Vouchers, Olefin, and Tubes

We are officially a one car household. After the brakes went out on my car this past summer, we decided good ol’ Baby Blue, my Saturn sedan, was just getting too expensive. Furthermore, we’d tossed around the idea of having just one car and, quite frankly, it excited us. Since this past spring we’ve been making an effort to ride our bikes for transportation as much as possible anyway. The two factors that pushed us to make the final decision were:

  1. Nick is able to ride public transportation for free with his student I.D.
  2. We wouldn’t be paying annually for a $400 parking pass at the dental school.

Better yet, we had a chance to receive a voucher from the university’s Sustainability Council to use at a local bike shop, which we really wanted to be able to get helmets. At the end of last month we found out that we qualified, and today we popped into Parkside Bikes.

Our swag from Parkside
Our swag from Parkside

To be honest, we have no clue what we’re doing when it comes to bikes and cycling culture. When I asked an employee to help me find a helmet, I was remembering getting fitted for helmets at my elementary school. It turns out Nick and I got the same, basic helmet that can simply be adjusted in several places. Who knew? Well, essentially everyone but us. It was also recommended that Nick get a tail light, since he is out in the mornings and evenings. That was all perfect, but we had enough money on the voucher to keep browsing. We explained admitted to the employee that we’re really runners, but he assured us that it was alright, there were things there for us, too. After much deliberation Nick encouraged me to get several pairs of Swiftwick compression socks, both Merino wool and Olefin, in ankle, crew, and mid-calf cuts. (Immediately after we got home I tried them on and they are awesome!) Nick also encouraged me to get the Pearl Izumi windbreaker, which I rationalized would keep me warm biking home this fall after sweaty, hot yoga. He agreed to get one pair of mid-calf socks to use when we go hiking. Finally, we threw in a tube – a tube? – for good measure (even though we aren’t sure what to do with it, and it probably won’t fit on our bikes…)

Navigating the world of cycling is almost as intimidating as navigating the nonsensical streets of Louisville (honestly, who mapped this place?) And, somehow my husband convinced me to use more of the voucher than he did, but I guess I am helping earn the voucher, too. So, if you see a goofy couple in matching helmets and compression socks, it’s just us, trying to save a little green, and make Louisville a littler greener.


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