Village Vancouver

Vancouver's Leader in Transition toward Strong, Resilient, Complete Communities

Holiday choice, bike or car? What made me feel good and liberated

What made me feel good and liberated ... a bicycle

So here's a decision, a choice I made on a recent trip to Napa, California. Would I have to rent a car to travel around this quite small attractive city or was there another option?

I'd been to Napa before so knew the lie of the land so to speak, in the town it's pretty flat yet it's surrounded by hills. I was only staying a few days and knew roughly where I would be travelling so this helped in my decision on whether renting a car was really necessary. The easiest way to get from San Francisco international airport is using a coach service direct to downtown Napa. You'll know why I chose this option if you've ever seen the peak hour traffic !! 10 full lanes. So no need for a car yet.

The locations of where I was staying in Napa were some miles apart and although there is a transit (public transport) bus, it's not that convenient for getting around town. So I worked out that where I was staying night 1 to the next overnight location was within a moderate walking distance. Practical shoes on, pull-along case behind, sun shining, sorted! No car needed yet.

I had worked out to some extent in advance that the places I was to visit in Napa were located North, South, West and East, humm so that might be a challenge if I didn't want to spend all day walking, pounding the streets. 
So I'd taken a little risk. I'd asked for help. Putting my request out to a few people I knew in Napa for the loan of a bicycle and I got 2 offers. That was great news. Yet a small practical voice spoke up ...
Would I be able to carry my pull-along case on the bike, would I need a helmet, would I need lights. You could call this my 'what if' voice.

I chose to take one small pull-along case which had shoulder straps just in case I had to carry on my person. I packed:
2 bungie straps and a small roll of paracord for any additional strapping requirements
2 small lights (1 red, 1 white) which have elasticated lanyards and easy to attach to almost anything and a florescent body strap as used by runners to be seen easier - I was planning on being out at night
pair of lightweight gloves and hat - as contrary to popular belief, California is not warm all the time, they get frosts and it's a bit nippy early morning

My loaned bike had panniers and a rear rack so I was easily able to strap on my case and even enjoy some retail therapy at a local bookstore ( and shoe store. Well you know I am a woman with shoe requirements!

I felt exhilarated with being able to cycle around. The freedom it allowed me, feeling the wind through my hair, the blush on my cheeks from the morning chill, smelling spring flowers not chemical car upholstery.

It never occurred to me until afterwards that my decision to use a bicycle in preference to a car was from a standpoint of it:

  • made practical sense
  • was cheaper
  • was an environmental decision
  • provided me with a physical workout, helped clear some jet lag
  • meant I could drink a glass of champagne at my friends dinner
  • fresh air, sights, sounds and smells
  • smiles and hello's from pedestrians and other cyclists

What would you have chosen?

Views: 48

Reply to This

Village engages individuals, neighbourhoods & organizations to take actions that build sustainable communities & have fun doing it. Join us!

Donate or Join VV Transition Society

Join VV Transition Society

Make a donation here or here:

Become a Monthly Donor here or here (click on desired option before hitting subscribe):

Buy Books -- Support Village Vancouver

Village earns 15% on your book purchases from New Society Publishers. Details here.

Latest Activity

Sophie Labrosse updated their profile
Sep 3
UBC Farm Community Engagement posted events
Aug 28
Angela Absalom is now a member of Village Vancouver
Aug 5
Lisa Ezell updated their profile
Jul 25

Ongoing Activities

Interested in participating in a VV garden? Contact us at

Interested in getting involved or volunteering with Village Vancouver? check out

Kits Village Recycling Depot (2nd or 3rd Thursdays Kits Community Centre)

Main St. Village monthly gatherings (1st Tuesdays Little Mountain Neighbourhood House)

Permaculture Vancouver Meetups (3rd Wednesdays VV McBride Park Fieldhouse)

West End Community Potluck/WE Urban Garden Club (3rd Sundays West End Community Centre)

© 2020   Created by Yael Stav.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service