Age: from 24 to 65
Hometown: Bend, Oregon
What is your typical “super commuter” mode of transportation?
My friends and I carpool together to go ride our horses together.
About how far is your trip?
Its 30 miles round trip. We started with every other week this past summer and worked up to Wednesdays and Saturdays with whoever was going. We agreed to go around the same times and be there for the same duration, usually 2 or 3 hours on site.
Is there a particular reason or reasons why you choose to carpool?
I commuted by bike to the ranch one time – it was a big day and I was pooped! So, that wasn’t an option. My friends and I all lived near each other in Northwest Bend and we knew carpooling was possible. We wanted to consolidate the effort of going to the same place. We identified likely times and days we’d like to trail ride together. We are retired or have alternative schedules so this wasn’t that easy. Cost is a factor and trail riding together is SO MUCH more fun and safer than by yourself. Social, financial, environmental – all the practices we incorporate into our daily lives. By rotating drivers we don’t have to worry about tracking gas money.
What is your favorite thing about your trip?
My favorite thing is the camaraderie and talking about our horses. It takes time to prepare the horses once we are on site, so in the car, we often identify our routes and what conditions we’d face on the trip out. Weather and equipment are factors to consider for long trail rides.
How does your carpool system work?
We meet at a neighboring church or coffee shop, depending on whose turn it is and the equipment we need to take. We rotate drivers, and our daughters go when they are available.
How do you deal with any challenges with carpooling?
Since we’re retired, just committing to doing this was hard. Our usual summer days were Saturday. Wednesday really worked as well and the weeks when we went three days a week was a treat. We chose certain days for one driver, and stayed flexible if we couldn’t all go.
Do you do anything differently during different seasons?
We go less frequently in the winter due to snow or rain, or schedules. The winter “dark months” alter our schedule when the days are too short. Summer sometimes presents a challenge due to other family commitments.
Do you have any special tips for people who want to carpool on a regular basis?
Be flexible for changes and keep your sights on the goal of ridesharing. Make a commitment and stick to it if it matters to you. Punctuality, follow through, and accountability made this work. Because this is our recreation, it is even more pleasing for us. We started a unique carpooling group!