How I Made it Seven weeks without a Car in Phoenix

Well it all started on September 8th on what is remembered (at least by me) in the valley as the great Phoenix flood. My car happened to be stationed in a hapless parking lot that did not have any type of drainage. This wasn’t major issue until we got over 6 inches of rain this particular late night.  So you know how rare this is, Phoenix is a desert which means it gets less than 10″ of rain per year.  When I finally came out to check on my car it was already flooded past the engine top level (see the picture below). My once precious car was toast.

The Biking Begins

So my dilemma was how do I get around in a city as spread out as Phoenix? In a city like New York or Boston it may be a little easier because everything is downtown or conveniently reached by public transportation. However in our sprawling metropolis that is Phoenix we have the challenges of getting to locations such as Scottsdale, Tempe, and Glendale that are all 15 to 20 miles from each other. So while I love taking my bike everywhere I can’t exactly show up to a business meeting sweaty from a 20 mile bike ride to Scottsdale, right?

And the Biking Continues…

Over the next seven weeks I biked approximately 150 miles per week and for the entire period I biked over 1000 miles. I found a way to bike to business meetings by bringing a change of clothes when needed and changing at a nearby convenience store. After a few weeks I barely even thought about the car I did not have and really appreciated the fact that I no longer had to put up with traffic.  Coincidentally, my biking during this time also helped with my beer diet and in my ability to lose 8 pounds in 10 days eating just sausage and drinking delicious beer. So now at the end of my journey I found it to be a somewhat somber moment when I finally did break down and buy a car. It was sad as I had truly enjoyed the seven weeks of being fully dependent on biking. But it was also a happy day as I was looking forward to not having to take 3+ showers a day anymore.
What I saw when I came out in the morning...

What I saw when I came out in the morning…

My precious car.  Soaked.

My precious car. Soaked.

After being towed out

After being towed out