Family Life,  Heat and energy,  Work and Play

Idea 4 – Just one less drive

I say ‘just one less drive’ but actually it usually works out as two as you generally you need to get back home at the end of the day! But hey it’s all for the planet and our benefit.

Over the Summer I hired a bike following a link from the South Glos Council website. Links below. I hadn’t used a bike in years but wanted to try it out in the Summer months so I could see if a commute to work was doable. Was 4.4miles too much?

I had no idea.

I filled in a form on line in 5minutes. There was a small wait to collect the bike. In July I picked up my bike from the Create Centre in Bedminster. Paying a £100 deposit. There were no fees for hire.The hired bike came with a pump, a side bag, good quality D lock and extra chain to link through both tyres. I just had to buy a helmet. For a month I tried to use the bike or walk instead on using the car for local journeys. A cycle to the Willow brook was only 7 minutes definitely quicker than getting in the car. Getting in the car to pop to the shop had become habit. I hadn’t really thought about how long a walk or cycle would take.

As it turns out my husband enjoyed using the hire bike even more than me and went out most days. I think he was reliving his youth if I’m honest. But as a byproduct he has certainly got back into cycling. Which is great for me as he can pay for a bike and I’ll use it! As for me I did manage to cycle to work. It took 25minutes but seeing as my commute is 20minutes on a good day and up to an hour if the traffic is bad. Journey was also mainly possible on cycle paths so I wasn’t mixing with cars for 90% of it.

However I’m going to start small. One return journey a week. It will most probably be on the day with the best weather! I’m also going to speak to a colleague who I know lives 4minutes walk from my house to see if we could car share once a week on the day we usually arrive and leave at the same time.

One thing I did notice when I go out of the car more was how many people park up in cars but then leave their engine running. Idling engines outside schools and in supermarket carparks really annoy me especially as my baby’s pushchair is at the same height as an exhaust pipe. Air quality in Bristol is extremely poor. Asthma is made worse by poor air quality. Please turn off your engine when you park and encourage others to do the same.

Here some ideas for this week as I appreciate taking up cycling may not be possible for everyone.

Try to do one less journey by car this week.

Walk to the shops (pick up 3 bits of plastic on the way!😉)

Get your bike out and go for a ride with a friend, partner, children or grandchildren.

Donate an old bike to the Prison Bike shop run by Life cycle UK.

Buy a bike from the Life cycle scheme.

Turn off your engine when parked. Idle engines pump unnecessary exhaust fumes into the air we breathe.

Encourage others to turn of their engine while parked too.

Speak to your child’s school to see if they could encourage parents/carers not to let car engines idle outside schools in the next newsletter.

Find a friend to lift share with once a week/month. Or if a few colleagues are attending a course. Drive together. It will make the course much more memorable.

Take the bus – I know it is still cheaper to get to cribbs by car as parking is free but maybe take the bus anyway for the planet. My little one loves an adventure on the bus.

Hire a bike

HMP Horfield Bike Life Cycle

My ideas get longer each week. This was meant to be a short one but I have rambled on. I hope you enjoy getting out of the car this week.

PS – You are also much more likely to smile or talk to a stranger when out walking.