Why on God's green earth am I doing this by bike, when it's a heck of a lot easier to move tools and materials by truck or van? That's a good question. I agree that it is a lot easier, and in some ways more efficient, to do contracting work using motorized transport. Builder By Bike is a business that has a different approach to contracting, incorporating an ethos built around sustainability, healthy living, working locally, and of course quality.
Sustainability is the central to my business ethics. According to the EPA, the average vehicle emits 423 grams of carbon dioxide PER GALLON! If I drove 12,000 miles per year in a vehicle that gets 21 MPG, then I would emit 5.1 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.* Bear in mind that these figures are for a typical passenger vehicle using gasoline, and not for a truck or van, which are typically less fuel efficient, and pollute more. Churning out this much carbon into the atmosphere is unacceptable! By choosing not to drive to my jobs, I am helping to not only reduce my carbon footprint, but also to reduce dependency on foreign oil, non-point pollution, noise, traffic congestion, and wear on our already stressed roads, which are maintained by underfunded government transportation departments.
Riding a bicycle is healthy! Everyday that I get out and ride my bike with tools in tow, I am burning calories, reducing my stress, increasing my strength, lowering my blood pressure, and keeping myself mentally focused.‡ Meanwhile, according to an ABC News report, commuting by car can lead to higher blood pressure, increased weight gain, and even neck or back pain.¢ Furthermore, while it might take me a little longer to get to a job site than if I were in a utility van, I am getting my exercise at the same time, which saves me a trip to the gym at the end of the day. That also means I have very few sick days, and am not a burden to an emerging public healthcare system.
Builder By Bike is located at the intersection of SE Belmont and SE Cesar Chavez Boulevard. This optimal location helps me easily serve the greater Portland area. Unlike some contractors, who travel from outside the city limits, I am local. I volunteer with Friends of Trees, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, and the Mount Hood Chapter of the Pacific Crest Trail Association. I also purchase my materials from local vendors like Mr. Plywood, Brown Lumber, Sustainable Northwest Wood, The Rebuilding Center, Woodcrafters, and excess materials listed on Craigslist. I also rely on Hankins, Beaumont, Division, and Winks hardware stores for many of my hardware purchases.
Builder By Bike takes pride in doing good, quality work. Haphazard work is not tolerated, and I aim to satisfy. I guarantee my work, and if anything breaks, peels, warps or splits, I will be back to fix it. I am a licensed, bonded, and insured (CCB#195631) contractor in the state of Oregon, which means that when you hire me, my work is insured, and I will do a professional job.