In our first week of having it the Xtracycle has been used on at least 4 journeys that would have otherwise required a car. While we may have only saved a few gallons of gas and a tiny amount of greenhouse gasses so far the benefits go well beyond this. I felt awesome yesterday when Beth took Finn to school on the Xtracycle, even though she had a fall after dropping him off she did not get hurt. She seems to fall of the bike only when it is stationary, which I guess is a good thing.
I have made runs to pick up groceries, Chinese Takeout, hardware store stuff and today who knows…
I have in recent years come up with a sort of hierarchy of travel theory which value ranks each type of travel;
It is simple really, if you can get to where you are going by bike, do it. Cycling is quite simply the best way on the planet to travel in terms of pure enjoyment, health and environmental impact. If you can’t take a bike the next best thing is a scooter or motorcycle, which can be every bit as fun as a bike and still has a relatively small environmental impact. Next on the list for me is public transport, and while I know some would argue that public transport should come before the motorcycle I feel that the enjoyment of a motorbike ride can be weighed against the lesser environmental impact of public transport to make the two things essentially equal on a “quality of life” scale. If I lived in a city with a train or light rail system and more traffic congestion I would almost certainly put public transport ahead of the motorcycle.
Next up is the small car. Small cars are not only cheaper and more efficient but they are generally more fun to drive as well. I don’t rank hybrid cars on the same level as small cars at all because the supposed environmental benefits of hybrids are mostly marketing BS and until I can afford a Porsche 918 Spyder the word hybrid just makes me think “soulless transportation appliance“. Driving one of these every day would destroy my soul.
Next up is a Truck or SUV, preferably a classic one. Yes the emissions are worse but one fundamental thing that the Honda driving masses don’t generally understand about cars is that the environmental impact of manufacturing a vehicle is as significant as driving it. With the exception of towing and hauling stuff I try to leave the big SUV at home, but replacing it with a smaller car is not the most financially or environmentally solution.. If you are considering replacing your car with a more environmentally friendly one stop and do some homework first, in most cases the best thing to do for the environment is to keep your old car on the road as long as possible and try to drive less.
The world needs cool classic cars saved and restored far more than it needs crappy road warts that are destined for the scrap heap.