“Get on your bike” was the advice of Norman Tebbit to millions of the unemployed in the 80s.
With recession now a fact of life, this is good advice but for those in work or wanting to live off-grid or partly off-grid, it is even better advice than ever !
Most of us live in a city but initiatives such as cycle paths and cycle safety training ( http://www.publicsafetycycling.org.uk ) can make the journey safer and easier.
Many cycle commuters relish the gradients on their journey as a way to boost fitness while others find it off putting but advances in batteries mean power assisted or electric bikes can take the strain, see www.powacycle.co.uk www.wisperbikes.com www.emotivecontrolsystems.co.uk for details. Emotive Control Systems have even fitted their motors to Pedal rickshaws so if your running an off-grid taxi , you can give yourself a boost.
Remember that if your semi off-grid you can always sell your solar panel power back to the grid during the day while your bike charges from the grid at night thus reducing your costs and emissions.
You may just fancy the idea of a traditional study bike to hold a basket, at the front for popping down to the shops, double dutch ( www.dutch-id.com ) lets you hold 2 baskets while the Bakfeetz from cycle sense ( www.cyclesense.co.uk) means you can get a large load or take a child with you.
Folding bikes are also popular for those who want to combine a cycle journey with car or public transport, or simply keep the bike at the side of their desk or have little room at home. Many variations exist, see www.bigfishbike.com www.brompton.co.uk.
Maybe city cycling just does not appeal or perhaps your already a bike addict and want even more off-grid, on bike fun ?
If your cycling to be green then check out Ecologist magazines pick of the month Green Oil at www.green-oil.net.
And remember while your out and about, you can be using a solar backpack from the energy-independent line at o-range ( www.o-range.com) to be charge your phone,ipod etc.
So, cut costs, get fit and cut emissions, get on your bike !