As Spring plays 'just the tip' for the next few weeks there are a couple of things you can do to prepare yourself for the heat and high gas prices.
1. Make sure your bike is in good, working order. Dust it off, inflate the tires and ride it down the street. If it is making funny noises you should bring it to your Local Bike Shop (LBS) and have a mechanic check it over. Better do it now before the hot weather hits and you start using the "It's too hot..." excuse. Acclimation is important to enjoying year-round riding.
The goal here is to supplement your driving by running errands on your bike. Short trips are the perfect excuse to ditch the car. (Grocery Getters details the ways to carry your cargo.) My short trip to the grocery store because we forgot tomatoes the other night saved us about $0.35 in gas. For a 2 mile round trip that doesn't seem like much but after a year of $3.50 gas that adds up to $115.50. (Woah! I'm saving approximately $17.50 a week by riding my bike to work; or $910 a year. Add in my short trips and that's well over $1,000! New Bike City here I come!) If the grocery store was a scant 2 miles from your house when gas gets up to $4.00/gallon (which is soon) you could save about $265 a year. What are you gonna do with all that savings? That brings us to step #2:
2. Buy plenty of fresh food and cold beer. Bicycling burns a lot of calories and you need to replenish those by relaxing on a porch and sipping on a cold beer then enjoying some locally grown produce and meat.
For the beer: Ghost River is now on tap almost everywhere in Memphis and they have some flavors bottled in your grocery store. They also have dock sales of growlers and kegs. Bosco's also has growlers available. Joe's Wines & Liquor has a Beer Nutz Club (two months in and it's well worth it) where you get a selection of beers each month. Emily's choice for spring: Big Bite Peach Wheat (scroll to the bottom). Just remember, IPA's have the most calories while stouts have the lowest amount.
For the food: Here's your one-stop shop - Farmer Mixer at the Brooks Museum on next Thursday March 1st from 6PM to 8PM. Find out about local farmers, gardeners, markets and eat some local food.
Click this picture for the Memphis Flyer's menu sneak peek!
Go ride, enjoy the weather and don't forget your sunscreen.