August 15, 2008

Not "car-free" yet?

The 10th Anniversary of RUSA is nearly upon us -- I know ... the tension is killing us all, isn't it?

Pretty excited about this one, as in my quest for R-12 I've spent a lot of time over and over the same route lately - the change of scenery will be very nice indeed, and it's some realyl neat stuff -- the hilly rolling farms on Leavenworth county, the flat lands around Ottawa, the interaction with the railroad along K-32 highway, old Linwood, Wellsville and Tennessee Road -- some of the roads I haven't been on in years now.

I was a little torn over the last couple of days about how to GET to this ride, being 30 miles from the house (the start line). Riding there was the plan for a while, but that has fallen to logic and reason. For as long as I still have a car in the driveway, I suppose that situations like this are what it's for - until I sell it. By the way, seriously, if you want to buy a car - EMAIL ME. We'll talk -- you'll get the special reader's discount. Anyways, I digress... I haven't driven the darn thing since July 10th, so I was a little hesitant to break the streak -- but, I finally came to grips that if I was doing a brevet in Texas again, uhhh, yeah -- I'd probably have to drive. There are limits - and while the start line in KCK isn't exactly far away, it makes more sense for me to maximize my time, minimize my time away from the family this weekend, and minimize the risk of missing the start due to some unforseen issue on the way up. The other weekends in August are pretty much booked solid, so this becomes very much a "must finish" event for my R-12 run, and I don't want to risk flushing 6 months worth of 200ks to date. So, yeah, I'm driving. But, I'm not driving to WORK, and I stand by that record -- which is pretty meager by most standards, but I had to start somewhere. So, technically, until I actually sell the car I suppose I'm not truly "car-free", yet -- but I'm getting there. It hasn't been easy - several situations have arisen over the past month that have made me stretch the imagination on how to coordinate trips, how and when to pick up the kids, and how to basically operate with one vehicle with two kids and two adults with five (yes, FIVE) jobs between them. And, I'm happy to report that we never once had to use my car -- it has sat, dormant, the keys gathering dust for several weeks. I'm pretty proud of that. But, now, school has started for the kids, and with it Scouts and Football and more. It's going to get tougher still as winter comes on, and weather concerns prevent me from "walking to football practice" with the boy, or similar. He's a tough kid, but I can't expect him to tolerate that. There's "character building" and then there's "hey, Dad, how come we can't drive that car that's in our driveway buried under the snow??" The daughter has endured football practices, watching her brother play in the rain -- but when it gets colder, she'll need better shelter. I have to think of these things, and be realistic. Our community simply isn't designed to make it easy for my plan to fully work with kids and responsibilities and having to be two places, miles apart, with only ten minutes transit time. We will, however, keep trying. If the cards play out correctly, we can still do most of this stuff with only ONE car -- my ultimate goal to keep things where we only need to operate one car at a time - and only the ONE car. I'll keep the miles off mine until it sells. After that, well, I'll probably buy a beater - something that will get me and the bikes to far-off places once or twice a year, and can otherwise just sit in the driveway and not cost me anything while it does.

I can tell you, tho, I'm very motivated to keep it going -- certainly not giving in.
Since I have started back on my routine of riding to work EVERY day, and no longer using distance and conditions from the new house as an excuse, I have been happier, I've slept better, I've toned up a little, and I haven't been at all concerned with ANYTHING automotive, including gas. I couldn't even tell you how much it costs right now, as I don't ride past an gas stations on my rides to work --- either that, or I haven't been paying attention.
Either way, it's been nice.
I'm planning to keep it up as long as I can!

Ride report from the Anniversary 200K coming soon!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Good luck today...nice weather so don't forget the sunscreen! ;)