The first vehicle I remember driving was an old John Deer tractor that looked something like what is pictured, only it had older, rougher paint. The next was a Dodge Ram pickup truck from circa 1970? My first driving surface was the hay field on both accounts. After I got my farmers permit (aka drivers license for those in rural America), I drove any number of old, large vehicles my family had including my Dad's Ford F250 manual extended cab. That sure was a lot of truck for a young gal, but I handled it with the confidence of a salmon in a stream.
The first vehicle I could call my very own was an old Chevy S10 with questionable maintenance and a whole lot of miles. I drove it until the front axle broke (literally) and my parents took pity on me. They bought me a Ford Escort Sport. The only sporty thing about it were the italicized letters on the side that read 'sport'.
This is the car that accompanied me off to college. Over the first few months in a town more densely populated than my hometown, the car saw less and less action. It was in Fargo, North Dakota, you see, that I discovered the magic of the bicycle. I started using my bike to go to Rugby practice, the grocery store, and to work at the bar downtown. I found it easy to navigate the city streets on two wheels. Much easier than driving an over-sized box that guzzled all the fossil fuels that the earth had worked so hard to make over millions of years.
By the time I got bright idea to transfer my studies to the University of Minnesota, I was a fairly committed bike commuter. The lifestyle suited me well especially since all of my responsibilities were within a 5-mile radius of each other (work, school, home, studio, studio, studio). My passion for bikes was on a steady incline and the decision to leave the car behind when moving to Portland in the fall of 2009 was an easy one. It felt natural given my increased desire to use bicycles and only bicycles for transportation and adventure. And of course, Portland Oregon is made for bikes.
Over four years later I have strayed slightly from my strictly bike-centric lifestyle and made my first purchase of a motor vehicle. I am proud to say it gets 85 miles per gallon, is about one year younger than I, and looks like an insect. Her name is Zippy, Zippy the Scoot. She brings me to work on Mondays to appease my demanding (and super smart) cycling coach, Josh. Apparently, if you want try to race your bike at the top level you have to have a rest day now and again. Also, 'rest day' means 'do not throw a leg over a bike of any kind'. It does NOT mean 'ride your city bike to dinner and back home only about 12 miles really slowly'. (To the non-bike racers, this probably makes no sense). Alas, Monday rest days are presented by Zippy the Scoot!