Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gas Sucks: The No Driving Challenge

It started as a question; I thought, I wonder how difficult it would be to give up my van? In my mind I thought it can’t be all that difficult. I mean I live close to just about everything I need, and I work only 3 miles away from my house. So, the commute won’t be too bad.

The excuses started as fast as the idea entered my mind. How will I get my daughter to school (it’s not fair to her to make her walk just so I can prove a point is it)? How will I get to the upcoming medical appointments, they are all the way across town? What about the extra time involved? I mean as a business owner I don’t have time EVER. Maybe I am being too selfish I still get to go for a ride once a week.

The pros and con list went on for a few days, each one of which I had commuted by bike. I drove my daughter to school but I rode the bike to work. On a whim, I asked my 11 year old if she would mind riding our tandem or walking to school with me. With excitement and a face only a father could love she put her hands up to give me a high five and looked me strait in the eye and said "that sounds awesome." AWESOME, really?  "Oh yes dad I think that would be fun." Well then it’s settled we will get up early tomorrow and make it happen.

For those of you with pre-teens, especially a girl, you know that taking their sleep time so they can go to school is like passing a stone, its usually followed by a lot of sweat and yelling. She actually went to bed 10 minutes early. Yes I still don’t believe it.

It dawned on me while I was settling down for the evening that I haven’t had the tandem out of the garage in over a year. I got dressed again and went to work getting her ready for the debut trip; I got to bed around 12:45.

6:30 came real early. I almost canned the idea and went back to bed but I forced myself out of bed and down the hallway to get her up. As proof that you never know what to expect, she was already awake she looked up at and said "we are late we were supposed to be up 10 min ago." HAHAHAHAHAAH okay let’s get going I’ll go get breakfast read and pack you lunch, you get your chores done. I’ll tell you now, MORNINGS at our house are not the smoothest things. But we pulled it off without a hitch and hit the road exactly on time.

The ride to school was one of the coolest things to happen to me in years. I have been driving my daughter to school for years and I can’t remember us ever having a conversation as cool as the one we had on the bike. I mean we would listen to KUIC in the AM to see if they would play our commercial and get stoked when the trivia question of the day would come on.  We talked about a ton of things from how long my hair was getting and how I was going to cut it when we donated it, to how she was doing in math.

We pulled up to the school and I dropped her off, she was soon the center of attention as all her friend came up to see the unusual bike. She reached up gave me kiss and handed me her helmet, than out of the blue she asked can you pick me up too PLEASE? Without thinking I agreed.

It’s been about 10 days now and the van sits there. I have managed to take her to school and pick her up almost every day. I, however, have not driven a vehicle since that day. I made it to all my appointments, work, shopping, everything. I even picked up dinner on the way home from work one night. Here is the interesting part my morning commute to work is only about 9 ½ minutes on the bike it was 10 in the car. The ride to school takes about 8 minutes it used to take close to 12 because of traffic which we buzz rite by (by the way she laughs at that every time we do it). I have concluded that the shorter trips are actually faster by bike and a lot more fun. So we will see what it is like with the upcoming challenge RAIN! Keep your fingers crossed this should be fun!

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