Thursday, February 17, 2011
Friday, December 17, 2010
Couple goes carless for 30 days
Nathan and Kristin Pickard chose an unconventional way to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. On Jan. 8, while most Tulsans were packing their cars with water bottles, flashlights and warm blankets — just in case the still-icy streets got the better of their vehicles — the Pickards planned the next 30 days of their lives without an automobile.
As chronicled on their blog, www.carlessintulsa.blogspot.com, the couple decided to spend a month without a car, using bicycles as their primary mode of transportation.
The plan came to fruition as the Pickards contemplated purchasing a membership to downtown’s new YMCA, at Fifth and Main Streets. The idea of driving to a gym to spend hours sweating on a stationary bike struck the couple as funny, and, rather than do that, they decided to challenge themselves to use vehicular cycling as a means of exercise.
It wasn’t an impractical feat. The couple resides in Brady Heights, just north of downtown on Denver Avenue, and Nathan Pickard, an internal auditor for the City, frequently bikes to City Hall. Kristin Pickard is a physician’s assistant at St. John Medical Center, at 21st Street and Utica Avenue, and less experienced at navigating city streets via bicycle, so Nathan Pickard escorts his wife to work daily and then rides back to City Hall.
The couple began their project Jan. 9 and will end it Feb. 9. Although it was 18 degrees and icy when they initiated their scheme, the Pickards said going carless has been easier than they imagined.
“The day we started, I didn’t know if we could keep it up if it was going to be that cold,” KristinPickard said. “But we made it OK at 18 degrees, and it’s been that much nicer since it’s warmed up.”
“I guess a lot of people probably think January’s an impossible month to do it and a reason not to, like, ever go without a car,” Nathan Pickard said. “So we wanted to see if it could actually be done all year ‘round, biking.”
Using the INCOG’s Web site as a guide, the couple familiarized themselves with Tulsa’s bike trails and Share the Road streets and planned a route that would keep them off main thoroughfares as much as possible.
“It’s a lot safer than you think,” Nathan Pickard said. “We actually do have a good system here in Tulsa.”
The couple said challenging themselves to go completely carless was integral to their plan to bike more often.
“I don’t think, if we hadn’t completely given up the car, we would have the discipline to do it,” Kristin Pickard said.
Blogging about their experience has served to inform others that, believe it or not, going carless in Tulsa can be done — sort of.
The couple has managed to do their grocery shopping, run minor errands and make it to church at 51st Street and Sheridan Road all on bike, but they’ve taken a break from restoring their historic home because, as Kristin Pickard said, “you can’t really carry two-by-fours on your bike.”
Still, they’ve considered what they’ve accomplished as proof that vehicular cycling is an option.
“We were really hoping to show that it is a transportation alternative in Tulsa,” Nathan Pickard said.
“Most people will say, ‘That’s a really cool idea. I could never do that,’” Kristin Pickard said. “I think they’re just too scared of biking in Tulsa. Either they live somewhere where it really is prohibitive, or they think the streets are too narrow or cars are too crazy, and they don’t think outside the box.”
The couple likely won’t continue to be completely carless following their project’s end. But they do think they’ll bike more often.
“Definitely anything less than four miles is really doable,” Kristin Pickard said.
“We’ve just been realizing we should have been biking to this event and this event because it’s so easy and enjoyable,” Nathan Pickard said. “Especially stuff downtown. Why’d we ever hop in a car?”
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I'm still riding my bike to work occasionallly. Not as often as I would like because of scheduling conflicts and rain and because I'm kind of a wimp. And sometimes just lazy. I don't like riding in the rain. (or tornadoes- that was my excuse the other day).
Nathan has been riding to work though. He's tough and doesn't melt in the rain.
This post is simply a public service announcement to encourage you to ride your own bike to work or school or anywhere. Bike-to-work week is celebrated next week! There's lots of cool stuff to do downtown before and after work. And it's free!
You know that Nathan and I won't miss the Cool Off party at Sound Pony. We'll definitely try to make it to the other events too. Hope to see you there!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
By ALTHEA PETERSON World Staff Writer Published: 3/1/2010 10:48 PM
This winter tied for the fifth-lowest temperatures for the season on record for
Tulsa, a National Weather Service meteorologist said.With an average temperature
of 34.9 degrees, Tulsa’s winter tied with the 2000-01 winter season’s
temperatures on city records that date back to 1905.
Although the vernal equinox occurs March 20, winter is already over, according to National Weather Service standards. The Weather Service defines the winter season as running from Dec. 1 through Feb. 28.Mark Plate, a meteorologist for the Weather Service, said cloudy skies caused by El Niño, and a lot of storms, caused the cooler weather.“It’s mainly been caused by a lot of Arctic air coming down from the north,” he said.
In addition to lower-than-normal temperatures, Tulsa also had 17.1 inches of snow during the three-month span. The normal snowfall for Tulsa winters is 9 inches. Tulsa also recorded 6.27 inches of rain, closer to the seasonal normal of 5.71 inches, Plate said.
What does this cold winter mean for the rest of 2010?
Other than March, which Plate said should still have below-normal temperatures,
it will be hard to predict based on the winter season alone.“When you get a
pattern, it will last two to three months, but things can change," he said. "At
this point, it’s hard to predict that far into the future.”
Spring is just around the corner. I can't wait.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Now my advice to those of you who may be considering bike-commuting: If you happen to be like me- that is, a little on the lazy side when it comes to getting out of bed in the morning- it is best to make up your mind about riding the night before. Because if you are laying in a comfy bed under nice warm covers and know that it is several degrees below freezing outside, you basically have no chance of opting for the bike. The warm bed will always win in that argument.
Unless you have a spouse that loves to get up hours before the sun and is always in a great mood in the morning and is willing to pester you for at least 20 minutes to get out of bed and is always looking out for your best interest. Things actually get done around our house in the morning solely because of him.
I actually got some exercise yestereday only because of him. He's the greatest.
In other news, we are honored to be nominated for a 2009 Okie blog award in the catergory of Best New Blog of 2009. I've just been tickled pink at what has come from this crazy idea of Nathan's.
We've had such a great time both completing our adventure and sharing about it here. We've learned quite a bit about biking, commuting, buses,walking and blogging. One of our favorite parts has just been taking in all of the beautiful sights that Tulsa has to offer.
But I'll tell you my favorite part of this whole shin-dig: I've really enjoyed being with my husband. I've loved our bike rides home together, talking about the day and just unwinding. I think it has helped us feel more like a team, helping us to solve problems together and to accomplish a common goal. I think he's just the greatest husband any girl could ask for.
So if you are an Oklahoma blogger, head over the the Okie blog awards to cast your vote by Sunday. If you've enjoyed our blog, then vote for us.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
We stopped for lunch at Whole Foods on the way home and bought some milk and bread.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
#1. I have kept some clothes at work, primarily pants, so I don't have to carry my whole outfit in my backpack everyday (fewer wrinkles, less weight in my bag). I have a few shirts here as well, mainly the ones I don't wear anywhere else. This comes in quite handy when you need a new pair of clothes during the day. Say, for instance, you spill coffee completely down the front of your cream-colored pants- then you have something different to change into, instead of being completely embarassed all day long with stains ALL over your pants.
You don't even want to see a picture with this one. It's embarassing.
I didn't even ride the school bus when I was a kid because I went to private school. And in high school, my sister drove me.
Therefore, I am somewhat frightened of buses- it is the Great Unknown.
Until this month- now I have conquered my fear of buses.
The ice and snow on the roads hadn't quite melted by Tuesday morning so we decided that we would again walk to the bus station and I would ride to work while Nathan walked five more blocks to his office.
I rode back to the downtown bus station where Nathan was waiting for me. We walked the mile home as he wrote about yesterday.
On Tuesday, my second ever bus day, our walk to the station was a little easier and faster since more snow had melted. We didn't have to dodge large piles of snow on the sidewalk. I boarded my bus without a problem. We had purchased a 10-ride pass at the bus station before the ice started, so I don't have to find change when I need to get on the bus- simply swipe my card. I have been surprised that some of the Tulsa Transit buses offer free Wi-Fi.
This day I was a little overly anxious about pulling the cord to request a stop. Usually the bus driver will stop after we go through an intersection to let someone off. I pulled the cord a tad early and that made the bus stop about a block and a half too soon. I felt like such an amateur. So I just got off the bus and started walking. I have so much to learn.
A local businessman- also enjoying the fountain.
Monday, February 1, 2010
We started out at 7:15 and walked south on Denver for a mile to the Denver Avenue Bus Station. It was a nice walk and we made it just before Kristin's bus came.
We didn't like how the snow plows pile all the snow up on our sidewalks. That made it a bit difficult to walk quickly.
Kristin got on this bus and I walked a few more blocks to work.
On our mile walk home we noticed for the first time that the original building of the Borden Dairy had some art deco influences.
We also noticed one of Tulsa's most disturbing signs.
I have always liked the modern architecture represented by the county jail.
We talked to this young man on our walk home. He asked us if he was walking the right direction to make it to Vinita. I hope he finds a warm place to stay the night. He said it is hard to have to walk everywhere and Kristin asked him if he knew how far he was going to have to walk in order to get to Vinita. He said he did.
And when we got home there was a surprise waiting on our front porch.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
The pastor said that our neighborhood association reminds him of what a church ought to be - a bunch of people meeting together and helping each other out and just taking care of one another. We do live in one of the greatest neighborhoods in America.
We also have one of the best websites in Tulsa.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Comparing gasoline's kilocalories to the range consumed in exercise, we find that a bicyclist could easily achieve the equivalent of one thousand miles per gallon, even at a relatively brisk pace.
Even when the Prius evolves into a fully electric plug-in green machine, weaned from the petroleum teat, driving it will still be inordinately consumptive of energy and tremendously inefficient compared to riding a bicycle. Conversely, the bicycle-and rider amplifies the human engine's power with levers and gears and wheels, while adding very little extra weight. Human legs that pack only a tiny fraction of the Prius's punch still have more than enough to move the bicycle-and-rider at speed.
Nothing--not commuter rail, biofuel buses, Prii, or pedestrians--can approach the efficiency of the bicycle. Bicycling stands completely above other transportation modes in that regard.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
- First time to accumulate freezing rain on your gloves
- First time to freeze a helmet but still remain amazingly dry.
A British researcher, Mayer Hillman, found the health benefits of bicycling to outweigh the much celebrated risks by twenty to one. Researchers studying a group of factory workers found that the regular bicyclists among them were as fit, on average, as non-bicycling factory workers who were ten years younger. What it comes down to is this: If you exercise, you're much less likely to get some horrible disease or have a heart attack and die. And bicycling is good exercise.
Physical fitness includes the health of the brain... physical labor is one of the best antidotes, perhaps the best, for emotional stress or mental fatigue.
The consequences of not exercising are far more dire than the consequences of bicycling in traffic. America has been going downhill. The citizens are working harder and longer, and off hours are more likely to be spent in front of a television or computer screen, scarfing Cheetos. Obesity is epidemic. Spare tires have grown in an inverse relationship to spare time. This presents a dilemma, but thankfully one with an easy solution. If you need to exercise, and you need to get around, why not do both at the same time.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Plants are resilient though. These little suckers actually popped back up and did great the next year.
Everything. covered. in. ice.
No damage to the old rusty truck. That tree just tore everything else up including the neighbors power line. And that is our power line at the top of the picture- not where it should be.
Wind: NE 15-25 mph
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
At various times the bicycle has been intimately associated with women's liberation, white power, political sneakiness, Asian communism, sabotage and spying and other rebel mischief, the Viet Cong, European socialism, illegal immigrants, serial drunk drivers, anarchy, privilege, anti-car fanaticism, and multiple manifestations of youthful antiestablishment activism. The mishmash of historical symbolism is now woven into the collective subconscious of the nation. The bicycle is loaded.
...bicycling is in fact the most conservative of all vehicles--using one man's definition of conservative anyway... In transportation, there's nothing more conservative than traveling under your own power. This is the transportation version of living within one's means, the guiding directive of the fiscal conservative.
Every time bicycling becomes associated with another cause, whether it be legit or wacko, right or left, more people are alienated from it than attracted to it.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Instead we borrowed a buggy for transporting kids.
We headed over to Braum's to stock up on groceries since it's gonna get cold soon. Real cold.
I started to get nervous about my job of taking all these things home. Milk is heavy...
It fit! Five bags of groceries!! All in that cute little cart.