About me? My name is Karl and I am a 20-something Australian with a background and personal interest in urban and regional planning, including transportation planning and design. All through university we were constantly told that ‘sustainable transport’ such as public transport, cycling and walking were the best ways to get around from A-B instead of using a private motor vehicle (car). The reasons given included reducing all sorts of local and external pollution, reducing congestion and accidents on our roads, saving money, creating social interaction between people in the community, and improving personal health.
So with this I decided to experiment with going car-free in my car dominated and obsessed city, opting to instead use public transport and cycling to get me where I want to go, rather than a car. I have to admit there are times when having access to a car is helpful for certain situations, in particular getting out of the city to go surfing (my other great passion and subject of my other website). However I have managed to get by on these rare occasions by borrowing a car or getting a lift from a friend or family member, rather than owning a car myself that would just sit in my driveway doing nothing but cost money and waste space 98% of the year.
I was totally car-free from late 2007 until late 2013, where I then bought a 4WD van for the defined purpose of a trip around Australia for a year. I found that after the first few months you start think about how you will get somewhere differently than just mindlessly jumping into a car and driving off. You also start to work out easier ways of getting to places, doing activities or purchasing goods. An example is that if you are grocery shopping by bicycle you will only buy the essentials of what you need and not be tempted to buy too much (reducing wastage) or buy junk foods (saving money and improving health) as you simply don’t have the capacity to carry all that excess back home on the bike.
I decided to start this website in order to share information, product reviews, advice and tips on practical/utility cycling (including commuting for a specific purpose) and cycle touring. I am aware that there are many other blogs, forums and websites out there that also cover these topics. My goal is simply to contribute to this knowledge pool further in order to encourage and facilitate people to take up cycling or increase existing levels of cycling. I will also be discussing topics concerning urban and transportation planning and design, as this directly affects people’s attitudes towards sustainable transport in addition to the enjoyment and ease of practical cycling in our towns and cities.
With any luck I will be able to post a new article once a fortnight. However this will depend on my personal circumstances, workload and free time. I suggest that you bookmark my main page and check it from time to time. I am still getting to grips with the subtle nuances of website design, so I will be making modifications to the design and layout of this site over time as I see fit.