...this year anyway. Since coming back from China, I haven't had much of an urge to go out and spend thousands of dollars on a vehicle I really wouldn't need most of the time. I got used to getting around without that convenience. Cars cost a lot to acquire them, a lot to feed them, maintenance can be unexpectedly high or unpredictable, and insurance is also a significant cost.
Upon acquiring a new apartment, I set about finding a location in my hometown that was convenient for shopping and getting to most of the major places I would ever need to get to. I now have easy access to the bus system, and can walk to the mall in a half hour. Since we have snowy winters here in Wisconsin, there was only one thing I was waiting on purchasing before my transportation needs were complete.
Finally, the last snowfall occurred a few days ago and the weather has been warming up consistently into the 50s F. This weekend I went to the mall and set about purchasing my wheels - a brand new bike, a pedal bike that is. Complete with lock, pump, and taxes - all for $121. I passed on the offer for insurance (don't you hate those guys at Best Buy that nag about how wonderful their extended warranties are?).
How many of you own a pedal bike? Obviously there are the major drawbacks, namely having no carrying space. I can go to the store and bring home a few light bags of groceries, but that is about it. I certainly can't buy a new furniture set. All I needed was a faster way to get to those places that were really too far to walk, or took several dollars by bus.
I miss my China biking adventures. While it isn't the same here, as the exploration is all sapped up from years of living in this area, as well as the lackluster terrain and sporadic weather, I still enjoy biking when I can.