Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I'm Moving

Still within Austin, but I'm going the East side now, just North of Mueller. I'm excited, I've gotten real comfortable in my commute, in my regular places, and have little more to show about this part of town. Pedestrian bridge-check. South congress, done it. I'm glad to go on some new adventures and go to a part of town that is much more bike-centered. Also, it feels like the 04 has become one big condo construction site and I'll be glad to get out of the big trucks way and the traffic snarls they can cause. So, goodbye 78704 hello 78723!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mr. Money Mustache

I've become a fan of Mister Money Mustache over the past week. I'm not sure where I came across him on the internets...but I immediately took to his message. I have been frugal my whole life, but after reading his blog I've become motivated to clean up my own financial life and make smarter moves with my money.

Among his recommendations is riding a bike. He is pretty adamant about this being an integral part of being a Mustachian, and after seeing his numbers it is astonishing how much money you can throw away just getting to work! My car is paid off, my bus pass is free (student) so I theoretically could not spend a money on transportation. After my carless week, I've decided this is a place I could really trim some of my spending, and stick to my $40 dollars a month budget, and hopefully, go below.

What I like about his article is how it goes beneath some of the old tropes about biking and gets to the core of why I continue to get on my bicycle. The joy in riding, that feeling of strength as you climb a hill, the exhilaration as you fly down it, and the great feeling of getting home energized, not drained, by your evening commute. It's smelling the flowers of spring, the crispness in the fall, and hopefully a nice wind on a hot day.
Cycling has numerous benefits, and I really have to hand to Mr. Money Mustache for so succinctly describing them.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Carless, Not By Choice

Booger, my loyal steed, got a leak in his vacuum pump and unfortunately has been away waiting to get a new one. This has put me in a situation I've mimicked, but never actually been in- I am carless. Surprisingly, it hasn't been a bad experience, and got me imagining a car free lifestyle, in a future where I want to put a major dent in my student loans. For others, the prospect of having a car in the shop means getting a costly rental, at best the shop will lend you one. I went to the Pink Flamingo, and alas, they didn't offer me a car and I'm assuming that means they don't have any. Having already a groove down to get to work, that took a lot of pressure off me, and a good knowledge of Capmetro meant I could ignore their wild suggestions and plan my own simple commute from work to school. (That is a rant for a sick day- what is up with Capmetro taking you on the most convoluted way to your destination?)

I consider myself lucky to live somewhere that allows me to quickly get around in different ways. I'm sure some people look down at me as I sweat outside, but I live knowing I can meet life's challenges creatively and independently.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bicycle Paleta Peddlers

It is a familiar sound in my neighborhood, the ring of bells announcing ice cream and other goodies are just around the corner. These tan peddlers not only sell Blue Bell confections and other items found in the local grocery, but also paletas, Mexican popsicles that come in flavors like tamarind and horchata. While I have no idea how much these men make, and certainly the hot Texas sun makes this a taxing job, its one of the few businesses I know of here in Austin that regularly makes use of bicycles. You can't see, but a very excited little girl is on the other side of him.