Keyless Entry: Unlocking the power of a year with no car

Chip Oglesby bio photo By Chip Oglesby

Chip on a bike It’s been one year since I sold my car and bought a Trek bicycle as my main mode of transportation. Let’s take a look at how things went.


I feel more safe riding in the city than I do on open country roads. I guess it’s the fact that most of the streets I ride on have a speed limit of 35 mph and that “feels” safe to me. I can recall three incidents where I felt like something bad was about to happen, but ended up being okay. And yes, it might not look “cool” but I always wear a helmet.


I still have the same Trek 7.1 FX body that I started with. I have gone through countless spokes on my rear tire and even three new wheels along the way, but we’ve finally found a 29” mountain bike wheel that will accommodate my large frame. I’ve also upgraded my bike recently and added some fenders for rainy days, as well as a rear bike rack, all courtesy of my most amazing fiancee, Michelle. Chip on a bike


Getting in shape has been the greatest aspect for me. My heart feels stronger than ever! When I first started riding, I couldn’t make it all the way up Greene Street without getting off my bike and pushing it along the way. Now I can conquer almost any hill in Columbia without getting off! I still average six miles every day and go for longer rides on the weekend on the fort. Since I started riding, I also joined the local YMCA where I swim, do free weights and take a HIIT class twice per week. I also run six miles per day as well and during the month of June, I was hitting 10 miles per day five days per week.

Lessons learned

Main lessons learned: Plan accordingly and take your time to enjoy the ride. Most people treat going somewhere like a rat race: “I MUST GET THERE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE!” This could be because they are running late, or have to be somewhere early or some other BS excuse, but the majority of the time, they’ve failed to plan accordingly. I can usually tell you exactly how long it will take me to get somewhere in town on my bike. I will usually give myself 30-45 minutes to go anywhere on my bike. If I need to freshen up beforehand, I have to plan accordingly.

Another lesson learned is to learn to love the ride. When I first started riding in August of last year, it was a pain to go anywhere. It was hot, I was sweaty and I did not enjoy it. Now? now I love riding my bike everywhere. Rain, sleet, snow, heat, I love it all. It’s great to be able to enjoy the cool summer breeze and watch the sunset while you’re coasting along. You get to use all of your other senses as well. The sweet smell of honeysuckle and the smell of a bbq in someones backyard. The sounds of children laughing as they play in the front yard and the sound of sprinklers as they tap, tap, tap along the grass. Taking the time to see the world on two wheels is one of the most amazing experiences!


Have you ever tried to pick up a date while on a bicycle? It ain’t easy! Lots of folks compliment me on being “green.” It’s not about that. Sure, I’ve saved a TON of money on not having to buy: gas, on car payments, on insurance, on wear and tear, etc, but sometimes it sucks not having a car. If someone gets sick, or I need to be somewhere in a hurry, my options are limited. If time is of the essence I can always call a cab or see if a friend is going the same way.

Other things are pretty simple. Anytime I go somewhere, I always take a bag with me. Grocery shopping is a lot easier than you would imagine. I usually buy about $50 worth of clean food once a week. I recently got a rack for the back of my bike and plan on purchasing some panniers to go with it so I don’t always have to lug my backpack or messenger bag around everywhere.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the back story, check out some of my other posts.


This has been one of the best years of my life. I’ve learned more about myself in the past 365 days than I ever thought possible. I plan on keeping the bike and will continue to ride it for as long as possible. I do plan on upgrading to a road bike soon and purchasing a mountain bike in the future as well.

It took a lot of determination to get to where I am today. There were many days where I wanted to give up and quit. I knew if I did I would only be cheating myself.

Some people tell me that they could never give up their car and buy a bike, it would be too hard. But the story isn’t about the bike, it’s about deciding to make a life change and see it through. This is my road, my challenge.

Your challenge might be to lose weight and keep it off, or to go back to school or to get married and have kids. Whatever your challenge is, you can do it. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t: You’re right.

Other headlines

I asked around on Facebook and Twitter for alternate headlines. Here are some of the suggestions I got:

  • Four-wheel no drive: A year without a car

  • “Keyless Entry: Unlocking the power of a year with no car”

  • “Car-free … and carefree.” ;-)

  • fist pump - not gas pump.

  • Gasless in Columbia, Captains Log, Year One.

  • Wheels-free for 365?

  • ‎”Cars suck more than gas” or “Henry Ford can kiss my ass…whats left of it.”

  • Moderately Quicksilver

  • Life in the Bike Lane

  • Ow, My Butt: One Man’s Fight Giving Up His Car and the Sensation in His Nethers

  • Zen and the Art of Chiptorcycle Maintenance

  • Breezy Rider

  • Off the Chain!

  • Bike me.

  • Bike to the future!

  • “Wheels of Steel”

  • “Cycling Four Seasons”

  • Cycled Four Seasons

  • “Celebrate Cycling; Can the Car”

  • “One Year On Two Wheels”

  • CycleHIP