Guest Blog by Peter Bird, BikeDenver
This blog was originally published on BikeDenver.org
Photo Source: car2go
Perhaps more than anything, I love biking for the way it excites people. Choosing to ride a bike is about more than just saving money or the environment—not that those aren't admirable. At the end of the day, biking elicits a level of exhilaration that not even a late-March Denver blizzard can assuage.
However, this evangelizing aspect of biking can lead people into a sort of superiority complex: a ‘bikes versus…’ mentality. And that’s a shame, because bikes are so apt for pairing with other modes. I wrote previously about bikes plus transit, and now I’d like to extend that to car sharing as well.
Car Share Extends Your Bike Range
The reality is that human-powered vehicles (like bikes) have a more limited range than motorized ones (like trains, buses, and cars). It’s true. Some of the more intrepid bicyclists are willing to bike 50 or even 100 miles for fun, but for most of us—especially when we’re commuting or going to the store—our willing range is closer to 5 or maybe 10 miles. Either way, when doing a round trip, you’re looking at a pretty small radius.
So how do you extend your radius? Transit’s one way. But if transit isn’t convenient for where you’re going, the solution is a car. However, that car doesn’t necessarily have to be yours. Car sharing companies like eGo Car Share, Car2Go, Zipcar, and others give you the convenience and versatility of a car without the burden and cost of car ownership (and maintenance). And with more and more car share companies operating in Denver, there is essentially a car sharing option for any situation.
A Multitude of Car Sharing Options to Choose From
Car2Go allows you to drive downtown or to downtown neighborhoods without having to worry about or pay for parking. Whereas eGo Car Share may be a better option for a round-trip such as some post-work mountain biking out in Golden. FYI, eGo Car Share already currently offers bike racks on certain vehicles, and Car2Go is considering bike racks on its vehicles after a successful pilot project in Portland!
When it comes to linking biking and car share, you can treat it the same way you would driving—except you don’t have to take on the burden of owning a car, and with some companies, you don’t even have to worry about paying for parking. Further, when people commute to work by car, that car typically sits idle for eight hours each day. And whether you’re paying for street parking, your employer is paying for your parking, or we’re all subsidizing parking as a cost of development, it’s a waste.
Linking modes—in this case, biking and car share—allows you to take each mode, and capitalize on its strengths while mitigating its inherent weaknesses. Ah, efficiency!