We're on to week two of car-free exploration. What's it like living car-free or car-lite?
Day 6 (July 9) Back to Aldi
Another trip back to Aldi. This time we found a homeless woman curled up in our bike parking spot. There's an outdoor outlet there and she was charging her phone; it must be super hard to find places to charge.
An idea: a powerbank exchange program!
We loaded up to the gills again, and made it back home with my rear tire groaning under the weight.
Day 7 (July 10)
Nothing much happening. Crossfit and back.
Day 8 (July 11)
I had a follow up dentist appointment in the afternoon. This required a five mile trip out to the Western suburbs. The route takes a great big dip in the middle.
On the way out there, I rode a more rustic path. A single two lane down the dip and back up. A disadvantage of my blue Blix is it has a very upright seating position that makes riding fast both windy and awkward. In my zeal to lighten the load for the trip, I had left my lock at home, so the Blix had to hide in the woods.
Had a great conversation at the dentist with Deja, a new tech, about why we're biking and whether she and her kids might want to give it a try.
On the way back, I took a more popular road. It's double lane both ways, but with an ample, though dirty, shoulder.
Day 9 (July 12)
Day 10 (July 13)
Food's starting to run low, despite yesterday's Aldi trip, so we're brainstorming all the trips we'll make this weekend. It feels like we're spending less on groceries, but we may just be eating deeper into freezers. Either way, it's a benefit.
Day 11 (July 14)
A trip to the cottage to try to fix an electrical problem. Unsurprisingly unsuccessful. We lack an essential belief in our handy-ness.
Then a bit of everything, Aldi for groceries, Crossfit for fitness, Ox'n'Stone for crickets with friends (more on that later). The notable thing about this map is everything is within a 2 mile radius.
Day 12 (July 15)
We started with a great triangle of the public market, hardware store, and home.
Then in the afternoon, a drive to the cottage with a ladder in the van, and a successful conclusion to our electric adventure.
Day 13 (July 16)
Crossfit and Aldis. Aldis and Crossfit. It's time to contemplate the finish line.
What have we learned?
- Optimization happens. We've been out to Aldi six times so far and we're fine tuning a preferred route that's the right mix between qualities or roads and frequency of intersections. We're fine tuning our packing. Things get easier as you do them more.
- We're sticking with the biking. We've enjoyed these trips, and this challenge. We've taken some wisdom from this article that everything must be paid for twice. The second payment on our bicycles is integrating them into our life.
- Choice matters. We've chosen to live in a dense area and satisfy our needs locally. This is exactly what we had in mind.
- People are intrigued. So many people comment on the bikes, ask questions, and express their interest in trying things out for themselves. The more of us there are, the more of us there will be. We enjoy being bike ambassadors.