Frequently Asked Questions.

What is the Bike Year?

The Bike Year is this thing our family is doing where we do not own a car for a year.  Here are the rules:

  1. You have to get rid of your car for a year.

There are no other rules.  Steph and I can take public transportation, we can accept rides from other people, we can take Ubers, and we can drive rental cars.  We can use cars – we just don’t actually own a car.  

If we thought about it very hard, we could probably make up many different rules about what we can and cannot do.  But this is not a religion.  It is a thing our family is doing.  And it is hard enough as it is without making up additional ridiculous rules.  Be reasonable, people!  Gosh!  

Isn’t that what loads of people do, like in New York?

Yes, you are right.  Loads of people don’t have cars.  For example, I was talking to my good friend John Wrathall, telling him about our bike year, and John was very complimentary.

“That is amazing!” John said.  “I am very proud of you guys for going without a car.”  

“I see you riding around a lot.”  I said.  “Do you mostly ride a bike too?”

“Yeah.” John said.  “I have never actually owned a car in my life.”  

John is like, fifty.

So, yeah, not having a car is not a big deal.  I bet people who do not have a car way outnumber people who do have cars if you look at the whole world.  You could imagine people in South America, for example, or India, where people are not wealthy enough to have a car.  Also, in some expensive cities – like New York or Seattle, cars are an extravagance reserved for the very wealthy or the feeble-minded.  

What makes Steph and I a little bit special, is that we had a car in a city where driving is easy, and we got rid of it anyway.  We purposely made our lives harder than they had to be.

Is the bike year hard?

Sort of.  But not hard in a “Blast! I have to go to work in the salt mines!” way, more like a “Blast!  Gotta go run a marathon!” way.  Basically, it is hard, but kind of fun too, when you look back on it.  

Are you guys hippies who are trying to save the world?

Yes.  But we do use soap, though.  And we do not have a worm farm.  So on the range of hippie-ness, we are only about a seven.   

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What is going to happen when the Bike Year is over?

I don’t know.  I don’t think we will buy a car, summertime without a car is too much fun.  We will have to see.

9 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions.”

  1. Bill,
    Good stuff on the blog! How did the super cold spell go around Christmas for you guys (and the kids in the Burley)? 0 degrees has typically been my cutoff for biking but I did a few of the -8ish days here in the twin cities.

    Only thing that gets me is the fingers and toes- though I have found that if I get the blood pumping before getting on the bike (hitting a broomball around, etc.) the extremities don’t do too bad.

  2. First of all, thanks for the blog. I ran across it today while doing some research on cargo bikes and have enjoyed looking through the articles.

    I’m wondering how well the Spicy Curry handles the snow here in Minneapolis. I’m in Minneapolis too, and trying to decide between a solution like the Spicy Curry or going with something like an electric fat bike and a trailer. There are pros and cons to both setups, but I’m not sure if winter handling with the cargo bike is going to be a con or not. I suppose I could put on studded tires if needed, but that might be more work than it’s worth. Also, have you noticed any issues with the battery performing poorly in the deeper cold?

    Finally, pretty much everything I see regarding passengers with cargo bikes is small children sitting on the deck. Does the Spicy Curry comfortably seat (and haul) an adult on the back?

    Thanks again. Hopefully you can provide me some feedback that’ll help me make my decision.

    1. Sorry it has taken so long to respond.

      The Spicy Curry handles great in the winter – it has a low center of gravity, so it works out well. Adults sitting on the back though… it is too low to the ground.

      What did you end up going with?

  3. Dear Brodegard family,

    I spoke briefly with you the other day at the Y. I remember reading about you all in the Star Trib and hoped to run into you somewhere in the city. Would you all have time (30 minutes) to share with me about your discoveries? I am writing a book about churches and bicycling and neighborhoods – I need more personal stories to show how this idea can be lived out. You all provide an excellent model. thanks Travis

    1. Travis, I am sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. I have not written on teh blog in a while… But we are happy to chat. let us know!

  4. So I found this site by way of the Yuba email list. (I don’t have a Yuba yet, but it is a dream. Makes me want to have more kids, just to tote them on the back of a Yuba. Of course my 13, 19, & 20 year old children would be totally disgruntled…). I have binge-read I your blog ever since. To be honest, I would NEVER do what you are doing, but I SO admire it! I live in Chicago so the thought of riding year round seems so implausible, but there you are, doing it in Minnesota, WITH little kids!!! You challenge me that I can ride far more often than I do. Really, I work 1 mile away from home. I can ride on my bike rather than drive. I also enjoy my car more after reading your blog. When I am driving along in the rain, I think of you guys and smile, enjoying the toasty heater and dry interior all the more. (Sorry!) So, my question…any posts for 2018? I am not finding them on your blog. Did you make it the whole year? How were January and February? I’m hungry for more!

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