Pedalin’: December 2012

Happy New Year, everyone!

If you remember my last Pedalin’ post, you’ll know that I only had 13 work days in December and that my goal was to bicycle for all of them. Unfortunately, Father Winter had other plans.

3 days on the bike

8 days driving the car

Ouch. And if you noticed there are some days missing there, those were the days I was out with a wicked cold. Another setback!

Why so little bicycling? We had viciously cold days, extreme wind, high chances for snow, icy streets…and then the snow actually hit. And never melted. And kept coming. It has looked like this for almost three weeks now:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m trying to enjoy it – there is something magical about the dead of winter. But I have to admit, I’m dying to get back on my bicycle again. I know many people bicycle in snow, but I’m not one of them. I can’t afford to get my rim fixed, let alone buy snow tires for the bike. And even if I had snow tires, I think I’d be a little nervous riding around on slippery roads surrounded by big cars.

My bicycling journey has taken some rough turns this year, including the second job I recently took that requires me to drive 12 miles a day. My financial situation is in a place that is requiring me to look for a third job and making bicycle commuting look less and less possible. It is very discouraging, because bicycle commuting is a passion of mine and I believe it can be accessible to everyone. However, when you are rushing from one job to another to another…is it practical anymore?

I need it to be practical. I need to be able to fit it into my schedule – both for my mental state and my wallet. (The money I spend on gas each month has quadrupled since I took the second job.) But lately, it feels like a luxury. Like something that’s “too much fun,” something that takes up too much time (even though it’s worth the money I save when doing it and I’d spend as much time working out if I wasn’t biking). I hate to admit that, because I don’t want to discourage anyone from bicycle commuting. However, I’m hoping that being honest about the ups and downs of bicycle commuting will ultimately serve a better purpose than pretending that it is perfect all the time. (And further, my situation is a little weird – most people have a normal, full-time job and aren’t in a situation in which they have to string several part-time jobs together to make ends meet.)

But now we’re getting into the money topic…which is something I’ve decided to delve into here on the blog in 2013. We’ve been through feminism in 2011 and radical self-acceptance in 2012 (more on that coming) and now it’s time to tackle something a bit more tangible. So stay tuned!

P.S. Congratulations to Melanie for winning Everyday Bicycling!

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