Wednesday, June 13

The First Step... admitting you have a problem.

An odd thing happened recently. I returned to the Bikeport from my cubicle release program. I parked the Cannonball outside and went in the house.  Mandy was getting ready to go to the store so I offered to tag along (we get more junk food when I do). So we headed back out, walked past the CBX and the shed where Kona Lisa was stabled and both of us got into the car without any vocal coordination.

It wasn't until we'd been in the store five minutes or so that Mandy said: "We drove!"

For whatever reason neither of us considered riding. I had even moved the CBX out of the entry area in front of the door before we left.

That's so unlike both of us. We try and always choose the bikes, especially when going to the store which is less than a mile away, and that time it didn't even cross our minds.

It's like I wrote awhile back: the novelty of being a car-lite family and of being committed to choosing the bike first has faded. In a sense it has become second nature. But the second nature of the car must be much more deeply ingrained.

Maybe we haven't really programmed our minds to default to the bike completely. This isn't the first time it's happened to me. I know of a few other times I've been sticking the key in the ignition before I realized what I was doing.

This is not something to fall on our swords over. It just happens. It was very interesting to me though, because sometimes if there is a palpable reason I will choose the car. But this one time there was no reason not to ride the bikes and we just didn't consider it at all.

After we'd gaped at each other about our gaffe we read some labels, bemoaned the inclusion of high fructose corn syrup in everything, and finally we were faced with a decision: do we buy the all organic cereal with some hydrogenated oil or the non-organic cereal made with 100% wind power?

Solution? We buy both and mix them together.

1 comment:

  1. In many ways, our habit of getting into the car without thinking is what prevents me from picking up more of a hauler bike (a long tail, box bike, etc). I have this belief {fear?} that I will just ignore the bike and get in the car anyway to pick up larger items/groceries/etc, and while I realize it is a conscious decision I can choose to make, I think that the embedded reaction to get in the car for those larger item trips is what I need to break in order to feel okay with that kind of bike purchase.

    I have tried to tell myself that I can go multiple times a week to the store, and that I needn't haul back a week (or more) worth of groceries, but it's a lifelong habit that can be challenging to break out of.

    At least you both had awareness of what had taken place, even if it took place after the fact. As you said, recognizing it is the first step in making changes.