As tensions rise in the Middle East, hurricanes strike the gulf coast, and Alaska’s black crude runs out, gas prices simply continue to rise higher and higher. Some people become complacent with the extra dollar a gallon we now pay at the gas pumps, but others are making a stand. While motor companies react sluggishly to the crisis that could be seen coming years ago, other people are saying, “Enough!” and are taking matters into their own hands. They are getting back to basics and finding others ways to get around without feeding black gold to their combustible engines. With alternative commuting you can get almost anywhere!
One Foot in Front of the Other
It’s impossible to go any further back to basics other than walking. Since the beginning of man, this was the original way to get from one place to another. However, walking doesn’t have to be ho hum. Plug in your ear buds, making sure that you can still hear what’s going on around you, and find an interesting way to work. For a fit person, the average walking speed is around 3 miles per hour. In reality, many people taking up an alternative way to get to work will not be in the fittest of shape, so plan on 2 mph to start. This is an important fact to take into consideration, miles per hour. This means if you live more than a couple miles from work, walking might not be practical for you. Remember, there was a reason you drove a car. So, walking is an alternative for those that live close to their work places.
Run Like You Mean It
Now running can get you there twice as fast as walking, with an average speed of around 6 mph. However, with running you are still restricted to living close to work; running should also only be an option for people in good health. Remember to always get approval from your doctor if you are planning to start an exercise regime that you haven’t done before. Of course, you need good knees and back for running, too. Running can be an awesome way to get the blood pumping and your brain ready to jump-start the day at work.
Just Bike It
Bicycling is a great alternative for those who live too far from work to make walking or running practical. On a bicycle a person can go over twice as fast as running, averaging around 13 – 20 mph. Unlike walking and running, though, bicycling will cost more, especially if you don’t already own a bike. Bikes can average over $200 if bought new; of course you could always save at a yard sale. Just be sure to get the bicycle checked out by a professional to ensure the tires, chain, and brakes are good to go. Next, make sure you have a modern, new bicycle helmet. Safety is not for flea market shopping. Once you’re ready, don’t forget the back pack and rain gear and remember that some communities have rules just for bicycles.
Photo from life123.com
Can I Bum a Ride?
If you live too far out for walking, running, or biking, then motorized transportation is your only choice. The choice now is to pick which option will be the best for your location and what your community can provide. Car pooling would be the best option if you have friends at work who live close enough to you. Remember, asking someone to drive 30 minutes out of their way just to help you save gas isn’t going to help the environment. If friends are out of the question, check on bus options. If you are lucky enough to live in an area with multiple bus or shuttle options, pick one that runs on natural gas or other alternative fuel. No bus stops nearby, then your last resort would be a community car pool option, where people from the same community might have a car pool service into the city center.
Try, Try, and Try Again
The one goal to keep in mind is to try and be more environmentally conscious. Being able to turn getting to work into exercise is always going to be the best alternative, since you’re getting the 2 for 1 deal. If you want to feel more hip than simply running or bicycling, then consider skateboarding, or even electric scooters. Get creative and try new ways to get from point A to B, and have more fun.