Luci and I prepare for our first trip in the rain using our new rain cover.

My wife and I sold our second car one month ago and we’ve learned a few things since then.

1) We haven’t missed it yet.

This isn’t entirely surprising because if we thought we might have missed the second car, we wouldn’t have sold it in the first place. That being said, I’m surprised we haven’t had one single instance where we even felt like we needed a second car.

2) The garage is still just as messy with only one car.

We’ve learned that just because you have more space, it doesn’t mean your garage is any cleaner. I think now that there is more space, it is easier to see all the random things laying around.

3) It’s the small things that make you smile.

Every day as I leave and come home from work, it brings a smile to my face when I remember that I no longer have to wrestle my bike in next to a car. I can wheel the bike right into its own spot and load and unload with lots of room. I’m also thrilled with having the space to work on the bikes and can even keep the garage closed if the weather isn’t pleasant.

4) Two cargo bikes are better than one.

Now that we have two cargo bikes, it makes riding places even more plausible. Taking Luci to her grandparents for an extended period requires a lot of stuff. We’ve got the diaper bag, stuffed animals, stroller, portable crib and various other items. In the past, trying to load all of that and Luci onto a bike was a little much, but now one bike takes Luci and the rest of the stuff goes on the other bike. It’s also good strength training to ride a cargo bike. Irene got on her regular bike and said, “this is so easy.”

5) The heat concerns me

I added a shade screen to help keep Luci cool.

I’m worried about the heat. I rode throughout the summer last year and I’ll often tell people who ask, “It’s only hot when you stop.” But, now that I’ll be riding with Luci, I’m worried that the heat might be too much. In an effort to help, I added a shade screen to her seat using a baby backpack shade. (See the photo. I’ll also be blogging on Xtracycle’s site about to construct the cover.) It offers a little shade, especially for her face, but won’t do much when it is 105 out. I suppose we’ll just have to do what most desert rats do and go out early or late. Maybe I should just build a misting system.

6) The rain doesn’t concern me anymore

Luci and I deliver two bags of clothing to the thrift store despite the rain.

When I saw the forecast for rain all day Saturday, I resigned myself to spending the whole day inside. That wasn’t going to work for Luci. She is an outdoor girl. All she wants to do is be outside and moving, so I devised a system using a stroller rain cover and the existing shade cover I added. We ran errands in the rain and while I was drenched, Luci was dry and warm. The cover should also be great for keeping the cold air off her in the winter even if she looks like a space baby.

7) We get a lot of funny looks

When Irene, Luci and I are rolling down the street with our two cargo bikes and our bicycle radio playing, we get a lot of double takes. It’s not uncommon to see the passengers in cars to crane their neck at the spectacle we create. We can only hope it makes others think of the possibilities.


11 thoughts on “One car for one month: What we’ve learned”
  1. I’m more heartened by stories such as yours than articles on the latest carbon wonderbike or training gizmo. Maybe it’s because lifestyle changes like yours are a lot more important than products. Trek could come up with a 5-pound road bike, but that won’t change the general public’s attitude toward cycling. What may change attitudes is seeing the average person out there on a bike, hauling kids and/or groceries or Home Depot supplies. Happy pedaling.

  2. “What may change attitudes is seeing the average person out there on a bike, hauling kids and/or groceries or Home Depot supplies. ” Even spandexers look when you are hauling stuff home from the depot/lowes!

  3. We’re becoming more like countries in Asia and Africa, where bikes haul all sorts of things. And people. We’ll be the better for it. Cars are way too isolating.

  4. Totally inspiring! So many people use kids as their excuse to have car-intensive lives; your child is giving you an excuse to have a bike-intensive one. Very cool.

  5. Some people have used the misting technique to keep themselves cool when riding their Easy Racers GRR’s equipped with lycra body socks. The fabric holds the water and allows the air to pass through (it basically works like a swamp cooler for a bike). Maybe you can alter your daughter’s seat area (and maybe your own too), to utilize this effect.

  6. Mike,
    I’m glad that you and the family are happy w/ your new situation.

    I’ve been in houses w/ 4 car garages, 2 unused. The empty bays were jammed w/ stuff. The universe simply abhors a vacuum.

    You may want to make the shade structure over Luci a bit bigger. I’m planning on making a shade roof for my dog too.

    I know what you mean about folks staring. When the wife and I go out we get lots of looks. We each ride a delta, recumbent trike. Those are weird enough. We then hook them together into a train. Weirder. Then the pitbull either runs along side or rides in the recycled recycle bin on the back. I know what you mean about getting stares.


  7. Have you put more, fewer, or the same number of miles per month on the remaining motor vehicle this past month as compared to earlier months when you had two of them?

    As for heat, the biggest problem would be the monsoon season when humidity skyrockets and the wicking effect is almost nil. April and May feel like good and sensible times to do heavy, stock-up shopping by bike in the Old Pueblo.

  8. Way to go! I have not found the rain/heat really that much of a problem for commuting – while it is occasionally a problem (exactly why you still have a car!) it rarely rains all day and the heat is fairly easy to avoid with some careful planning. Good Luck!!

  9. A bike misting system sounds awesome. I tried to build one last summer with a solar powered pump, but it wasn’t powerful enough to create mist.

  10. Hello there- you mentioned heat and sun with a baby- I’m learning all these things too on my bicycle journey- I was able to find a screen that blocks 81% of the UV rays and I put it over my toddlers peanut shell on our Yuba Mundo. Anyway, I thought you might like to look into one…I’ve seen them online, mines from Phil and Ted.
    I made a sun canopy similar to yours, and have pictures of the sun screen in use if you would like to take a look. If you scroll down you can see various different set-ups for the bike- it works really well.


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