BAT report

Published on Monday May 5th, 2008

A week ago, Claudia threw down and announced a pledge to replace at least one car trip per week with a bicycle trip. That’s just the kind of challenge I can get excited about, since I have 1. a conscience, 2. a body that could use a little more exercise, and 3. a meager salary that doesn’t go far at the gas pump these days. She’s calling the effort Bicycles As Transportation / Knitters for Alternative Transportation: BAT/KAT. So Mondays are now BAT update days.

On Friday night, Mr. G and I pedaled down to our favorite theater for a $3 movie, pizza, and microbrew (we love Portland). Some Like It Hot was playing, and I’m happy to report that it’s still a delightful date movie 50 years after it was filmed. Saturday I rode to the yarn store to meet Katrin instead of driving, while Mr. G cycled to the annual giganticus tech-entrepreneur-geekfest known as Bar Camp. And yesterday we took the bikes when we went to meet Mr. G’s dad for dinner. That’s three BATs apiece: they’re all within two or three miles of home, exactly the range where we’d be most tempted to hop in the car, but the bike trip takes only a minute or two longer. We also walked for the groceries all week and took the MAX train when we went shopping for a purple tie for Mr. G to wear to my brother’s wedding. Since my job requires me to drive over 30 miles on weekdays (I carpool, but I still hold myself responsible for the environmental impact of the trip), I like to leave the car in the driveway all weekend whenever possible.

Now I feel like I need a marvy little sidebar BAT/KAT tally graphic. Too bad I don’t have skills like that.

And the knitting? The Ivy stole has crawled up to row 26 of the edge chart. I’m halfway there, except that the rounds are still getting longer. I don’t think I could conscionably use the word excruciating to describe knitting cashmere (hey, how has unconscionable survived in our lexicon but conscionable is obsolete? Add it to the list with words like wieldy and whelmed, I guess), but this edging is like the last 2.2 miles of a marathon. Why, Skacel, why can’t you make a #0 Addi LacePoint? What daft manager signed off on a plan to make #1s and #00s but nothing in between? I may have cast on an Indigo Ripples skirt for some much-needed stockinet on #5s.

13 Comments to “BAT report”

  1. heather Comment Says:

    yay bikes! the mister and i have been trying to up the amount of use ours are getting as well. and a bike ride is always a nice excuse to stop by an outdoor pub for a late afternoon beer. 🙂

  2. Debby Comment Says:

    When you use your bikes for shopping or errands, do you use a backpack or a bike basket? I’m just wondering how to do that myself. I think I’ll still need the car for groceries since I try to only shop once a week.

  3. LizKnits Comment Says:

    Hey great for you on the BAT/KAT! What a super idea… I’m going to have to go visit Claudia’s to check it out.

  4. Jodi Comment Says:

    Woo hoo! That’s some great biking. I have to admit I’d be afraid to bike after a trip to the pub (can’t hold my liquor very well).

    I like to bike along L. Michigan to the farmer’s market in the summer.

  5. materfamilias Comment Says:

    Really? You cast on an Indigo Ripples? I’ve just started one as well — not sure how quickly it will progress since I have another **cough, four or five, cough, cough** project(s) as well.
    I’ve replaced my car ride to work with a 35-40 minute walk each way over the last year, and it’s worked out really well. I haven’t really noticed the big increases at the pump, I’m fitter, and really, by the time I find parking, there’s really not that big a time difference for how virtuous I get to feel. With bikes, you’ll stretch out the potential distances even further — good for you!

  6. Lisa Comment Says:

    Love the BAT/KAT idea. I’m lucky to be able to ride the subway to work and avoid the craziness at the gas pump lately. I’d totally go off the energy grid further by riding a bike to work, but I’m afraid of riding one in NYC!! Too many crazy drivers.

    Oh, and Some Like it Hot is one of my all-time favorites. “Nobody’s Perfect!”–best last line of a movie!

  7. Michelle Comment Says:

    Biking to a theater to see Some Like it Hot is the most romantic thing I’ve heard in a good long time.

  8. claudia Comment Says:

    That is just so awesome and inspirational.

  9. schrodinger Comment Says:

    That’s a great idea. As someone who drives a car about once a year, my impact would be pitiful. But I just bought a share in a local CSA, something I’m very excited about, and hoping that will make my carbon footprint a little bit smaller.

  10. minnie Comment Says:

    i can’t bike to take my son to school (the neighborhoods between here and there are not of the highest caliber, at any pace), and i can’t bike to work (they don’t allow them on interstates, and it’s the only way i can get there), but i intend on walking to the store a lot more this summer, now that the kids are going to be out of school. that’s the hardest part, transporting the kids. i go through a tank of gas a week, sigh (and it cost me $52.80 this morning!).

    but i’ll be trying this summer! (i also buy all my basics once a month at a big box store, and just use the local store for incidentals like milk & eggs)

  11. Wendolene Comment Says:

    What a great mission–and a perfect time of year to put it into play! I am not so much of a biker, but I cannot stand traffic, so I take the bus to school and anyplace else I can. It most definitely takes longer, but I use the commute as my knitting time!
    Best of luck on your Ivy stole. Your description of too much lace on too little needle last post was bang on. I’ve only experienced the phenomena on an Icarus–600-some stitches at its very most. I shudder to think of the strain of several hundred stitches more.
    My favorite out-of-use word, used in one of my favorite movies, is couth. In Born Yesterday, Judy Holliday exclaims “You’re just not couth!” and it’s the best.

  12. Mackenzie Comment Says:

    Your biking sounds successful! I am also going to attempt to drive less/bike more this summer. My top two destinations are within a two mile radius so it shouldn’t be too difficult. BAT/KAT sounds awesome.

  13. Mr. Garter Comment Says:

    hi Debby,
    we do both. Backpacks are easy, but they make your back sweaty