Guy In Wisconsin Is Refusing To Buy Any More Damn Gasoline… For A Month

Brian LaFave of Sheboygan, WI has had enough of high gas prices, so he’s parking his truck and biking to work… for a month. Brian used to put 300 miles a week on his trusty pickup truck, but no longer. He’s biking to work, not accepting free rides unless his friends are already in his neighborhood, and taking the money he saves and donating it to charity.

From Yahoo!:

“I did like a practice run … two days in a row to make sure I could do it,” he said. “I’m not in the greatest shape. The mornings are the worst. It feels like it takes forever. I get like a mile down the road and I want to die.”

It’s a big change for someone who put 300 miles on his truck the week before he stopped driving it.

LaFave fills out a chart each day listing how many miles he bikes, the destination and the gas price that day, among other things. He plans to compute his savings and donate that amount to a charity that provides food to children in Africa.

“I think just with the gas prices being so high, everybody complains about it but no one ever really does anything about it,” LaFave said. “People continue to drive nonstop and not think about it, but I just wanted to take a stand and say, `I’m not gonna pay this much money for gas.'”

We think what Brian is doing is sweet (the charity part), but we won’t really be impressed unless he extends his project into the delightful Wisconsin winter…

Wis. man won’t buy gas for 31 days, maybe longer [Yahoo!] (Thanks, Angela!)
(Photo: Nabity Photos )

Comments

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  1. outinthedark says:

    I’d do this if there was a shower at/near work.

  2. Empire says:

    I bet you after the month is over, he won’t want to go back to driving. He probably won’t even be able to remember why he did it so much in the first place.

  3. Bladefist says:

    Money talks BS walks. If more people do this, it WILL lower the price of oil. I am a believer.

    I’m not naive, I know there are other factors, but consumer boycotts do work.

  4. consumersaur says:

    I’m going to cancel out Brian’s effort by upping my weekly driving to 600 miles a week.

  5. sir_pantsalot says:

    He can take a break in the winter and during that time someone here in Houston can take over. Then they can switch again in the spring.

  6. katra says:

    Good on him.

    I’m very lucky in that I’m able to walk to work. I look forward to my stroll each day now – it’s about 15 minutes at the longest, and I get to see more of the neighborhood.

  7. amyschiff says:

    Nice.

  8. induscreed says:

    you go girl!

  9. dragonfire81 says:

    I used to do this for entire summers before I got a car. It might be a bit slower but it saves money, gets your body great exercise and it’s a lot easier to avoid traffic jams.

  10. smackswell says:

    Winter biking in Wisco is totally doable. I’d recommend moving elsewhere, however.

  11. Kishi says:

    Good for him. I spent the last year taking the bus and walking to work and it was pretty nice. Kinda wish I still could, but I just moved to a city without a decent public transit system.

  12. Truvill says:

    @induscreed:

    Uhh…

    Anyway, I wish it was practical enough for me to do. I actually enjoy biking, but my current workplace is simply too far away, if not downright inaccessable for biking.

  13. ezacharyk says:

    Did this when I lived in Arizona. Saved a lot of money and was in great shape.

    Now I live in Oklahoma and have a 40 minute commute to work. No way I am biking that.

  14. Scuba Steve says:

    3 hundred miles a week? Amateur.. I used to drive 550 miles a week, and 300 of those at 5-10 mph.

    God Atlanta traffic sucks.

  15. ptkdude says:

    @Bladefist: Yes, consumer boycotts can work if done properly. The common “don’t buy gas on Sunday” emails that go around don’t work. The secret isn’t “don’t buy gas”, it’s don’t DRIVE. Find another way to run that errand. Pushing it to another day doesn’t work, you have to run the errand without your car. Walk to the store, take the bus to work, etc.

    And before everyone flames me, yes I realize there are people who can’t make those changes.

  16. Bladefist says:

    @consumersaur: save that kind of effort for global warming.

  17. Bladefist says:

    @ptkdude: oh you’ll get flamed either way. I agree. If more, not a ton, but more, people took other forms of transportation, it would send a message. If not to the oil companies (the foreign ones), to the government who is not collecting as much tax as they would like.

  18. oyvader says:

    @outinthedark: An old job of mine had an in-office shower set up for precisely that reason. Trust me, in the humid New England summers, it was needed.

  19. Norskman says:

    @Scuba Steve: Well I used to drive 880 miles a week and most of those in reverse at night with no street lights and my truck bed filled with huge boxes blocking my view.

    God one-upping people online sucks.

  20. outinthedark says:

    @oyvader: I walked to school in 90+ Florida sun but now in Virginia every other day is a new adventure with the weather. I bought a motorcycle so I could get 60+ mpg and save a little on my 12 or so mile commute. every other day I have to garage it because the rain is so scattered here. At least in Florida I knew when it was going to rain.

    I think I might find out some options and find a cheap bike off Criagslist.

  21. FromThisSoil says:

    @consumersaur:

    That comment got a good laugh out of me.

    I already drive about 600 miles a work-week (5 days). It sucks paying $4 a gallon near/in NYC, but I like my job, I like where I live, and I like my car.

    Nope, I’m not riding my bike 50 miles to work and taking public transportation is not an option.

  22. TwinTurbo says:

    Err, he’s so fed up with high gas prices that he’s biking to work to give the money he saves to charity? Isn’t that a zero sum gain for Brian? Seems irrational… I do not understand why he wouldn’t SAVE the extra money he SAVES from biking, people living in WI are a virtual charity case already!

  23. outinthedark says:

    @TwinTurbo: Tax write off maybe? I’d pocket the money personally.

  24. theblackdog says:

    As a regular commuter in DC, I’m noticing more people riding the subway these days. Now if Maryland, DC, and VA could pull their act together and provide a steady funding source to Metro then I think more people would ride the subway/bus to work.

  25. Gann says:

    @TwinTurbo: Not zero sum, there are the health benefits.

  26. FatLynn says:

    Just because he may not do it year round does NOT mean his efforts are meaningless.

    In related news, the train line I ride into work keeps adding additional trains and cars due to squeezed capacity. I hope that these new riders are making a permanent change and don’t cop out as soon as it gets cold again.

  27. FatLynn says:

    @outinthedark: Besides, part of the message is “I am choosing to cut back” as a contrast to “my budget forces me to cut back”.

  28. betatron says:

    golly gee willikers! pin a f*cken medal to his chest.

    i mean jeeze… i’ve _always_, since the 70s, made a point of living within cycling distance of work/shopping etc. Still do. where’s my pony??

    Looking at my calenders i see 641 car-free days in my life between may’04 (when i started keeping track of that parameter) and today.

    Like i said, give the guy a big shiny medal.

  29. evslin says:

    My driving is going to get cut down to next to nothing once I start school this fall. Screw paying this kind of money for gas. I’d start now, but my work situation prevents it. (Live in a city and work way out in the country with no bike-safe roads to take)

  30. laserjobs says:

    How much extra food is he going to have to eat now that he is biking to work?

  31. hellinmyeyes says:

    It shouldn’t take high prices to remind people of this kind of waste. Driving is a luxury in many parts of the world, regardless of whether we think of it as a necessity. Still seems like a dramatically written post, though… Whatev.

  32. Saboth says:

    I can see the morning meeting now if I biked 11 miles to work. “Ugh…what’s that odor?”. “Sorry guys…you know, biking to work and darn if it isn’t already 80 degrees by 8 am today!”

  33. ARP says:

    @Bladefist: It’s sort of an unfortunate cycle. If more people rode their bike to work and took public transportation, prices would probably go down (holding other variables even). Of course, the problem is that once gas prices go down, people will either: a) start driving again; b) become more wasteful in their driving habits general and/or c) buy big SUV’s again because gas is more affordable. Most likely all of these will happen depending on the consumer type.

    Then the cycle will start all over again.

    And since this site always turns to politics, let me get that started with a news conference with Ari Fleisher:

    Q. Is one of the problems with this, and the entire energy field, American lifestyles? Does the President believe that, given the amount of energy Americans consume per capita, how much it exceeds any other citizen in any other country in the world, does the President believe we need to correct our lifestyles to address the energy problem?

    MR. FLEISCHER: That’s a big no. The President believes that it’s an American way of life, and that it should be the goal of policy makers to protect the American way of life. The American way of life is a blessed one. And we have a bounty of resources in this country.

    Q So Americans should go on consuming as much more energy than any other citizens in any other countries of the world, as long as they want?

    MR. FLEISCHER: But the President believes that the American people’s use of energy is a reflection of the strength of our economy, of the way of life that the American people have come to enjoy.

  34. choinski says:

    This article should be retitled: “Physically abled American with Inefficient Oversized Transport Inconvenienced By Conequences, Chooses Sensible Alternative”

  35. nevadaniro says:

    Maybe I am the only person that this bothers but…Here goes, why is he giving the money that he saves to children in Africa, if he was really attempting to effect change in this matter by biking instead of diving then shouldn’t the money that he saves go toward research for alternative methods of fuel??? hmmm…

  36. pineking2 says:

    Nothing says pay attention to me like saying pay attention to me.

  37. JDAC says:

    @theblackdog: When I lived in Alexandria and worked in DC, I took the Metro every day and actually liked it. Great chance to catch up on reading, etc.

    Only downside is the service sucked on federal holidays.

  38. jamesdenver says:

    Why only for a month? I’ve been biking to work 9 miles each way for six years. Yeah I take the bus/train or ride with roomate if the weather really sux — but my bike is my primary method of transportation – and i live it.

  39. Coelacanth says:

    I hope his efforts continue and inspire others to make the change. Not only that, but if people biked or walked more places, I’m sure that’d go a long ways towards curbing the obesity epidemic.

  40. Rajio says:

    I find it amusing how he can’t even cycle a mile without wanting to die. either he’s using his bicycle wrong or he lives at the bottom of the grand canyon.

    Its called a gearshift!

    …And he can take public transit when the weather is inclement, why you gotta be a hater, Consumerist?

    It would be nice if someone would check up on him in a month. I know lots of people cycle to work etc but thsi guy is a typical joe-truck-driver, so he may prove a nice example to other truck-tards.

  41. ViperBorg says:

    @Truvill: “Uhh…”
    Yeah, that sums up what I was thinking.

    On a side note, I salute you, good sir!

  42. Mr. Guy says:

    boy, first the bedbugs decide to take public transportation, now this guy is biking to work… what is the world coming to?

  43. Feba says:

    How in the shit is this newsworthy? There are tons of people doing this, have been for years. There are people out there that have been living without a car for decades. Why in the world is some random joe coming along saying “I’m gonna just not buy gas this month” worth talking about?

    @Saboth: Actually, from a lot of the people I’ve talked to about this, since they drink a lot of water anyway, their odor isn’t nearly as bad as it would be for someone who isn’t fit to ride that distance. There’s also deodorant and bringing a change of clothes (most people aren’t going to want to wear office clothes while riding anyway); not to mention showers at the office. While office place showers are becoming more common, I’ve also heard of people who have a gym membership near their place of business, where they stop, shower, and change before getting to work. There’s also the fact that anyone who is serious about it is going to think about where they live and work, and their mode of transportation, together; and not as separate entities (really, even people who use cars would be much better off doing this)

  44. ViperBorg says:

    @Rajio: Haven’t been to Wisconsin much, have ya? Where he lives (not that far from me) there isn’t much in public trans unless your in a major city.

    And even if you take public trans, your still giving money to the oil companies.

  45. Ssscorpion says:

    $7.36 per gallon in Ireland.

    /just sayin’ is all

  46. TheoboldButterfly says:

    Go Brian! It gets easier!

  47. Coelacanth says:

    @ptkdude: Yeah, you can’t really go too far around Berkeley without somebody posting “DRIVING” to the STOP signs.

  48. cmdrsass says:

    Maybe city-dwellers and college students can pull it off long-term, but for the rest of us this is a hopelessly futile gesture.

  49. Bladefist says:

    @ARP: Well, politically, he says that to combat the other side, who would like us to live in mud huts to save the polar bears. And the American way does use lots of resources, and I guess I totally agree with Bush. There is an amount of resources on this earth. A max. And who gets them is determined by economics. If it isn’t us using it, the price will be driven down, and someone else will.

    It’s all about responsible consuming. The definition of that is debatable. If a population started using other forms of transportation, I’m guessing many wouldn’t go back. They would make it part of their lives, see the savings, and never go back. Thats not true for everyone, because some people would be very inconvenienced, while others, not so much.

    The concept that Americans use more, has always been known. And everyone knows the American life is very comfortable. I’ve always been proud of that, are you telling me I should be ashamed?

  50. parad0x360 says:

    @Bladefist: The only factor raising oil prices is greed

  51. MercuryPDX says:

    @fumducket: Oh yeah?!?!?! Up a hill…. in the snow… Both ways!

    ;)

  52. strixus says:

    Now if only I didn’t live 45 miles from work, without any navigable way of riding a bike safely between here and there. And oh yeah, 10 miles from the closest transit stop.

  53. Bladefist says:

    @parad0x360: That opinion shows your infinite lack of knowledge in oil markets. Greed would only appear in the foreign oil companies, from the people with weird names.

  54. evslin says:

    @Ssscorpion: Ireland is not the United States.

    /just sayin’ is all

  55. ironchef says:

    @strixus:

    How about mix biking and bus routes ( using a bike to the bus stop and put it on a bus bike rack. )

    A lot of people do that in California and NYC.

  56. ruffedges says:

    Bush is an oil man – his friends are oil men. Ever since he’s been in office our gas prices have gone up crazily. To me this is not a coincidence. He has put our country in the worst shape in decades. Thanks to all who voted for him TWICE.

  57. Bladefist says:

    @evslin: I’ll drink to that

  58. @COELACANTH: I’m partial to the person that stuck a “collaborate and listen” sticker on the stop sign near my apartment.

  59. jamesdenver says:

    @cmdrsass:

    I disagree. I don’t live in the heart of downtown and am professional in my 30s.

    However I CHOSE to buy a home in a neighborhood with good transit, old homes and sidewalks, and not dominated by cul-de-sacs, bix box stores, and superarterials.

    I don’t want to be dependent on my car for short trips and errands, and there’s plenty of neighborhoods in many cities where you can live that way. Its all about choics. You can buy an enormous home miles from anywhere any have tons of indoor space and a huge garage, or like me find a smaller place in a great neighborhood – and every time I see a gas station sign I know I made the right choice.

  60. Bladefist says:

    @ruffedges: You’re welcome, but I didn’t expect after your first 3 sentences you would be thanking me. We are all oil men. We all consume oil. We all have 401k’s in oil. Oil spikes come from speculators screwing with the market, and from our weaker dollar. Once our dollar comes back, you’ll see oil drop. Since oil is a foreign commodity. Also after some of the hostility in the East clears, that’ll help too. First and foremost, hate the speculators.

    If you think Obama will fix this, you got another thing coming. He’ll be over in Afghanistan speaking the wrong language.

  61. tedyc03 says:

    @fumducket: You had boxes? Back in my day we didn’t even have boxes! The shit was so high in the bed of my truck it kept falling out and I had to jump out to save it, with the truck moving.

    Ok, I agree, one-upping online sucks.

    Anyway…even though I think this guy is nuts I think he has the right idea. If we park more and drive less, we’ll do good things for the enviornment, for gas prices, and mostly, for our outsized waistlines (as Americans).

  62. r4__ says:

    @outinthedark: I have a motorcycle and commute rain and shine. My secret? Bringing a backup pair of socks and shoes. (Actually, I have one set up in my lab readily, so I don’t have to ferry it back and forth.)

    Also, if your jacket isn’t waterproof, there are cheap $20 oversuits (if you’re not wearing a jacket, you should, dammit!) and $20 pvc overpants you can pick up from places like newenough.com — they’re not as fancy as gore-tex but you probably won’t need them for long enough to justify the expense of a $60 rainsuit. They compress pretty well — you can fit them in the bottom of a backpack or just about anywhere you can put something on your motorcycle. When it starts raining, pull over under an overpass or similar roof-over-head and pull them on. Then take them off at work.

  63. ruffedges says:

    @Bladefist: Didn’t say anything about Obama. I hate all politicians. I don’t think the price will ever fall back below $2.75. Prices don’t come down once they have people paying top dollar. The hostility in the Middle East won’t ever clear so that theory sucks too. Thanks for giving me a new group to hate – “the speculators”.

  64. quagmire0 says:

    The moral of the story is that if it is feasible for you to bike or walk to work, you should anyway – despite how much gas is. However, like a lot of people here, I don’t have a good paved route to bike to work. Plus the stinkiness factor sets in as well. :D

  65. Bladefist says:

    @ruffedges: Ok, well I can accept your view point. I hate all of them too. You make me pick one, I pick republicans. I thought hating all of them was assumed.

    It could come back down, if our dollar became valuable again.

  66. betatron says:

    @laserjobs:

    How much extra food is he going to have to eat now that he is biking to work?

    If he’s anything like the typical American, and wisconsin is the most obese state in the union, less than none at all.

  67. RamonaLittle says:

    “He plans to compute his savings and donate that amount to a charity . . .”
    I’ve got another idea — how about he computes what he *would have* saved if he’d been doing this all along. Then he can look at the number and kick himself really hard. That would be funny.

    My husband and I just sold our minivan last week, so we won’t be buying gas for, I dunno, maybe forever. It didn’t occur to us to start contacting the press about it though.

  68. middy says:

    We could all stop driving and the prices would hardly budge. The rest of the world would buy what we don’t use.

  69. I live 4 miles from work. I can walk to work or drive to work, make the trip in 6 minutes or 60 minutes, the choice is mine. I choose 6 minutes.

    Give me a holler when gas hits $10 per gallon and my position may have changed.

    $2.50 worth of gas versus 1 hour walking….. hmm, I still choose the car.

    No mass transit option. Biking is an option, if I want to become a hood ornament for somebody else’s car. A motorcycle is an option if I want to get a divorce from the wife.

    Some of us are stuck (or choose to be stuck) with our cars.

  70. pfeng says:

    @middy: uh, yes… but the point is WE wouldn’t have to be buying it, ergo we would save :P

  71. jamesdenver says:

    @Corporate-Shill:

    You’re joking me – you live four miles and you won’t bike? That’s insane. Unless you live on an interstate freeway exit and your office is an exit four miles uproad there must be a decent route.

    Sucks to be you.

  72. pixiegirl1 says:

    I wish I could bike or walk to work. It’s only 2 miles from home, however I live in the burbs which are NOT transit friendly. I would have to walk down a newly built 4 lane highway. You’d think with all the money they got from the state for building the new highway they could have splurged and spent a little more to give us a sidewalk. *shakes head*

  73. I take too much in to work to not use a car. I’m not risking dropping my laptop bag off the back of a bike.

  74. kyle4 says:

    One person down, 6 billion to go. If only more people did this than gas prices and global warming would be improved.

  75. molasses says:

    My father at the age of 65 spent lots of money on a fancy bicycle (much to the annoyance of my mother) so he could bike into work. He works on a busy major roadway and needs to travel on other busy roadways to get to work. I told him he was a loon, and that he was going to get hit by a car. My prediction didn’t take long to come true… the very first day he got hit by a car. He had semi-minor injuries and he healed… and he is still biking to work, the nutjob. I am terrified for his life.

  76. outinthedark says:

    @r4__: Thanks I will definitely check it out!

    I don’t ride in the rain or with passengers mainly because this is my first bike. I’m familiar with dirt bikes and all but being on the road is different. Here in the Tidewater area of Virginia it seems as if the Navy recruits the worst drivers.

    Just being cautious for the time being. Will try a suit out next time it’s a light rain.

  77. xthexlanternx says:

    I wish I could do this, but my commute is over 100 miles a day…

  78. bohemian says:

    We have a multi pronged strategy.
    Were looking at buying one of these motorcycles
    [www.imz-ural.com]
    You can ride three people on it if you need to and have plenty of cargo room if there is only 1-2 people. Oh, and it will operate in the snow.
    Also looking at getting one of these for closer in short hops. [www.genuinescooters.com]
    Also one of these for things 1-2 miles out.
    [www.target.com]

    Oh, and were moving somewhere that isn’t a frozen tundra all winter.

  79. @outinthedark: It’s starting to strike me as appalling that downtown buildings can’t put in “lockerrooms.” Some employers do, but it really should start to be COMMON, both for non-motorized commuters and for convenience. (Look, some days I sweat and rinsing off after lunch would be a godsend.)

    My husband likes to bike to work, but it’s difficult when the weather is less-than-perfect or when he has to be in court, since he’s a lawyer and has to, you know, be in court. In a suit. If he could rinse off and change clothes at the office, that’d make it a zillion times easier than only being able to bike on days he can get away without a suit jacket and it isn’t raining.

    (I can’t currently bike to work because I have to cross the river, and the nearest pedestrian/bike crossing is some three miles downstream (and still a deathtrap), adding six miles to my trip, as I live just about directly across from my workplace. And the roads to and from the pedestrian/bike bridge aren’t pedestrian or bike accessible! It’s totally maddening. I’m teaching one class on a different campus this semester, though, that I should be able to bike to, so that’ll be good.)

  80. Triterion says:

    We should all get scooters, they get 90+ Miles to the GALLON!
    Imagine only buying one tank of gas at a time…
    This is the one I’m getting:
    [www.genuinescooters.com]
    Isn’t it cute?

  81. Ajh says:

    I’d do this…but there’s no shoulder on the road on the 4 mile drive to work and people speed like freaks. (I would rather NOT die thank you.) Instead I just refuse to go anywhere if I don’t have to and often sit at work for break instead of going home..even if I am sitting there for two hours…yay DS.

  82. chese79 says:

    I grew up in Sheboygan! I drove to my friend’s house two blocks away.

  83. starbreiz says:

    It’s possible. I just drove behind a guy with a CA plate that said “NO BI GAS” and had a placard above it saying “Electrical Powered”.
    Great concept… if only he hadn’t blown his red light and pulled out in front of me, making me slam on the brakes.

    Also, is a month that long? My car has a 14 gal tank and I fill up only once every 2 weeks. I can walk to the grocery store, but I drive to work.

  84. DeltaPurser says:

    I live in Florida. I work out of Atlanta, GA… You do the math.

    The guy is doing the right thing though. If everybody would bike/walk/carpool to work ONCE A WEEK, imagine what that would do to oil consumption.

  85. anti-consumer says:

    Interestingly, the EPA is tackling the issue of bike commuting in their question of the week series:

    [blog.epa.gov]

    I commute by bike 30mi a day and have been bike commuting for 7 years. More power to this guy. Hopefully he’ll reap the fitness benefits as well as the monetary. Those first few rides are tough though. I remember them still. Peace.

  86. Lambasted says:

    He’s doing the right thing. Unfortunately, the right thing isn’t always doable or practical for everyone. For a great many people living in major cities, highway travel is the only option to and from work. Bikes are not permitted on highways. But for those who can and do bike to work, I tip my hat to you. I wouldn’t do it but more power to you if you can.

  87. planetdaddy says:

    Why not donate the money to someone who helps children in our country?

    This country is hung up on helping other people while we fall apart from the inside out.

    Just an observation.

  88. unleashed says:

    I bike just over 22km each way to work, on a good day it’s just over 45min. It’s that or $4 + an hour each way on the bus..no thanks.

    People around here don’t really know how to drive though, so I may end up dead from doing this. I have at least one close call a day.

  89. katekate says:

    Seriously? Big fuckin’ deal, dude. I bike to my office job every day.

  90. I bike one mile to work. I look at my coworkers funny when they tell me that drive distances shorter than that. Buddy of mine drives and literally lives across the street (granted this is Texas and it’s a big street, so that’s still 1/2 mile).

    @Bladefist: Greed would only appear in the foreign oil companies…. Oil is a foreign commodity.

    I think you have a point with that. I think about that when I hear “windfall profits” and talk of imposing extra taxes, or otherwise punishing our oil companies for things they have little control over.

    Because the thing about record profits is that the margins are reasonable, around 10%. So, sure, Exxon’s $10 billion after-tax profit sounds like a lot. But it’s not a lot when that profit cost you $90 billion dollars and you paid $10 billion in taxes.

    The margins are better at McDonald’s, a company that makes a profit 17% that of Exxon’s when it’s only 5% of the size.

    @Lambasted: For a great many people living in major cities, highway travel is the only option to and from work.

    Almost certainly not true. I will wager $100 (payable in Monopoly money) that there is a bike-rideable route between your home and work.

    @xthexlanternx: @FromThisSoil: @ezacharyk: Simply living far away is not an excuse, unless you have a really good reason that you don’t live closer. See betatron.

    @Corporate-Shill: @Ajh: When there are more bikes on the road, people get used to it. When there are enough cyclers, they band together and demand reasonable accommodations like getting lanes put in (and then after that, we get them physically separated from traffic, get our own signals…). In the mean time, if obey you aalllll of the traffic laws, assume that most cars doesn’t see you, and wear a helmet, you’ll be fine.

  91. katworthy says:

    Hooray Brian! It’s so inspiring to hear that people are starting to realize that they don’t need to take their cars everywhere!

  92. @Corporate-Shill: @Ajh: Also, Is Cycling Dangerous? [Ken Kifer’s Bike Pages] is a great summary. Short answer: it’s pretty safe if research it first and ride in a safe manner. It’s horribly unsafe if you do things like riding on the sidewalk, without lights at night, or especially riding against the flow of traffic.

    You don’t want to be a monkey, do you?

  93. Crrusherr says:

    i have gone the last month without refilling and driving 5 days a week

  94. Leah says:

    I’m doing something similar. I got a summer job that’s two miles from where I live, and I’ll be buying a bike to get me there. For my job that starts in the fall, I’ll also be living two miles from work and either biking or snowshoeing (yay for Minnesota winters).

    During the school year, I live less than a mile from campus, so I just walk.

    The key part is for people — when possible — to find a way to live close to where they work and then to make that trip without their car. Even more important is to make sure all areas are accessible. I know someone who lives a mile from his work, but he still drives his car because there are no sidewalks, and he’s unwilling to bike or walk in the ditch/grass.

  95. Leah says:

    @DeltaPurser: why not just move up to Atlanta? Or get a job in Florida?

  96. ZekeSulastin says:

    @Leah: Because the immediate cost of moving to Atlanta is high? Maybe it’s a temporary assignment? Maybe his particular job isn’t available in Florida?

    Not every job is as commonplace as yours. Heck, I know my mother has to drive an hour into work every morning. Sure, she COULD bike – she used to back before we moved – but then she’d be doing the bike ride at 02-0300 in the morning on roads that could best be described as heck, not to mention the bike lanes that are ignored and the Quality Driving (TM) by other people. Sure, she could move, but that would cost a hell of a lot of money for the effect …

    If people find that they can bike to work, more power to them. I wish their supporters would try to understand why people don’t, however.

  97. Trai_Dep says:

    I’ll have to drive to my job, but I’ll do it in reverse. That’ll show ‘em!

  98. FYI, some books on cutting down car use:

    [www.amazon.com]

  99. @betatron: Sorry , you don’t get a medal.645 days doesn’t even get you a sticker. The guy is doing his best. So are you. So am I. Shut up and ride your bike.

  100. @ruffedges: Two Thumbs up, for your astute observation.

  101. chrisbacke says:

    And when he loses 10 pounds from this month of biking, who’ll be laughing then? Second SpeedyGonzalas: Shut up and ride your bike / use the bus / carpool / walk / leave earlier (to avoid congestion) / find a different job / move. Don’t accept high gas prices as the only way.

    By the way, I practice what I preach – I walk to work, take the subway whereever I need to go. Take care :)

  102. FromThisSoil says:

    @Michael Belisle:

    You said: “Simply living far away is not an excuse, unless you have a really good reason that you don’t live closer.”

    I said: “I already drive about 600 miles a work-week (5 days). It sucks paying $4 a gallon near/in NYC, but I like my job, I like where I live, and I like my car.”

    Doesn’t sound like I was making excuses.

  103. @theblackdog: I’ll second that.

  104. heavylee-again says:

    Hey, how about donating money to feed kids in AMERICA. There are plenty of undernourished kids right here in the good ol’ US of A.

    I understand that there are millions of suffering people in the world, but some of them are within our borders. Why shouldn’t we take care of our own first?

  105. deedubya says:

    I sold my car and started riding my bike seven weeks ago, inspired by a book called, “How to Live Well Without Owning a Car,” by Chris Balish. I’m a 51-year old female and it’s been great. I infrequently take mass transit or taxis and once or twice a month I rent a car from Hertz where I get a great rate of $20 a day. On those days I run farther-afield errands, buy ice cream and get large bags of cat food. I’m in the greatest shape of my life. I meet people on my bike and I get home faster on my bike (especially on Fridays) than I did in my car. With the money I save, I’ve been able to donate to my favorite charities. The greatest and most surprising advantage, however, is the extra time I save which has enabled me to start writing a novel. The reason I save so much time is I’m not running errands every day or finding places to go. Plus I have a good reason to say “no” to meetings. I bike past a local grocer every day on my way home from work and I get one bag of groceries, just enough for one day. It has to fit in my backpack, so I save money by being judicious in my purchase. I have found I can live without a lot of things that were once necessities. I outfitted by bike with extra lights and panniers. Austin is a pretty bike friendly place but there is the occasional *#@%^+ who wants to “teach me a lesson,” which brings me to another advantage of biking: it is an adventure and a challenge which means I will never live a life of quiet desperation.

  106. rasdsm says:

    I’ve started walking to work everyday. I’m lucky enough to live close enough. I drive an ’82 Mercedes diesel, so you can imagine what I’m saving. Haven’t had to fill up in over a month now.

  107. Trai_Dep says:

    @heavylee-again: JeBEzus…
    Probably because he figures nothing is stopping YOU from contributing YOUR money in ways that YOU like? Yeah, that’s probably it.
    So tell is, how much are YOU going to give out of your pocket to charity? And to whom?

  108. heavylee-again says:

    @Trai_Dep: I regularly contribute to local charities that help Americans. But of course, since I don’t have that as a boilerplate in all my posts, you assumed otherwise. But just because I do, doesn’t prevent others form doing so. I wish I was wealthy enough, that I was able to donate enough money to solve a domestic need.

  109. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    So instead of giving his money to the Middle East (oil), he’s giving it to Africa (charity). Does nobody support our own country anymore?

  110. Trai_Dep says:

    @heavylee-again: Well, those of us that give should also recognize that we shouldn’t slam how others give. It’s part of what makes giving so great, isn’t it? Bet you wouldn’t want someone dictating how you should give, so extend the same courtesy to other generous souls? Yeesh!

  111. Say lots of people did this and gas prices dropped. Well, as soon as they dropped, people would start buying gas again and prices would move right back up.

  112. ohgoodness says:

    About three weeks ago I sold my car and I now proudly only bike or take a bus where ever I need to go. I live in Texas and it can get pretty obnoxiously hot, but I’m saving an absolute fortune… and maybe even doing my part to lower gas prices for you guys!

  113. @Leah: He also may be in a two-job family where the job are not in the same place. We live in a more rural part of the country, and we have LOTS of friends where one partner works in Peoria, and the other works in Galesburg (45 minutes by car), Bloomington (40ish), Springfield (90 minutes), Champaign/Urbana (80ish), etc. They have to either pick one to live in, or split the difference somewhere in the middle.

    We both work in the same metro area, but he works on the west side of the river and I work on the east side of the river. So I have to drive to work (the bridge is not bike- or pedestrian-legal, and the nearest legal bridge is quite a bit downstream, and has non-bike, non-pedestrian access to it!!!!), but he can walk or bike. If we moved to the other side of the river, I could walk or bike, but he’d have to drive.

    On the plus side, there’s a push on locally for more walker and biker-friendly roadways, so maybe one day there’ll be a bridge we can live near that’ll let us cross!

  114. stinerman says:

    @Bladefist:

    Of course it will, but how many people do you know that will bike their 40 mile commute to work?

  115. @FromThisSoil:

    Q: Why don’t you bike to work?
    A: “I’m not riding my bike 50 miles to work and taking public transportation is not an option.”

    Q: Why do you live 50 miles away?
    A: “I like my job, I like where I live, and I like my car.”

    OK. I’m not convinced that’s a good enough reason, but I’m just some guy on the Internet. I can’t convince you to move, and maybe the car you like is a Prius, but I can continue my (lonely) support of making gas as expensive as possible. Only $4? How about $6? $10? Can we go for $15?

    There’s a price where sane people will stop driving H2s to the office. That’s a start. Better yet, people might force corporations and the government to figure out a better way. I like commuter rail, nuclear energy, electric cars, and bicycles.

    Sadly, the free market means that H2s are safe until we’re actually running out of oil.

  116. SgtBeavis says:

    Big deal.

    I can go 2 or 3 months without using up a single tank of Gas and I drive a Mustang GT.

    I telecommute. 100% of the time.

  117. Oryx says:

    …Go Badgers!…..

  118. deserthiker says:

    I did this years ago when gas was cheap. I sold my car and rode my bike about ten miles (each way) to work. I had a small hiking shop and I took my dog-a 100+lb. Rott mix-in a Burley trailer. It was pretty fun actually and I’d do it again but I have to drive kids across town to school. I bet he finds that after a month he’ll want to do it the whole summer.

  119. VeritasNoir says:

    How is this newsworthy? I could drive to work everyday but instead take public transportation. I’ve been doing this long before greedy people started complaining about gas prices. . . it just makes more sense to avoid the congestions on the Chicago roads by using the CTA.

  120. FromThisSoil says:

    @Michael Belisle:

    I’m not really sure I, or anyone, need justify why, or how much we use our cars. I live in the suburbs and work in the city – I like it.

    Like you said, there is a breaking point for everyone. My car gets about 30MPG, if gas gets to $7-8/gallon maybe I’ll consider getting a hybrid car, if gas is $10/gallon, maybe I’ll consider moving closer to work or finding a job closer to my house.

    At, $4-6/gallon I’ll probably continue doing what I do, and that’s my choice alone. No one is going to convince me that gas should be taxed 800% to FORCE people to take public transportation or work local, for whatever the reason. FORCING people to do something is not really the way a democratic society should operate.

    The market should work itself out – the sad fact of a capitalist society is that some people are priced out of things before others, does that mean that everyone else should suffer? I can’t afford a Ferrari, does that mean they should stop making them so I feel better?

    I’m all for energy independence and greener transportation (although I’m not 100% convinced of the human factor on global warming), but watch what happens to our economy if gas is taxed out of the market to a majority of the people who consume it.

    You think there’s enough jobs in smaller towns to sustain an entire population of locals? How about the people who live in rural America, which is a majority of terrain in this country? I live in a town of 27,819 people, I hardly believe there is enough jobs within 10 miles to sustain them all with all their own skill sets.

  121. JohnnyE says:

    Maybe next week, starving Africans will cut back on over-breeding and send their savings over here to help pay our gas bills.

  122. @FromThisSoil: You don’t need to justify it. Like I said, I’m just some guy on the internet. Do whatever makes sense to you. I can still advocate that you and everyone else would minimize your energy usage, even if you can afford to pay for all the energy your heart desires.

    I never advocated taxes to discourage gas usage, although a reasonable increase to fund roads and mass transit is warranted. The free market will sort things out; everyone has their price; but I don’t think we should get to the point where we’ve burned 99% of the oil that exists (we probably will).

    Gas is so cheap and our roads so spacious that your town is almost certainly the way it is because drive into nuclear city. Americans are spoiled (in many ways) that we can live 50 miles from where we work without a substantial mass-transit system. Rail, again, is a great approach: a well-designed system would be quicker than driving and even at $10/gallon, you wouldn’t have to move.

    (I could also point out that I think the 5-seater, 1500-lb automobile on a 12-ft-wide paved lane is a ridiculously wasteful contraption to transport 200 lbs of flesh (your numbers may vary), but that’s a whole other story.)

  123. heavylee-again says:

    @Trai_Dep: That’s a very valid point, sir.

  124. halftank says:

    If everyone were really serious about decreasing oil consumption, we’d be back to 55mph speed limits on highways (since fuel economy goes way down past 60mph).

    I see lots of Hummers, Excursions, etc. flying around the Beltway going well over 80. We have yet to reach a tipping point in decreasing oil consumption.

  125. FromThisSoil says:

    @Michael Belisle:

    You said: “I can’t convince you to move, and maybe the car you like is a Prius, but I can continue my (lonely) support of making gas as expensive as possible.”

    and

    “I never advocated taxes to discourage gas usage, although a reasonable increase to fund roads and mass transit is warranted.”

    How else would you make gas as expensive as possible? There’s only one way – taxes. People in Europe and other parts of the world complain about Americans complaining that we have $4 gas and that they have $8 gas. Guess what? It’s almost all taxes in Europe! Last time I saw the figures, England’s gas price was 80% tax and 20% the price of the actual gas (just an estimation on my part from what I remember). So should we follow suit? I don’t think so.

    I’m fine with funding road improvements with gasoline tax dollar, but I’m not entirely sure it should fund mass-transit. If mass-transit is so great, then the people who ride it should pay for it out of their own pockets. I don’t expect a federal or state tax levy on bus and train fares to help fund road repairs. I’m not saying that because I don’t take mass-transit, I do. I frequently ride the NYC subway system and the Long Island Railroad and I wouldn’t expect that my fare be subsidized by other people because I think I’m better than other people who prefer the convince of leaving at the time they want (rather than on a schedule) and going door-to-door, rather than stop-to-stop.

    I agree with you about the weight of a car vs. load during transportation – 1500lbs is light for a car, that’s wishful thinking on your part. Most 4-door sedans are closer to 3000lbs these days (that’s a good step up from the cars we had in the 50s and 60s).

    Anyway, we’re all entitled to our opinion. I’m sure there are plenty of better, more efficient forms of transportation, but everything is not going to happen overnight. It’s a slow process that’s going to keep occurring, probably well after you and I are gone.

  126. fizzyg says:

    @jamesdenver:
    That’s totally me. I’m 5 miles away but right across a busy interstate exchange with no bike lanes and crazy traffic. I do make it a point to combine trips though.

  127. BlazerUnit says:

    @Bladefist: If you’re a conservative who thinks the status quo is the best America will ever do, then yeah, I guess you have nothing to be ashamed of.

    There are many of us who’d dare to make America greater. I think your side calls us “liberals”.

  128. Bladefist says:

    @BlazerUnit: No place on earth that is ran by liberals is better. Check out Europe. This is why America stands taller.

  129. chiieddy says:

    I’d do this… if I didn’t have to travel through a tunnel to get to work

  130. LibertyReign says:

    I feel like a broken record..

    Oil prices aren’t high. The value of your dollar is low. If we all followed suit on this(which I already have) it would either force the government to make gas purchases mandatory based on a predetermined scale affected by location, income and avergage commute distances, or we might still have JUST enough freedom left to allow the FREE MARKET to compensate by creating new, more affordable fuel sources.

    *crosses his fingers*

  131. Jbball says:

    So, instead of saving the money, he’s going to donate it? What’s the point then, if you’re going to be losing that money he’d pay in gas anyways. What a fucking idiot.