Finding Balance

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Like all those who complete a 1 year lifestyle challenge, I had a choice at end of my Fixed Gear Year in January. I could either continue in the same way, travelling everywhere by Fixed Gear bike like I did in 2012, or I could return to my old ways from before.

In reality I’ve what I’ve done has been half way between the two. I felt like a bit of a traitor at first, moving from my hard earned ideals, but as it stands I have to confess the following.

I’m currently insured to drive my girlfriend’s van… this has allowed me to

a: Go places with her, since she doesn’t cycle

b: Take gigs which are impossible to do by public transport (which is 90% of them really).

I still cycle everywhere possible, and my Fixie is still my only bike.

Also, a big discovery that I made as a result of my Fixed Gear Year was that I wanted to live in a Yurt. So I bought and moved into a Yurt August, and moved out just before Christmas.

Another confession: I moved into a house.

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I’ll be honest – it was buttocks-off freezing and below. In further honesty, it took me a couple of months to fully physically recover from the harsh conditions of living in a cold, damp yurt. Some people can do it. The

y must be hardcore.

Now, the Yurt has been re-pitched in a new location: my girlfriend’s garden. I also rent a room in the house where I can keep and use electrical stuff and musical instruments.

Some of you will be thinking that this is a good half way house – moving towards an environmentally aware future by cycling wherever possible, and at least in part practicing sustainable living through having an alternative dwelling…

Some of you will think me a traitor to begin driving a vehicle, and renting a room in a house… next I’ll be wearing a suit and buying Tesco’s shares.

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Photographic evidence shows that the bike racks are empty on a Saturday night – the people of Exeter NEED me.

Ultimately I have to believe that there’s some contribution I can make by  living and writing about my not-so alternative lifestyle and cycling exploits now that the 1 year challenge is over.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Finding Balance

  1. In the end, finding balance is what it’s all about. I’ve enjoyed reading about your journey.

    All the best from Germany,
    Alex

  2. Hi Kim!

    Thank you for being honest about your successes and your failures – I believe the most important part of your blog is sharing what you’ve learnt and where you go from here.

    And I don’t think you’ve failed at all, who can expect such an extreme change in lifestyle to work the first time round? Over my first year of ‘living outdoors’ I spent most nights staying with my girlfriend, friends or parents. It’s only now after two years that it feels ok to sleep outside every night. In fact the last couple of nights I slept on the beach in Exmouth – I’ll drop you an email to see if you’re about.

    ‘Alternative lifestyle’ does not equate to responsible living or being kind to our planet. I’ve met radically dressed hippies who drive to the airport then fly to gatherings where they can dance around a campfire naked. I’ve also met city workers in pinstripe suits who cycle to work, never fly on principle, buy locally grown food and volunteer for charity.

    Sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle or in a house with four walls and a roof are just images, that’s all – what’s more important is the invisible impact of our lifestyles on our community and our planet. Nobody knows that except for ourselves.

    I would recommend calculating and keeping track of your carbon footprint, water usage, waste etc and comparing it to when you lived in a yurt, I think you’ll find it most insightful. Of course, it requires lots of time. And then also consider the changes to the immeasurable qualities of life such as your physical and mental wellbeing and your relationship to those around you.

    You’re a brave girl Kim… keep it up, keep learning…

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