What’s It Like to Trade Your Car for a Bike?

Car-for-Bike Trader Kevin Hayes

One of the cornerstones of New Belgium’s Tour de Fat (in case you forgot, Tour de Fat is a celebrate of beer, bikes, and bemusement) is the car-for-bike trade. Potential traders submit to  New Belgium videos detailing what they’d do with cash to spend on a new bike.

Kevin Hays, this year’s car-for-bike trade winner, took the money to District Hardware for a light, fast, strong 2013 Neilpryde Alize. Neilpryde is known within the windsurfing community for its knowledge of carbon fiber and aerodynamics—so, maybe not what you think of when you think “commuter bike.” To which Kevin says, “On top of getting back and forth to work I love going on long, hard rides, and this bike will help me achieve both.”

We asked Kevin about his decision to make the trade.

WABA: Trading your car in for a bike could be considered crazy by some people. Why did you do it?
Kevin: Really, because owning a car in D.C. is a pain in the ass, and driving it can be even worse. It is just not practical for me right now. I was fed up with paying for parking and still getting parking tickets. I even got a parking ticket on the last day I had my vehicle, the day it was picked up for donation.

WABA: Why are you a bicyclist? Why do you choose to get around D.C. on a bike?
Kevin: First and foremost, it is fun. I really enjoy riding my bike back and forth from work everyday. It is quick: It only takes me about 15 minutes to get from my home to work. And finally, it is cheap. A properly maintained bike will cost you next to nothing to keep running for the year.

WABA: What’s the first word that comes to your head when I say “bicycle”?
Kevin: Lifestyle

WABA: Tell how you got started biking.
Kevin: Mine dates back to my freshman year in college. I may have partied a little too hard that first year, and I was kicked off campus for breaking a few rules…I moved a few miles away from campus and was forced to bike back and forth everyday. After that, it just stuck. I started doing longer rides for enjoyment, and I would like to think I have been a pretty serious cyclist ever since.

WABA: If you had to go back, would you do it again?
Kevin: I wouldn’t change a thing. Bicycling has changed my life and have introduced me to many of my closest friends. I may have convinced myself to start wearing a helmet a little earlier, only because I had a few close calls that could have changed things significantly.

WABA: And lastly, how do you promote bicycling in your everyday life?
Kevin: I have promised to live my life without owning a car for the next year.  I have started a blog called carfreedc.tumblr.com, that I will use to document this adventure.  I would like to show people that it is easy to get around town without a car or without using public transportation. I would like to share the tricks of the trade I have and hopefully inspire some people who may have not considered biking prior to this that it is really a great option for a means of transportation.

Car-for-Bike Trader Kevin Hayes

Kevin’s story is pretty inspiring. We know many of our members live the car-light life, but for those that don’t: consider trading just one car trip for a bike trip. And we hope all our car-free superstars are gently encouraging their friends and family to try biking for transportation.