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This Wednesday marks the deadline to submit your sweet soul to the Tour de Fat car-for-bike challenge. The folks at New Belgium Brewery will take good care of you and we at CHIRP Radio are happy to support the Tour de Fat celebration in Palmer Square this Saturday, July 11th.
Click here if you're ready to give up a your vehicle and commute by bicycle for one year, or longer if you fall in love with two wheels of transport.
We met up with original car trader of 2009, Joseph Marinaro. He enjoys keeping in touch with the New Belgium people and encourages the 2015 car trader to commute by bike as long as possible.
"The freedom and health benefits are amazing and the experiences are plenty and thrilling," he said.
CHIRP: Where do you currently live and what are you doing these days?
Marinaro: In early 2010, I moved to the farthest reaches of the suburbs, Crown Point, IN!!! I still work downtown and make the 50 mile-each-way commute by car, now. While we have bikes, family life (I have a stepson in high school, a stepdaughter in grad school and a four year old son) gets so busy that put exercise is usually hiking, swimming and going to places we have to drive to.
CHIRP: Why did you take the challenge to give up your car?
Marinaro: I was fairly new to city life and found owning my Jeep was more of a hassle than it was worth.
CHIRP: What kinds of adjustments did you have to make to your life and daily routines?
Marinaro: I was already commuting to work by bicycle, so the biggest adjustments were groceries and small errands that is usually drive to. As cycling became my norm, I started doing longer bike trips in weekends to places like Three Floyds Brewpub and to festivals like The Pierogi Fest in Whiting, IN as well as doing Bike the Drive and the Perimeter Tours.
CHIRP: Would you say you’re still fairly committed to commuting by bike?
Marinaro: Not at all. It's 50 miles each way.
CHIRP: How has living without a car changed you? Have you taken up any other new habits during the year?
Marinaro: I was much healthier when I didn't own a car, pedaling everywhere!!!
CHIRP: How can your town, your state, and/or society in general make bicycling more attractive to other people?
Marinaro: Living in the far reaching Indiana burbs, cycling is not a normal thing you see on roadways. Many roads are small and overcrowded and motorists don't know the laws or have any experience with bikes. There are entry of rails-to-trails and that's the only cycling I do anymore. Studies are just now being done to allow bicycles on the South Shore trains to the city, but they are years behind CTA and Metra in their approach to cycling commuters.
CHIRP: What would be your advice for the next person who is going to take up New Belgium's offer?
Marinaro: The New Belgium people are great to keep in touch with!!! I'd tell the next car trader to enjoy life without a car as long as you possibly can!!! The freedom and health benefits are amazing and the experiences are plenty and thrilling!!
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