carfreemsv

Like a Boss

Edited ¼/13: to add total cost of transportation

Happy New Year. I’ve rearranged my life to make more time for things like friends, activities I enjoy, and useless babble on here. I don’t think I ever gave you a disclaimer, so here it is…

DISCLAIMERS:

1) Samuel L. Jackson is the voice in my head 99.99% of the time. If I could cuss openly without the risk of my grandmother, Ida, turning in her grave, I would sound like Mr. Jackson. 

2) I’m not a morning person.

3) I’ve been overusing “Like a Boss” recently. According to Urban Dictionary, “like a boss” is a phraseUsed to describe something that someone did as amazing or awesome.” Most things I do are awesome

4) Oh yeah… I got a big ego. In the words of B “Some women were made. I’d like to think I was created for a special purpose.”

Now… on with the babble…

Since today was my first day back to work in over a week, I worked from home (see Disclaimer 2). That brings my work commute to a grand total of 0 miles.

Biking has made me lazy in other areas. I don’t bike for exercise, because I’m just not that motivated. I bike to get from Point A to Point B, efficiently and economically. One of my goals for 2013 is to engage in physical activity at least four times a week outside of biking. I decided to take at least one dance class a week.  No time like the present to get started. Tonight was Advanced Beginner Ballet at Joy of Motion on H Street NE.

Class started at 6:30, but I decided to leave my house around 5:30 so I wouldn’t feel rushed or heavens forbid I hit traffic. *slow eye-roll* The temperature was in the upper 30s, but my new outer shell kept me nice and warm.  That reminds me I need to do a product review of my coat. Anywho…

It took me a little under 30 minutes to make the 3.7 mile trek to the the dance studio.  My ride was okay, if it wasn’t for the 2 near hits by turning vehicles.

*** PAUSE***

[Rant]

Almost all (if not all) of my near hits have been turning vehicles. Mr. Jackson… tell the people how I feel.

EXACTLY.  Just substitute “turning vehicles” for “snakes”, “road” for “plane”, and “take the F&%king lane” for “open some F&%king windows”

[/Rant]

*** PLAY***

I was SUPER early for dance class. The class was 1.5 hours of pure torture.  The steps and combinations weren’t hard (I have 19 years of dance training).  The problem is I’M OLD!!!!  I felt like Aunt Viv when she went back to dance. 

I represented “like a boss” and I fell out just like Aunt Viv. *giggles*

Class ended a little after 8 and it was time to make the journey east, which includes two big hills. I could barely feel my legs, but decided to suck it up and ride home like a boss. I rode down 14th Street NE to Pennsylvania Ave SE. I silently prayed for a M6 bus to be a Potomac Avenue Metro Station, but that was no dice. My options were wait in the cold or keep biking.

Being warm trumped my legs feeling like rubber, so I biked up Pennsylvania Ave SE and across the bridge.  Like manna from heaven, a 36 bus pulled up at L'Enfant Square (which is right at the bottom of the first hill) at the same time I did.  I threw “Sweet Baby” on the front and rode the 36 to the top of the hills!

I hopped off at Alabama Ave and biked the rest of the way home.  Total home trip was 3.1 miles.

Total miles - 6.8 miles (6.8 miles for 2013)

Total Transportation Cost - $1.60 for the bus ( $.160 for 2013)

*photo by SharrowsDC

Well… It’s been 3.5 weeks since I’ve been car free. I’m adjusting pretty well. Although, I still catch myself searching for my car fob to press the lock doors button when I park my bike in the garage. I’m still figuring out how to make changes in my life to make living car free easier.  For example, I’ll probably start having my groceries and my dogs’ food delivered.  Not that I can’t bike to the nearest grocery store, but the biking uphill with groceries doesn’t sound appealing right now.

I’m comfortable biking around DC and biking uphill is getting “easier” (for lack of a better word).  There are 3 challenges that I’m trying to overcome as I prepare to enter in my second month of biking.

1. Fear of biking at night: I live east of the Anacostia River in the Ward 7 neighborhood of Hillcrest.  I’m very comfortable in my community and I know the crime stats like the back of my hand.  My fear of biking late at night has little to do with potential of being robbed or anything. I figure being a moving target via biking is “safer” than being a sitting duck at a bus stop.

My fear has more to do with being alone on the street. There is little to no foot or bike traffic at night once you cross the Sousa Bridge into Ward 7.  There is a decent amount of vehicle traffic rushing home to Maryland, but I’m not afraid of being hit since there is a nice wide bike/ped path along Pennsylvania Ave SE.  There is also plenty of pedestrian scale lighting.  I know how to change a flat and fix a chain, so that’s not it either.

I’m simply afraid of being alone.

2. I don’t know where I can lock my bike: I either bring my bike inside with me, lock it where I can see it, or lock it next to a bike that is easier to steal.  As I venture into other parts of the city with my bike, I’m realizing I don’t know where bike parking is located.

For example, I had to bike to the Transportation Planning Board Citizen Advisory Committee meeting in the NoMa area of DC.  Even though I’d been to that building before, I couldn’t envision where I could lock my bike.  I called a staff member and they informed me there is bike parking in the garage. A few weeks ago I went salsa dancing in Chinatown and I made myself a bike parking space in one of the garages.

It may be a difficult task, but it would be nice to have a bike map that identified bike parking.

3. Negotiating with other people: Many times I’m going places with other people.  Their natural inclination is to use public transportation or drive.  This puts me in the position of trying to convince them to bike. I’ve had varying degrees of success. Usually I’m able to convince two of my neighbors to bike with me even if it means biking home late at night.  One of my neighbors and I go to church together, but I’ve been unsuccessful in convincing her to bike to church.  Then I have a neighbor who hasn’t been on a bike in decades.  I offered to let her use my old bike, but those negotiations went south quickly.

As I bike and blog, I hope to be able to provide you with updates on how I’m fairing with these challenges.