When Bryan Bertsch’s vehicle met its demise, it was easy for him to focus on the negatives and the inconveniences. He and his wife were faced with a mounting credit card debt and were now reduced to one car.
Bertsch was forced to rely on his bicycle to commute to work, from Minneapolis to Minnetonka, Minnesota. As he wrote in an op-ed piece for the Star Tribune, in the past he had made excuses about why he didn’t bike commute more regularly.
I had made many excuses as to why I wouldn’t commit to this means of transportation consistently: How will I carry my lunch to and from work? What if I sweat too much? What if it rains? And on and on. Plus there is a stretch on Shady Oak Road with no path and a tiny shoulder which is quite dangerous.
Well, being with only one car, I decided to figure out the bike routine, at least temporarily. Carrying my lunch was a minor detail. It’s not that hot in the morning, plus I figured out our office building has a shower that I can use if need be. It rarely rains during the actual commute (but I did use the gas money I’ve saved over the last two weeks to invest in a nice rain jacket for such occasions).
This whole experience has become an incredible gift for me and my wife. She has been inspired to bike to her job, her yoga class, and some light grocery shopping to the co-op and Trader Joe’s. Some days we don’t even bother getting into our one car.
Thanks to the couple’s car “misfortune,” they’re ahead of their plan to pay off their debts, feeling healthy and alive and, as Bertsch says, “I am inspired. Inspired to be more self sufficient. Inspired to live in a smaller community in downtown. Inspired to spend less. Inspired to waste less. Inspired to be more connected.”
Photo via flickr by TAPorto
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