Step 1. Locate your home on a detailed map of your city. The map should be detailed enough so that all available side streets are visible. Place the point of a compass there, and draw 2 circles. One with a one-mile radius, and one with a two-mile radius.
Step 2. Mark with a pen or a highlighter the places that you regularly visit, such as your workplace, grocery store, coffee shop, favorite restaurant, farmer’s market, and/or any other place you visit at least once every two weeks.
Step 3. Pick one of the destinations that falls within your one mile circle and start biking to it instead of driving. (More than one-quarter of Americans’ daily automobile trips are a mile or less. Almost 14 percent are less than half a mile, a 5 minute ride.) Be sure to look for side streets that have less traffic to help make your first few bike commutes more enjoyable. You’re much more likely to get back out there on your bike if you enjoy getting to your destinations.
Step 4. Keep a journal of your experiences spent outside of the car. Many people report feeling a more intimate connection to their environment and to their community, along with feeling a greater sense of well being.
Step 5. Every couple of weeks, start biking to another location within the one mile circle.
Step 6. As your confidence and fitness builds, start expanding your range to any location within the 2 mile circle. Start including these commutes as a part of your lifestyle about once or twice every month.
Step 7. Begin to map out destinations that fall outside the two-mile radius and see if a closer alternative exists. Your local merchants will definitely appreciate the added business
Step 8. Slowly start increasing your total amount of bike trips, and before you know it, you’ll be living a Car-Lite lifestyle much of the time.