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cCHANGE Challenge: Susan Jackman


Susan Jackman

Min cChallenge: Bike to work everyday and have 3 or 4 days a¬†week when I don’t use the car at all.

My name is Susan Jackman; I’m American but I have been living here in Oslo for over 17 years. I teach English literature at the videreg√•ende level full-time and I do free lance photography.

I am divorced and have 2 teens who live with me 50% of the time….Life is good and it is busy :-)

Del dette


Day 30: The end

Yesterday was the last day of my 30 day challenge to bike to work and use the car as little as possible; it has been a really good experience. I biked to work everyday except the day it snowed 30 cm :-) Overall I used the car a fraction of what I normally do: I biked, I used the tbane and I walked when I would normally drive.

I still drove sometimes, especially with things that involved my kids. During the month I used about a third of a tank of gas in my little Yaris; with gas and toll fees, I think I saved about kr1000 during these 30 days…..I also lost a little weight :-)

The most difficult part was making the extra time for the biking….but this was also one of the best parts of the month. It made me realise that it actually didn’t take as much extra time as I had thought and that it was also ok if things took a little longer than usual. It made me reflect on how busy some days can be and how I don’t want a life where I am so busy that I have to race for place to place.

I am going to continue biking to work. I have decided that I want to bike to work everyday except every other Thursday, which has proven to be the most inconvenient day to bike. I want to keep this up at least until summer and hopefully until October. And I am going to keep trying to reduce how much I use the car.

It is fun biking. It is healthy. It saves money. It is good for the environment. It feels good! AND I want to be a person who bikes from place to place, using my body and enjoying the ride :-)

Takk for meg…..This has been great!

Day 30: If I didn’t have this challenge…

I am about to leave for work….I have a really long day ahead of me, a stressful day. I also need to run a few errands, which will be more time consuming on the bike. AND it is SNOWING.

Today I do NOT want to bike! :-)

I will bike. I am heading out the door now, but today is definitely one of those days that if I didn’t have this challenge, I would be driving.. happily! :-)

Day 23: Easter 

Easter vacation is over…and it has been a good one! I was here in Oslo all week – I love Oslo during Easter; it has a holiday feel to it and Spring always seems to arrive Easter week. Even though I didn’t need to bike to work, I was determined to use my car as little as possible. I bought myself a Ruter week pass, walked more and used my bike. During the 10 days I used my car 4 times, once to drive to Bekkestua, once to pick up my son and his friends at football practice, once to drive to the grocery story and Im embarrassed to say, once to drive to the t-bane(which was really unnecessary!)

It wasn’t perfect but I used the car much much less than I do normally. I think I have used about kr150 in gas these past 3 weeks – this is hundreds less than what is normal- not to mention no bom costs. Less car is good for the environment, my health, and bank account :-) This has been good for me; what I am realising is that leaving the car at home is not that difficult and it normally doesn’t take that much longer – perhaps an extra 10 or 15 minutes here and there, but then I also get a little exercise and fresh air or time to read on the t-bane.

Only a little more than a week left of cChallenge…..today is a no car day and I will be biking to work this week. I think this is something that I will continue with until summer vacation…..but we’ll wait and see how I am feeling after this next week first :-)

Day 11: Woke up to a storm!

……Things were going so well. I had biked to work everyday this week and was feeling that I was getting into a sort of routine. I like doing this! And it also feels a bit easier getting up the hills this week than it did last week :-)

These past 5 days, I have used the car for small trips, mostly involving driving my kids around somewhere or other, but for the most part I have been using my bike. I even biked to work yesterday in the snow. BUT, like the rest of Oslo, I woke up to a storm today. It has been snowing non-stop for hours. The bussses are stopped and the roads are a mess…..I didnt bike to work today. I feel very guilty – I don’t like not doing things all the way. However, I also don’t have studded wheels and I just didn’t think it would be safe to bike today. This feels a bit like a failure, but I think it is ok. I have used the car much less these past 10 days than I would normally and I am really enjoying it…..

I will try to make up for driving today by biking somewhere else, where I would normally drive. Hopefully this snow will melt soon!

Day 5: It is Friday….

I love Fridays! I have done well this week with my¬†challenge. I have biked to work everyday (4 – I work from home on Fridays)¬†and I have only used my car twice for two short trips: once to the grocery¬†store for weekly shopping and once to my friend’s for dinner when I wanted¬†to bring my dog. Today I am working from home but I am really making an¬†effort not to use the car. I needed to go downtown for an appointment and¬†instead of driving to the tbane, I walked. I also forgot my camera at work¬†and instead of driving to get it, or even biking, I realised I could call a¬†neighbour who also works with me and she could pick it up for me. In about¬†an hour I will bike to R√ła center……

It is going well and for the most part I feel great about it. It has rained¬†a bit and been cold this week but that isn’t really a problem as long as I¬†dress warm enough. The only issue that keeps coming up is the time…it¬†does take a bit more time. But not much and what it has made me think about¬†this week is maybe I need to do something so that using the little extra¬†time that it takes to bike doesn’t stress me out. The fact that it does¬†some days, makes me think that life is a bit too busy.

Have a great weekend all!

Day 2: So far so good!

I have now biked to work both Monday and Tuesday and it feels great to be¬†on the bike again! It is such a good way to start the day – I come to work¬†feeling awake and ready to go. Going home is tougher….for one thing it is¬†more uphill and also, Im just tired at the end of the day and just want to¬†get home. Biking does make my day a bit longer and slightly more¬†complicated but I think part of it is just getting used to a new routine. I¬†also think it will get easier when I get in a bit better shape – I am¬†struggling a bit with the uphills :-)

Tonight I went to a friend’s for dinner and I really considered biking¬†there as well, I haven’t used the car since Sunday and I wanted to bike but¬†it is not always easy. For example, tonight I wanted to take my dog with me¬†and that isn’t possible on the bike and it was a bit too far to walk. I will¬†try though to use the car an absolute minimum this month. Right now my¬†car’s gas tank is about 30% full; I would love to see if I can make that¬†last out the month.

So far so good… makes me happy to be doing this :-)

Day 0: Will the bike get ready?

When I heard about the cChallenge I immediately thought that this might be the push I need to start leaving the car at home and using my bike more. I love to bike.

Susan Jackmann Bilde

The photo above was taken last summer on a biking holiday in Ireland. I have had periods when I bike to work and use my bike more for transportation but I tend to use the car as soon as things start to get busy….which is often! Using the bike instead of the car is so good on so many levels: it is healthier, it is cheaper and it is better for the environment. I know all of this, but I am not very good at it when it comes to hverdagen.

So, my 30 day challenge is bike to work everyday and have 3 or 4 days a week when I don’t use the car at all. At the moment I use the car all the time. Biking to work takes me 20 minutes and biking home 25/30….it is very doable. After I agreed to do this, I realized that I actually have 2 weeks Easter holiday right in the middle of this 30 day period, which felt a lot like cheating. So, that is why I have also decided to have at least 15 no car days in the 30 day period on top of biking to work. I will be home here in Oslo during the holiday, so this will be good for me.

My bike is in the shop but they promised me I would have it back before the 15th. I look forward to this!