I wouldn't say I have joined you since I still own a truck and a motorcycle but in the last month I have only bought 6 gallons of gas. I ride back and forth to work, ride to go shopping or get a coffee and even ride up to the park where I run on the weekends.
Do you commute year round in Eugene? I'm thinking of settling there when I retire from the Coast Guard. Compared to Forks, WA or Tillamook the climate is much less rainier and I can see myself commuting by bike year round with no problems. What are your thoughts about Eugene?
The winter before this last one I traded off between biking and riding the bus, but both were exceptionally convenient for me at that time with only 2.5 miles to work over roadside bike lanes, or the bus stop about 100m from my house and 300m from work. But don't kid yourself, it rains plenty here! :P
As for my current situation, the bus is pretty much now a royal pain the butt to deal with. The nearest stop to my new work location is well over 1/2 mile away and I would have to deal with doing a transfer just to go 3.5 miles. Regardless, I don't see commuting by bike as a serious problem with the right wardrobe for it. Even with as much as it does rain here, more often than not, it's more a matter of road moisture than what falls directly.
I won't be completely giving up driving because I live in a rural mountain town in which there is no real choice but to drive. However, when I am at my University (which is a 6 hour drive to) I plan to keep my car parked for 2-3 months at a time until I have to return home again. Right now I have a hybrid mountain/speed bike but I'm looking into getting something nicer. Around the University I am getting only city mileage. 35 mpg is good, but between free buses and biking/walking I can do better.
I had planned to get a new Mazda3 which gets better FE than Troy, but with the sour job market, it has taken me too long to find a new job. I think I'll hold off on any new transportation until the automakers step up their game.
Don't get me wrong, I know it is rainy there. But if I could commute and ride all winter in Tillamook or Forks Eugne will probably seem like a reprieve. I may end up stationed in Florence next year, if you ever visit there look for me to be commuting to the CG station by bike.
It's now been about a month since I suspended the car insurance and I don't miss it at all. Of course it hasn't rained one single day during that time however.
The motored kit has been worth the money regardless. Even so, I just found a Ross Beach Boss at the recycle yard this last week for $2. All it needed was a brake repair and a front wheel and it was road ready. I've put another $60 into a better seat and new handle bars, but I think it's going to have me pedalling at least as much as I motor to work going forward.
I'm having trouble imagining not riding at this time of year. It's just too nice not to.