Enjoy the small victories!
This morning I rode my bicycle for the first time in two months after I injured my foot when I fell off the back of a truck while helping a friend move.
My foot is still swollen, and I can only get my shoe on by wearing compression socks. Having not checked my mail at the Post Office and wanting to get back on my bike, I decided to give it a shot.
The Post Office is about 2.5 miles from my home, with a few moderate hills on the ride back. Before getting on the busy street, I rode in my neighborhood to ensure no safety issues.
Feeling okay, I headed to the Post Office without any issues. I could feel my foot throbbing, but it wasn’t excruciating, so I continued.
The return ride home was more demanding, but I made it through. I was so relieved when I took my shoe off and relaxed.
Only being a 5-mile ride, this wouldn’t be something I would usually celebrate, but I am! This small victory reminded me of my challenges on my ride across America. Pressing on when I wasn’t sure I could. Perhaps more importantly, making the decision to do it! It was overcoming the pain (this short ride was as painful as anything I can remember from my ride across the country) and reaching my destination.
Was this healthy for my foot recovery? I’m unsure of that; however, it was healthy for my soul and spirit! Saying good morning to the people on their morning walks with their dogs, enjoying the crisp morning air, and the satisfaction of completing this simple but real goal.
Not wanting to overdo it and aggravate my injury, I will take it easy for the rest of the day.
As I mentioned in my recent podcast, I’ve relied on Instacart to deliver my groceries. Tomorrow, I plan on riding my bike to the store once again!
When my truck needed major repairs in the spring of 2021, I found myself relying on my bicycle to get around. This included, grocery shopping, bank, post office...pretty much everything! The repairs took nearly two months to complete and during this period my passion for cycling was reignited. I say "reignited" because cycling has always been a part of my life, including my bike ride across America in 2017.
July of 2021, I made the decision to sell my truck and go car-free.
I work remotely, so the commute to the office has not been an issue. I haven't had the occassion to use public transportation, but have used ride share a time or two and asked my neighbor to take me to Zamzows to get the large bags of dog food for my Golden Retriever, Ace. Aside from these rare circumstances, my bike has been my sole form of transportation.
My bike of choice is the REI CTY 1.1 (pictured below). I use the Ortlieb panniers for carrying gear. These are the same ones I used on my ride across America. It has been a great bike for the Boise terrain, Including the Boise Greenbelt.
The Boise greenbelt is such a Treasure to the Boise community! You can ride alongside the Boise River from Eagle to Lucky Peak with hardly ever having to go on a city street. It's a beautiful and peaceful way to commute or for a relaxing, leisurely ride.
As mentinoned, the greenbelt is a fantastic way to get around the greater Boise area. Once you leave the greenbelt, it can be much more challenging depending where you are in the city. Downtown Boise has been doing more to accomodate cyclists, however other areas offer fewer bike lanes for safe cycling. State Street has been especially challenging with the lack of bike lanes and heavy traffic. Hill Road is a popular cycling street with defined bike lanes that takes cyclists from Eagle to Downtown Boise.
As more people begin to commute by bike, there needs to be more bike parking at restaurants, stores, banks and other retail establishments.
Conclusion: I live close to grocery stores, some restaurants and other shopping. I live alone (with my Golden Retriever) so transportation for kids, large grocery runs etc. haven't been an issue.
Motorists have been very kind for the most part. Follow the rules of the road and most motorists will respect you.
With local gas prices averaging $4.63 per gallon at the time of this post, decent weather, and improving bike lanes, cycling has proven to be a viable form of transportation in Boise, Idaho.
For more information, listen to my Podcast "Living a Car-Free Life"
Grocery bike ride in 12 degree weather
Over the past few days, Boise has gotten around 7 inches of snow and fell to -3 a couple days ago. Plows have cleared most of the major roadways but sidewalks, shoulders and parking lots are still tricky to navigate.
This morning, I headed out to my local grocery store with my ortlieb panniers to carry my purchases home. Being only 12 degrees and the wind chill (not actual wind but the 20 MPH I was riding) really put a bite on my hands and toes. Note to self: Invest in better gloves and socks.
It’s interesting when I owned a car and the weather was this cold, I wouldn’t have even thought about riding my bike. Too many easy excuses not to. But, when you get rid of your car, you also get rid of the excuses and you get on that bike and ride, regardless of the weather conditions. A few turns of the crank and I’m really exhilarated and eager for the ride ahead of me!
Winter has just begun and I’m sure there will be many challenging days ahead but I’m looking forward to every one of them!