This morning I mounted my winterized commuting bike and pedaled to work. It was -9 outside, but no wind. I figured if I could peddle to day, I could pedal any day.
How was it? Well it was cold...at first, but once I got going I warmed up. There were a few expected hiccups: my goggles iced up, my bones were rattled due to all the icy snow on the bike path, my digits took turn getting cold, and it was a slow ride, with studded tires, extra clothing, and books in my saddle bags. Nevertheless, I did it.
So how will a pastor make his/her way with no automobile? We'll see, but I'm sure I'm not the first. For centuries pastors got by with just a horse. And most cities were designed before the advent of mass automobile transportation. But still...
Thoughtful planning of pastoral visits. I am planning on designating Wednesday as my day to do pastoral visits in areas outside of my comfortable bike/public transportation range. I will simply have to plan my days better.
What if there is an emergency? I recall asking my father for a 4WD truck, he replied, "you know you
really only need a 4wd a few times a year. Is it really worth the extra
cost and insurance just for at most 10 days a year?" Although he made
perfect sense I still wanted a 4wd (didn't get it). In my 14 years as a pastor I can only recall 2 or 3 times when I had to drop everything and run to be present with a someone or a family. If there is an emergency, I can take the bus, hop on my bike, ride back home and get the van, I can ask someone to borrow their car, I can use one of the many car-sharing options:Car2Go, HourCar, ZipCar, CarShare or some other service.
What happens if the van breaks down? Well, that actually happened this week. The good old van is on the cusp of its usefulness. This week the van's engine cooling system we kaput. I feared this was the end of the ole mule but it was not. A bottle of Bar's Leaks temporarily solved the problem. This will enable us to investigate new van options. And how did we get around? A kind family loaned us their car for a day.
Lastly, I cannot get over how giddy I feel. Then again, this is just day one. But I have a supportive congregation, community of year around commuting cyclists, and this article from Salon.
Any other cycling clergy out there?