I am an adult woman with high functioning autism. The goal of this blog is to tell you how I went about bicycle commuting as an adult with high functioning autism. And, to show you how you can bicycle commute too! I have been commuting by bicycle for the past 14 or 15 years.
When browsing the personal finance section of my local library one day, 2 paperbacks caught my eye. They are titled How to Live Well Without Owning A Car by Stave Balish and Divorce Your Car! by Katie T. Alvord. I then glanced through them and noticed they both had good content on bicycle commuting. I had survived with only a bicycle & public transportation for the first 4 years of being on my own. My car of 15 years was now getting old and rather costly to maintain. I wanted to find a way to save money and reduce stress. So, I got back into the practice of bicycle commuting at least part of the time.
One late afternoon around dinnertime, my car transmission gave out. I pulled to the side of the road just in time to stay safe from the oncoming rush hour traffic. My mechanic came by, checked it out and told me the cost to fix it! So then, I decided to donate my car to a charity where they would put in a new transmission and give it to a needy individual. The mechanic then gave me a lift home with my car on his tow truck.
Six months before my car’s transmission went out, I bought a used $150 bicycle from a locally owned small bicycle store. After my car would no longer run, I bicycled everywhere 2.5 miles or less and used public transportation for longer trips. I saved over $80/month by not having a car. This really helped me erase credit card debt over the next few years. It helped me prepare for rainy or cold weather. One way was I invested in inexpensive layering clothes from thrift shops. Items such as wind/rain pants, face coverings etc. When I put on my gloves and face covering and tucked the wind pants in my boots before I left my apartment, I stayed warm in 27° weather.
I searched the internet on bicycle commuting too and found out about pannier bags, bicycle trailers, bungee chords, etc. These things would help me to transport items that would not fit in my front bicycle basket. I carefully read the product reviews and ratings on Amazon.com and Epinions.com. I bought my Instep bicycle trailer for $50 from a thrift shop also.
- Free exercise to keep physically fit & trim which has led to higher self esteem
- Countless complements on my resourcefulness
- Continued exercise in attention focus without the extra stresses of car driving
- Convenient exercise that I would NOT get in commuting by car.
- Less cognitively demanding than driving a car which means more mental energy for other tasks.
- Good practice in planning for items I will need while at work or running errands.
- Much easier to park
- Good practice in balancing on 2 wheels for coordination & cognition fitness
- After I erased my debt, I had more money for online courses to build software skills that are in demand in today’s job market
This article / blog post was created by an anonymous contributor. The author’s original draft was edited to help the post fit formatting guidelines.