Neil Davis

Name:                         Neil Davis 
Occupation:               Public Health Nurse 
Employer:                   Walk & Bike Mendocino; Round Valley Indian Health 
Gets Around By:        Bike 
Where do you live and where do you work; How far is your commute? I live in Ukiah and three days a week I work in Ukiah. On my Ukiah days, I virtually always ride my bike. Sometimes if it’s really raining hard, my wife and I will carpool. But in light or intermittent rain I still ride. I drive up to Covelo once a week and spend two days working there. Covelo is beautiful, but it’s pretty hard to get around walking or biking. It gives me an appreciation for how far many of our communities have to go in accommodating people who choose not to drive. 
What are your favorite things about leaving your car at home? I love all the sights, sounds, and smells that I experience when I’m on my bike. I love hearing the birds, seeing friends and being able to easily stop and chat. I love smelling the wood fires in the winter, and the bracing cool of the mornings. In the winter the cold really wakes me up and in the summer it feels great to be a little chilly when I know it’s going to be really hot later. In the car I’m insulated from all of that. 
What other benefits are there? Since my wife and I both ride pretty much everywhere, we only own one car. I figure it saves us about seven grand a year (that’s the national average per car)! 
Do you have any tips for people who might be trying this mode for the first time?  Practice riding or walking to work on the weekend first. Do everything like you will when you’re going to work. Wear the same clothes, figure out what you need to bring/carry, where you’ll leave the bike, which route you’ll take – and notice how long it takes you 1) to get ready, and 2) to make the trip. If you’ve done it once or twice you’re less likely to be caught out and bail on riding or be late for work. You can also get started by walking or biking to do errands on the weekend when there isn’t as much time pressure. The Farmer’s Market is a great way to get your feet wet!