You have probably heard of “Bike to work day” or “Worldwide Car-Free Day.” These events encourage greener methods of travel; meaning ways to get around other than driving alone by car. Although technically only one day, Bike to Work Day eventually evolved to form “Bike to Work Week,” which is now a part of “National Bike Month.”
For some people, the idea of one bicycle commute is becoming more and more popular. According to USA Today, the number of people who commute to work by bicycle increased about 60% over the past decade leading to many communities investing more in bike share programs, bike lanes, and more pedestrian-friendly streets.
Recently, Good Karma Bikes’ CEO and Founder, Jim Gardner, made a commitment to leave his car behind more often and commute to work on his bike more often..
Thinking About Going Car-Free?
My name is Jim Gardner, I’m the founder and CEO of Good Karma Bikes. We are a non-profit community bike shop in San Jose, CA.
Observing the hype around taco Tuesday in the autumn of 2021, I started to ponder how that concept could be used for good. Top of mind these days is global warming and how disappointed I am with policy-makers.
The holidays passed and 2021 was coming to an end. I thought why not car-free Tuesday? Unlike me, I didn’t set a goal other than to see how far I would get in our car-culture. I had no expectations to see how many car-free Tuesdays I would do.
It turned out to be a small amount of planning. It turned out to be enjoyable. I found it helped me sleep. I gained 25 consecutive car-free Tuesdays before I had to take a car.
What I didn’t expect was how enjoyable it was. I found myself doing other car-free days. It turned out that Sunday was easy to do and Mondays were 50/50. Soon, I was getting more car-free work days.
As of July 17, 2022 I have 75 car-free days. I have saved—depending which app or website you visit—1 ton of greenhouse gasses from using my car.
I have no intention of slowing down. I am curious how long I can keep it going.
If you don’t commute to work on a bike, you owe it to yourself to try it. One hundred percent of the people I have spoken with say by the time they are home, they have left work behind. It is remarkable what a mental transformation occurs on that ride home.