The conversation I had with my friend about my road bike

I had this conversation with a friend recently where he was shocked at how far people could bike, and he was astonished that people would ride 10 to 15 km away from home even to get a ride. This is normal because I don't have a car, and I use my bike for my transportation needs. So today, let's discuss why I don't need a car. Now I don't own a car, I have never owned a car, and I do not see myself needing a car in the foreseeable future. That's because my bike fulfils all the exact conditions a vehicle markets and meets those needs. I don't need a car because that's what needs work. You get it fulfilled and don't need the other

thing. First, let's take a look at the conditions that my bicycle meets, and second, let's take a look at how exactly I'm able to get by without a car and what other factors are enabling me to use the bicycle as my main form of transportation

Needs that my bicycle meets

So my bike takes care of my needs for transportation within the city. I live in Singapore, and because of that, I'm able to get by with my bike. My commute isn't all that long, and it's about 30 km. If I did need to use it for my daily commute, I would be comfortable with doing a commute that would be 30 to 40 km round-trip, no problem. When I lived in Ang Mo Kio, I did commute on my bike, about 16km roundtrip. Another transportation needs that my bike satisfies is the need to get groceries and run some errands because I live in Singapore, an urban area. Things are everything I need within a 20km radius. Because of that, I don't need a car to go far to get what I need. My bike takes care of my weekly to bimonthly grocery runs, and it also takes care of my needs to get to places and meet people, and that's because in Singapore, pretty much everything you would need is within that 20km radius. So because I don't need to commute out of the country or long distances or ever really go super far distances all that often, I don't need a car, and the bike satisfies most of my transportation needs.

What my bicycle can’t do

However, that's different from saying that the bike satisfies all my transportation needs. If I must travel between cities, say I need to go to Johor Bahru, I could take a bus or a plane. However, because I don't have to do that all too often, I can afford the expenses to assume that public form of transportation. Because of my circumstances, I am very thankful that I can use my bike, which is just a lot of fun for the vehicle. As I stated before, everything is within about a twenty-mile radius. This is comfortably within reach for a bike. But because I'm taking much more time to travel to get to where I need to go via bike is that I genuinely like biking, and no matter what the distance is, well, as long as it's within reason to what I need to get done and if I could do that within the amount of time that I have as long as it's within those reasonable boundaries.

I am more than happy to hop on my bike and go to where I need to go because, for me, biking is just genuinely fun, and if I could hop on my bike for transportation, it would make my day just a little bit better because I'm just genuinely having fun if I'm on my bike. A lot of people, like my roommate, think I'm crazy for riding my bike and using it for transportation all these distances. He's constantly offering to give me depends to the grocery store, but I tell him you know it, I just like biking, and it's as simple as that. And because of that fact, I can use it as my main form of transportation again because the bike isn't nearly as convenient as a car.

Proper planning to commute by bicycle

If you want to use the bicycle as your primary form of transportation, you need to have this mindset that you're going to need to plan, and planning includes route planning, food planning, time planning, sweat and looking presentable planning and so you have to plan a lot. It's not something that you could hop on your bike and go a lot of times, especially if it's longer distances. You'll have to consider those things if you want to use your bike as a source of transportation. To recap, I am a cyclist because I love cycling so much, combined with the fact that I live in an urban area where everything I could need is within reach of a bicycle.

To sum up, why do I take a bicycle, not a car?

I don't need a car, and I don't see myself needing a car unless the circumstances of my life drastically change. I've redefined what I can do with the bicycle, and I'm constantly improving myself as a rider and expanding that comfort zone up to where I can ride comfortably. The way I look at the bike, it's something that is just genuinely fun, and it's something that pushes you well; I guess you make it, but the cycle goes you to become a better rider and to always constantly better yourself as a rider, and when you go yourself you might even surprise yourself at what you can accomplish.

Within my circle of friends and family, many think that I'm crazy for using the bike as my primary source of transportation, and that's because we're coming from entirely different frames of mind. They come from a place where bicycling is meant for recreation and weekend rides. I come from a place where cycling can relieve stress, have fun, and get to where I need to go. It's a form of Transportation, and because we have those different frames of mind, it looks like I'm crazy, but it's not all that hard. This is why I don't need a car. If you're interested in learning more about the car-free life, I say life like it's a big deal, but it's not. If you're interested in that, check out the bike living. Many exciting discussions are constantly happening about living car-free, the pros and cons, and how to overcome obstacles. Hit us up if you ever want to have a chat!

December 12, 2022 — Victor Tong