Hi! We're John and Beth,
a couple of newlyweds living in Oklahoma City.
We recently moved over 1,000 miles to live here,
and have decided to buck the overwhelming
car culture of the city. This is an experiment to
determine what it takes to live car-less in OKC.
Monday, April 14, 2014
The Next Logical Step - Biking In OKC
Hello everyone! Despite today's snow, it's technically springtime, and we here at Carless HQ are excited because our range has grown considerably.
Watch out - we're on bikes now!
Last weekend, we set out to find a bike for me, and we were fortunate to find a great deal on a Schwinn comfort bike in fantastic condition. John already had a good bike, so we took his in to Schlegel Bicycles in Automobile Alley for a tune-up. While we were there, we stocked up on a helmet, lights, and a basket for my bike as well. As someone who is new to biking and who definitely feels a bit intimidated by the idea of going into a bike store and dealing with really experienced cyclists, I have to say that the folks at Schlegel are awesome! Everyone that we talked to was helpful, kind, and knowledgeable. John paid a very reasonable amount to get his bike tuned up and into riding condition, and again, the bike shop guys were on top of their game and explained everything that needed to be done in a concise yet thorough way.
Once we got our bikes all set up and ready for the road, it was time to get acquainted with riding in OKC! John has done city biking a good bit before now, but I'm more or less an amateur. Luckily (at least in this scenario), downtown streets aren't very crowded outside of business hours Monday through Friday, so we're able to ride around without too many cars on the road, which is great practice without it being too scary. We've gone for several rides since getting our bikes going, and they've all been fun and safe!
John at the Skydance Bridge
This is a great development for us as a carless unit because it really expands our range and options on a daily basis. For example, we love the Plaza District, but because it's located about 2 miles away, which is around a 30-35 minute walk for us, it wasn't always the most viable option for, say, dinner on a weeknight. That distance was also too short to really warrant renting a Timecar. If I wanted some Fungus Among Us pizza from Empire Slice House, which is usually only available as a slice in the middle of the week, we would be looking at an hour of walking for dinner, plus the time it takes to eat. We have no problem with the time or distance in and of itself - we are very used to walking long distances - but on a weeknight after work, it's a little prohibitive to spend that much time traveling to and from a restaurant. Now, however, the Plaza District is an easy 10-15 minute bike ride, which is totally do-able on a weeknight after work. This means that I can eat my favorite pizza, Fungus Among Us, alllll the time!
Not to mention, we can now ride our bikes down to the river and then run on the pedestrian trails. The Paseo District is also way more accessible to us and we can finally do some real exploring there. Having our bikes also adds another possible method to the days when we need to cobble together a transportation plan, like yesterday when we went to buy the matching loveseat to our couch. We needed a truck to get it home, so we rented the Nissan Frontier from Timecar at OCU because the Ranger was unavailable at the Deep Deuce location, which meant that we needed to take an Uber to get to OCU in a timely fashion. We took the Timecar to 63rd and N. May to purchase our loveseat, loaded it up, brought it home, and then John threw his bike in the back of the truck, returned the truck to the OCU Timecar location, and rode his bike back home. This kind of patchwork transport may seem a little convoluted, but we've gotten used to it, and it totally works for us. Furthermore, it's rarely necessary; we only have to do this when there's some extenuating circumstance, like a large load that requires a truck.
Buster is pro-bike, too!
Expect more cycling-related posts this spring and summer as we really get into navigating the city by bike. We'll share our exploits, and hopefully we'll eventually have some tips and tricks for how to get around by bike in OKC. Likewise, if you have any pointers to share, we'd love to hear them! Comment below and tell us how YOU get around by bike in OKC!