Day Four: The Wheel of Life – Guest post + Giveaway

by Josée

Today is day four of the Household Waste Challenge. How does your Household Waste Challenge Chart look? You can still download the chart and use it for the rest of the week (pdf) (excel) (sample with instructions). Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaways for Kootsacs and the reusable Swimmi swim diaper!

Today I’m switching things up (a little mid-week breather) with a guest post by Laurie. Laurie is an outdoor enthusiast and has a passion for the environment. He has started up a Facebook page called Environmental Morality and hopes to create more awareness around environmental issues and our role in them. He is also my dad 🙂

                                                                        — o O o —

How many bikes do you suppose are in China?

A) 25 million
B) 100 million
C) 250 million
D) A gazillion?

If you answered a gazillion you would be close. China had 500 million bicycles by 1987 so by now they must have a gazillion, at least you would think. It’s estimated that there is one bicycle per household and every two people own a bike. Unfortunately, bikes are slowly losing momentum and being replaced by motorized vehicles. The old saying, “the gas is always greener on the other side of the fence” comes to mind. Why would they follow in our footsteps? Don’t they watch the news? Don’t they see the traffic jams in all our major cities? Don’t they see the air quality issues, the health issues, the noise issues, I can go on with issues but I guess until they experience it for themselves it won’t hit home.

As for us folks with endless money, power and energy, why get on that dreadful two wheel devise? It is so dreadfully gauche! Most consider cycling a leisure, a pastime, a sport and perhaps a hobby of sorts. So for those of you that believe the above let me tell you of my experience with a bike.

When I was born my mama leaned a little bicycle beside my crib and said to me in a loving voice, “Laurie you see that little bike, well my turtle dove, that’s the only think you’ll be driving until you’re 19 years old.” See, at the time I still couldn’t talk but I thought to myself, “Mama, why me? Everyone else has a car, would you and Dada buy one for me? Don’t you want me to keep out of the sun to protect my fair complexion? And think of my legs mama, there going to look like turkey drums?”.  Well at the age of 18 I was riding all over hell’s half acres. I looked like Smokey Robinson from the sun and had the legs of Turkey Joe! Looking back on those years, I had very little expenses. No need for gas, oil and any major maintenance, it was the freest I ever was. Then I got a car….

First I had an old clunker, it cost me money. Then I bought another, it cost me money. Then I bought, you guess it. All these cars cost me more and more money! As they years literally rolled by I forgot about my meager beginnings as a bike road warrior until one day when my friend bought a road racing bike.

Now, most men drool over cars but when I saw that bike I had to get one. It was coooooool and sexy, oh ya mama. I’ll never forget the day my baby arrived so neatly packed, all new. I placed in the back and tied it down with loving care. I was wondering if I would be able to take care of such a fragile thing of beauty. How would I maintain it? What if it had a flat? Would I know what to do? Needless to say the first few weeks were stressful but as we grew more accustomed to each other we found our rhythm and life settle in and we began to ride! It’s been 2 years and we’re approaching 3000km.

So now that I am a more mature biker, what have I learned? What advise can I give to potential road warriors? Well to begin with, bikes are the following: cheap, fun, healthy for body, mind and spirit, and good for the environment. Biking gives you a sense of achievement, “I biked to work and back, my first time without the use of my training wheels!” Biking makes you aware of your surroundings. “Today I saw a beautiful deer….that got hit by a car.” Biking makes you aware of what people are doing to the environment. “When I bike along the road, I can see every fast food wrapper. It’s so colorful in the morning sunlight!” Biking make you appreciate clean air, “Hey buster get your car tuned!” Biking helps to focus your thoughts, “I find that counting cigarette butts along the road helps me to clear my mind of negative energy.”

There’s a gazillion things I can say about biking but I would recommend YOU experience them for yourselves.

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart. ~Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

Going along with the biking theme… today’s sponsor is Summerside Sport and Cycle, a local shop that carries the largest selection of bikes and bike part in the area and caters to all styles of biking. My Hubby and I have been costumers there in the past. We found that they were incredibly helpful and knowledgeable and they have excellent service. I would recommend checking them out if you live in the area.

So for all you road warriors or would-be road warriors this give away is for you:

An easyclean Hydrapak (reservoir is not included).

And two pairs of Feetures! white sport socks, size L (W 10-13, M 9-12.5)!

Thank you to Summerside for sponsoring this giveaway!

Enter the Giveaway:

Because of the physical size of this giveaway it is only open to Canadian residents (sorry!). The rest of the giveaways this week will be open to everyone. Thanks!

1) Leave a comment below about how your household plans to get more outdoor time and exercise this week. Please leave an email address if you do not have a link on your name so I can contact you if you win.

2) If you live in British Columbia Canada visit Bike To Work and then come back here and comment by telling me if you plan to bike to work this summer – why or why not?

3) Facebook, blog or tweet about this giveaway and link back to this blog. Leave a separate comment for each thing you’ve done telling me you’ve done so.

So there are multiple ways of entering this giveaway with a potential of five entries per person!

The giveaway ends Sunday, April 24, 2011 at midnight.
The winner will be announced on April 25, 2011.

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Rob April 20, 2011 - 5:34 pm

Though I didn't have a bike by my crib, Laurie's story sounds somewhat familiar. In the past 4 1/2 years since getting odometers on my bikes I've laid down 10 324km, the vast majority of which is commuting. This summer will be no different..biking nearly everywhere I go including work. I have thought about getting the student research assistants to enter Bike to Work week.

Rob April 20, 2011 - 5:37 pm

I would say that this week, I don't aim to get more exercise, but simply maintain my level. Given the weather forecast, I am looking forward to doing more outside though. Bring on summer!

Chantell April 21, 2011 - 1:51 am

We are taking advantage if the nice weather playing in the backyard, having an outdoor Easter egg hunt, checking out the local park, and doing some much needed yard work!

Natalie April 21, 2011 - 2:50 am

Biking is the BOMB!

thefirstfouryears April 21, 2011 - 11:55 am

Well, I guess I can't enter the giveaway :(. But, I LOVE biking!! Hubby and I have matching bikes and an amazing hardcore baby bike seat (topeak) that we got off craigslist for $10!! Unfortunately, the previous owner had lost the straps… so I need to find some new straps before we can go biking this year.

tanya April 22, 2011 - 7:19 pm

We are doing a number of things as keeping active is important to us. We are walking to school, jogging (me), and riding our bikes (or in Kenna's case, riping it up on her tricycle). We also have lots of outdoor yardwork that needs doing.

Anonymous April 23, 2011 - 8:58 am

…ok…I don't ride a bike as much as I'd like to….but does riding our horses count? I wonder how the hydrapak would work for horsebackriding? :>
~christine (you know who!)

Shawn April 24, 2011 - 4:49 pm

I plan to bike to work as many days this summer as my work will allow (sometimes I'm required to have a vehicle at work to get my job done.. kind a shame, riding a bike is a much more relaxing way to get to work)

Michael Smith February 22, 2014 - 3:23 pm

As an LA native, I was convinced that this was going to be an ordinary ride through SM and Venice. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised. wellington electric bikes


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