Trying to be less car-dependent

When I was a kid we didn’t own a car until I was 15. We lived in a neighborhood in St. Paul and so bus service was readily accessible. As I got older though I started to dream of the day I could get my license and experience freedom. I even tried to take my driver’s test on my 16th birthday (spoiler: I didn’t pass). Once I had my license I drove everywhere. I don’t think I took a bus again for years.

A couple of years ago I waxed poetic about the freedom that cars give you. In that post I did mention the big downsides of cars as well, and recently I’ve thought more about how dependent I am on trying to get around in my own private vehicle. Partly, I think I’ve been influenced by all of the biking I’ve been doing this year, and the whole bike commuting culture. When I changed jobs this year I moved to an office that is only 9.5 miles away from home, and it meant that I had more options. The Northstar train goes through my suburb and so there’s little reason that I need to drive into the city. I can bike or train it without much difficulty.

However, I found myself driving even the 1.8 miles to the train station, which in some ways seemed silly. It’s close enough that I’ve even walked it at times. Why would I bother moving my car such a short distance when I have options that don’t use gas or pollute? Therefore, I’ve committed to trying to make a change.

I’m going to commit to getting to work by bike and public transit four days per week. One day per week I have to be in St. Paul and that commute will only happen occasionally. However, there’s very little reason why every other day when I’m in Minneapolis that I couldn’t leave the car parked. I’ve been working on doing this for the past couple weeks and have been mostly successful. I had a conference to be at a couple days last week, but otherwise I’ve tried to leave the car in the driveway.

We’ll see how well the winter goes, but even on a cold snowy day, 1.8 miles to the train station shouldn’t be too bad. Once there I have a nice bike locker where I can store my bike out of the elements, or I can bring it on the train with me in case I want to bike the whole way home, or somewhere during lunch. I’m excited to give this a try, and hope to report nothing but success over the coming weeks.

Fitness week recap – 11/4/2019

Week Starting 11/4/2019
Running:
13.7 miles
Biking:
 13.4 miles
Steps:
87,609 (42.91 miles –  29.21 walking)

Impression: Low mileage week. Was at a conference for a couple days which disrupted my routine, so I wasn’t even biking as much. Plus, my beer and bikes group did a volunteer event that we drove too, so I didn’t have that ride either. Hopefully, next week will be more of a return to normal.

Fitness week recap – 10/28/2019

Week Starting 10/28/2019
Running:
25.2 miles
Biking:
 50.5 miles
Steps:
98,266 (48.82 miles –  23.62 walking)

Impression: Got back to normal this week with a decent amount of running and biking. Had a couple nice rides this week including my Beer & Bikes ride, as well as an impromptu ride to work on Thursday when I got to the train station 11 minutes early. I also brought my bike on the train with me on Monday to take it to my allergy shot in the afternoon. I feel like I’m getting this bike commuting down pretty well. However, I had to leave the bike at the shop on Thursday because of a freezing brake line. They’re fixing that, as well as a warranty issue with the rear axel. Just means I didn’t have my Vaya over the weekend.

On the running front I got out with my wife a few times, but then on Saturday I stuck with the fast people and did a 10 mile run at Elm Creek, faster then I normally ever run there. Our moving pace was ~10:30 which is fast for me on dirt trails. It felt good to open up a bit, and that was the longest run I had done since Savage 100. I got pretty wiped by the end, but our fastest miles were also mile 8 and 10, so I guess I had good reason.

Feeling like I’m back to having a good base, but I need to find a good leg massage. I feel like my calves still could use some professional work.

Movie Review: Spider-Man Far From Home

We finally got around to watching the latest Marvel movie Sunday night, Spider-Man Far From Home. With the conclusion of Avengers, this movie slipped under my radar to see in theaters, but last week my wife reminded me that we still hadn’t seen it. As luck would have it, it was available for rental now.

Let’s get this out of the way… SPOILERS BELOW

Continue reading “Movie Review: Spider-Man Far From Home”

Fitness week recap – 10/21/2019

Week Starting 10/21/2019
Running: 
6.0 miles
Biking:
 36.8 miles
Steps: 57,383
 (28.81 miles –  22.81 walking)

Impression: RECOVERY WEEK! Yep, not much to report on the running front. I managed a couple of 3 mile runs, and am pleased to say the legs are feeling pretty decent. Couple areas where things are tighter than I’d like them to be, but overall, pretty much back to normal. Running felt mostly OK too. My first run back I was able to knock out 3 miles in my standard pace.

I did up my biking mileage this week with a couple days with 12-14 miles of riding in them. The summer riding season is winding down so soon (once the snow flies) it will be fat bike, all the time. I got the fat bike all tuned up, and a few things repaired, and took it out for a spin tonight. Worked great and can’t wait to get some snow to plow it through.