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Why I Go By Bike : Doug Rozelman

by Bike Shop Girl

Introducing a new guest writer, Doug Rozelman.  Doug is a co-worker of mine and an avid cyclist.  Slowly he is trying to learn to use his bike for daily task, and to live the cycling lifestyle.

Doug Rozelman

Not long ago, I picked up a small, square-shaped brochure highlighting Trek’s “1 World, 2 Wheels” campaign. I nonchalantly flipped through the pages to explore its content. Before I could restock the coffee table display, I found myself in a combined state of astonishment, disappointment, and urgency. Pages 1 and 3, respectively, read as follows: “The solution to some of the world’s biggest problems is in your garage” and “For 2 miles or less, go by bike.” Never before have two simple statements had such an impact on me.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Doug, and my career for the past four years has been within the cycling industry. I currently work in a bicycle store in Charlotte, NC. Additionally, I have had the privilege to acquaint myself with Bike Shop Girl and ride alongside her since July.  She certainly has inspired me. According to Google Maps, I live 1.3 miles from my place of employment. Across the street, literally 1.7 miles from home, are two shopping centers equipped with grocery stores, restaurants and fast food establishments, apparel and sporting goods stores, and even a choice of barbers and salons. Excluding the occasional trips to visit family or occasionally work in an affiliate store, the majority of places I shop and spend my time are typically within this two-mile radius. As a result, I have experienced an epiphany; I plan to develop my passion for racing and recreational riding into something more, a lifestyle.

Along the way, I hope to accomplish a few other goals: (1) to embrace fully the cycling and commuting culture (2) to admit shamelessly and describe my shortcomings as a “rookie” commuter (3 ) to eliminate any excuse I have (or potentially determine) for not traveling by bike (4) to experiment with and review various cycling and commuter-targeted products and (5) to inform, enlighten, and/or entertain those fellow individuals choosing to follow my lead.

 
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13 Responses to “Why I Go By Bike : Doug Rozelman”

  1. BluesCat says:

    I look forward to reading your progress.

    One thing I’d like you to do is limit the up-front advice you get from Bike Shop Girl before you do something or buy something in the process of learning bike commuting.

    That way, it will be IMMENSELY more entertaining if you make some of the mistakes I made before I discovered Commute by Bike!

  2. Paul in Minneapolis says:

    Welcome aboard! and enjoy the ride…

    If you keep your car, leave the gas tank empty and have a gas can full just in case you really need the car… For me selling my car was a mental challenge that I have never regretted. Hopping on my bike, riding past my car covered in with pollen or leaves helped encourage me as it signaled the end for it. That was 4 years ago and now as I see others driving it amazes me that I was once part of it.
    Remember how much you spent on your car” and when you need something to make riding more comfortable ask yourself why is spending for your bike, health, environment and “. worth less than your car. I did this when I put hub generated lights on my bike, and I would do it again…. : )

  3. Greg says:

    Right on, Doug!

    The 2-mile radius philosophy is a really good one. I’ve been working hard to bike those short trips here in Milwaukee for about a year now and saved about 1,000 miles on the car by doing things like going to the post office, mall stores and the bank by bike. In fact, I often extend my ride past the task oriented portion because I really like being out there.

    Keep up the good work!

    Greg

  4. Ringer says:

    I had a similar realization after I bought a new bike back in spring 2008. I lived close to work/school and suddenly realized, “I don’t need a car. I have a bike!” I sold my car and have gotten around primarily by bike ever since–except for longer trips, for which my wife’s car comes in quite handy.

    She and I recently moved to Tennessee–not the most bike friendly place, but I’m within a mile of where I teach and we have a brand new bike/pedestrian path near us that takes us to grocery stores, restaurants, and our favorite frozen yogurt place. We’ve embraced the idea of biking if the trip is within 2 miles, and boy is it a wonderful life.

    Good luck, Doug!

  5. Thomas Brock says:

    Congratulations, Doug! And welcome to the bike commuting world.

    Don’t feel bad about any sort of mis-steps. They’re just learning experiences along the way.

    You’ll be fine and enjoy life just a bit better for it!

  6. DougRoz says:

    Thank you all for the warm welcome! My daily experiences will mainly serve as upcoming content, but I am always open to suggestions and new ideas. Stayed tuned for more! :)

  7. Nikki says:

    Great article Doug! I look forward to growing with you on your journey as I myself continue to embrace a healthier and eco-friendly lifestyle.

  8. Jamie says:

    Your new Bicyclifestyle sounds exciting – and we wish you all the best as you take on this new philosophy. Here’s a few tips, from your cousin (and her Chevy Tahoe) to help you avoid the bumps…

    1. Get a nifty little handlebar basket for those trips to the grocery store
    2. Don’t EVER bike to a first date…

    Love you and look forward to continued reading!!

  9. Halley says:

    I sold my car two years ago, and except for one occasion when I was provided with a rental car, I haven’t used one since then.

    I am a professional musician and a social worker. Up until about 7 months ago, I kinda used my bike for short trips, but often went by bus. I have spent a good part of this last year figuring out transportation for my gig gear (a custom built 5′ trailer) and just how many groceries I can purchase.

    A hint. For the big grocery days, bring your panniers into the store (I clip mine to the side of the cart!) gives me visual reference.

    Also, I don’t know how it is on your side of the world, but here in Portland, OR when I go on a first date, if they don’t roll up on two-wheels,it’s the nail in the coffin for me.

  10. Doug -

    I think we found your dream girl!

  11. jdc says:

    I’m also a shop wrench. I live in a snowy area. I usually pull my car off of the road in April and ride until the end of October, where my insurance company puts my car back on the road for the winter months. This year I phoned them and told them to pull my car off of the road for the winter as well. The agent replied “you mean ON, right?” I assured her that I meant to return to fulltime commuting by bike. For the record, I’m 50 yrs old and have only had a licence for 10 years, being that I’ve been a year-round bicycle commuter for most of my life. I rarely drive anyways and will sell my car and buy a new track bike for my stable as a reward, lol. It most certainly IS possible to use a bike as a main mode of transportation. The hardest part is convincing your mind to get comfortable with the idea in inclement weather.

  12. Dee says:

    Oh how I’d love to sell my truck. I consider it every single day. The only reason I haven’t yet is because I’m in the Army and I get sent to different schools and temporary assignments so often… it would really be a pain to find a rental in a semi-rural area. So I end up keeping this expensive chunk of metal just so I can haul my stuff around for a while. I do think that after this next move I will be able to sell it though, and depend only on my bicycles and the occasional rental car after that. Good luck with it, Doug. Bicycling for daily errands and work is the best thing I’ve ever committed to.

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