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Meet The Man Who's Trading In His Car For A Bike At The Tour De Fat

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 20, 2012 4:40PM

Bill Bushnell

On Wednesday we wrote that New Belgium’s Tour de Fat was still looking for someone to trade in their automobile for a custom-made bicycle and commit to a year of car-free living. They found someone.

Meet Bill Bushnell of Elmhurst, who started biking a year ago as a way to save money on gas and inspire those around him to do the same. Bushnell bought the cheapest bicycle he could find to get started and, as he notes in the video below, that bike is starting to give out on him.

So Bushnell decided to enter in the Tour de Fat. “I don’t have the money to buy a serviceable bike,” he told Chicagoist. “The Tour de Fat bike swap allows me to now get the bike I want.”

Bushnell bikes to and from work (a 3.5-mile commute each way), takes roads into the city and the Prairie Path to Two Brothers Roundhouse in Aurora. Asked about the differences he sees in sharing the road with suburban drivers versus biking in Chicago, Bushnell said, “drivers in the suburbs tend to be more impatient. Even though there’s more space on the road for bikes and vehicles, drivers tend to give you less space.”

Bushnell will be taking his $2,250 budget to Performance Bike in Lombard and plans on spreading the money around to fully prepare for biking in the colder months. “I plan on buying panniers and fenders to stay dry and clean, and a cargo rack so I can handle larger chores like grocery shopping,” he said.