Friday, January 2, 2009

A Motor-Free Month in a Mechanized World

Mostly I'm starting this blog to chronicle my "motor-free month", in which I will attempt to go an entire month without using any form of motorized transport. No cars, no motorcycles, no airplanes, just "human" power. That goes for riding too, not just driving; no rides in any motorized vehicles either! And electric vehicles are not exempt!

Why do this?

I conceived of this as a social experiment, as a way to get into shape, as a way to raise awareness of bicycle travel, as a way to understand the importance of motorized transport in our society, and just 'cause I'm a little off my rocker. Ironically I expect to obtain a greater appreciation for motorized transport as a result of this experiment.

When is the motor-free month?

As of now, the motor-less month will be September, 2009. I may start it a few days earlier, and I will certainly try to extend it as long as possiblee. A motor-free-month-and-a-half is not out of the question.

What about going to the supermarket?

I'll walk or ride to the store, I'll probably have to make more trips than usual though!

You realize the food you buy came to the store on a truck, and possibly a boat or plane before that?

Understood. I'm not advocating that we abolish motorized transport. Far from it; I think we should appreciate what a miracle of technology is motorized transport, and not take it for granted. Believe me, when the motor-free month is over I will relish sitting behind the wheel of a high-performance automobile and enjoy driving down the freeway at speeds undreamed of of by humans only 100 years ago.

So you're just going to sit around the house all month then?

Far from it! Part of the experiment is to chronicle the hardships that come from a motor-less month. I will attempt to do the things I normally do, including hiking in the mountains, golfing, and visiting friends and family in other towns.

Big deal, billions of people have a motor-free month, every month!

Also true; and not just people in the poor places of the world, like say rural Ghana for example; I imagine it's fairly easy to have a motor-less month in wealthy places like New York City and London. People adapt to motor-free existence out of necessity (Ghana) and even convenience (New York/London). But in Fort Collins, CO, USA (where I live), things aren't necessarily built around a motor-less existence.

OK, then, cool/whatever/you're an idiot

I imagine your response falls into one of those three categories. No matter your response, I hope you will follow along as I prepare for and embark upon this adventure!