In my first week as a biker in Baltimore I rode my bike to work two and a half days out of six (making the assumption that I ride tomorrow). I have realized several things in this time. The first is that if I am really going to live without a car, I am going to need a better bike. I knew my bike wasn't great, but after borrowing a friend's bike, which I have been told is also not a great bike and thinking it was the best bike I ever rode, I now know that in order to make biking my primary means of transportation I am going to need a better bike. I probably should have known, I won my current bike on e-bay.

I suppose it served its purpose in my life up until now. I used to live less than a mile from work and it was great to ride, until I got a flat tire I didn't fix it for a year and a half. This fall I finally got my bike a tune up and a new tire and started riding for fun. I was realistic, acknowledged the fact that beginning to ride the 5 miles I now commute to work as fall ended and winter began wasn't a good idea. 

Last week my car broke down and suddenly it seemed like the right time to bike. My car could still potentially be fixed, but I think it would cost a bit to figure out what is wrong with it and fully repair it. My mechanic got it running again, but I don't trust it to go very far. I am leaning toward living a carless existence, but really want to take the time and think about all the ways my life would change. 

If I was still working on contract at after school programs as my main income this would be impossible. I could not carry 50lbs of clay on my bicycle and bags of miscellaneous art supplies, but my work life has changed this year as well. I am going to the same place every day. Riding would be a good way to get exercise and be outdoors and I am starting to get the same feeling about my bike as I felt about my car when I first got it. It is a sense of freedom. The car gave it to me because I could drive. I could get where I wanted when I wanted without having to wait for the bus or the train. My bicycle gives me this feeling because I don't have to drive to get to where I am going, but still have the freedom to leave when I want.

Biking would save me money, make me healthier, be more in line with my values. I am not sure of the downside, except that it does make me tired. I asked a friend of mine for advice about this, he said just ride more and I would get stronger. So there is another pro I would also get stronger.

Going to the bike shop tomorrow.