment, it just isn’t really possible to commute by bike, even in the summer. As the kids get older and start attending school, it might be more of a possibility, but winter would still require the use of a car. One way or the other, unless I start working from home (which isn’t a possibility unless I quit my job and start my own thing), we’ve got to have two cars.
So, biking is out. I could carpool, but none of my coworkers live very close to me, so they’d have to go out of their way to get me. Also, I don’t think they’d like having to pick up my kids.
Would a lifestyle and situation that allowed a bike commute be welcome? Sure. And it’s something that I may still try during the summer months when I don’t have to worry about picking up kids, but until then, cars it is.