Many of us automatically default to the car when considering how we’ll commute to a large chain store, typically found on the edges or outskirts of town, due to the fact that they’re often fed by interstates, highways, and other over-built types of roads. Sure, we’ve seen how they do it in more properly planned and developed countries like the Netherlands, where cities are not purpose built to force people into car ownership or reliance, but can it be done here in the United States? Even more specific, can it be done in a…wait for it…SUBURB?!?!
Many of you who may find yourself here are already familiar with the Not Just Bikes video where he easily rides to the big box store of IKEA, but I know of few places in North America where that’s possible without taking your life in your hands to do it by bike. So, can I go from the relative city center of Carmel Indiana to their Lowe’s store on the north side of town without mixing in with cars on the road or without feeling like a daring “cyclist”? That’s what I aim to show with this real-time 17 minute video of my ride this morning.
I was pleased to have been met with the sounds of birds chirping, other people out and about, and many places where the tree canopy kept me covered and happy. Now that I know this route exists, I will likely always choose the bicycle instead of the car for my trips to this store. If you build the infrastructure, make it safe, simple, and enjoyable, people will use it. I hope you enjoy the ride (virtually) as much as I did from behind the handlebars.