Earth Day is just around the corner! And while it might not be a major day for most people, I still think it's kind of fun. I think every special day is an excuse to do something you normally wouldn't! (And, speaking of little somethings, the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website is going to have a small page up to commemorate Earth Day this year. Look for that next week.)
This Earth Day, I'm buying a new bicycle!
Now, before I start, let me get this out of the way: Bikes and I have not historically gotten along. When I was a young girl, I was so thrilled to have learned to ride a bike that I invited my best friend over to watch. Then I ran her over. I biked to school when I was in high school, but I stopped after I ran over an innocent student and, a few weeks later, got hit by a car. In university, a friend lent me his bike. I was on it all of ten minutes before I ran over the first other person to show up on the walking path.
I'm not really that careless, reckless, or dangerous, so I can't really figure out what it is with me and bikes. I decided pretty early on that I was probably cursed, because I'm not this ill-fated when I'm driving. (And thank goodness for that, huh?)
But now it's time for things to change. I moved recently, and the new place is lovely. It's also incredibly close to a ton of really nice shops and stores. This is super cool! I've never lived in a place where a grocery store was within walking distance before. And because everything is in walking distance, it'd be kind of a waste to just drive around all the time.
So I've decided to get a bike. It's really a win-win situation. I'll save some gas (which means I'll save a little money), and I'll get a little exercise to boot. It'll also get me out into the beautiful super-warm spring weather, which—I admit—I actually need encouragement to do sometimes. I don't think I'll ever be one of those hardcore cyclists, but hey. There's no harm in getting out and about sometimes, right?
And yes, don't worry: I promise that I will read up on bicycle safety before I go out! The Oregon Department of Transportation's Drive Less, Save More website provides resources and tips for bicycle commuters just like me.
Elizabeth Spencer is a communicator at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which assists EERE in providing technical content for many of its websites.