Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bicycle Deliveries

Bike share station in Washington DC

"I got hooked on biking because it’s a pleasure, not because biking lowers my carbon footprint, improves my health or brings me into contact with different parts of the city and new adventures. But it does all these things, too — and sometimes makes us a little self-satisfied for it; still, the reward is emotional gratification, which trumps reason, as it often does."I ran across this great quote by David Byrne today from an excellent article he wrote in the New York Times last May and I immediately connected with it. 

If you've been reading this blog you know that I started delivering all of the CSA shares by bike this year. I've been doing this in all kinds of weather, with all kinds of loads, since I got the bike in June. Doing a straight forward cost analysis of bicycle delivery vs. car delivery there's no way it makes sense over the distance I travel, not that's it's particularly expensive, but my car was just so cheap the way I used it. Like Mr. Byrne, I got hooked because it's a pleasure, and I appreciate all of the other benefits as well, none of which come with doing deliveries by car. 

In 2013 the farm is moving, and expanding, and even though the ride will be a little longer I'm still planning on doing deliveries by bike. Some folks think I'm nuts, and maybe I am and I'll realize my folly. Probably some of the shares will end up being delivered by car, just because of the expansion and I won't be the only one doing deliveries any more. Those details are still being worked out, but I'm optimistic and I think we'll be able to deliver most my bike.

I just got back from Washington DC where I was really impressed with the bike share program they have there, and that folks seemed to actually be using it (based on a short walk I took where I saw two separate users within just a few blocks). It's incredible to see the change in bicycles and bicycle culture here in the US in the past decade. Change like that makes me very optimistic for the future, not just that folks will live in a more environmentally responsible way, but that they'll live more pleasurable lives. Part of the thinking behind the farm is to not only look at how we can produce and distribute good, clean, fair food, but also how we can do it in a way that's more pleasurable for everyone involved. 

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