The other weekend, I thought about getting a Zipcar to visit my sister and see her new puppy, and to run some errands - specifically to pick up pet supplies at Petsmart. I went online to see if there was a closer Petsmart to my home than the previous store I used to shop at in Arlington. I saw there was one in Greenbelt, and I looked closely at the map to check the way that I could bike there (or take Metro and bike). I saw that there were a couple of bike trails that I could take that would get me within a couple of miles of the store. :) I've just recently been checking out my new neighborhood and its streets. The Northwest Branch Trail is a couple blocks from my house, and that links up with the Indian Creek Trail, which comes out on the busy Greenbelt Road. However, there is a sidewalk and also "Share the Road" bike signage on Greenbelt Road. One-way mileage is only 8 miles, most of which is on the two bike trails.
So, instead of getting a Zipcar, I made the jaunt on the trails to the store and it was a nice ride. The trails run alongside creeks and through woods - so it's nice, quiet and peaceful. I took a couple pictures along the way, and biking on the trails certainly is better than biking with cars. :) Having the trails is nice also, in that the trails are flat (for the most part), which helps since I had about 60 lbs. of pet supplies in my panniers! :)
Speaking of cars, I was reading in the news recently that there are two new competitors for Zipcar. One is Car2go, which rents out these cute SmartCars. The other is Hertz On Demand. Both of these have their advantages and disadvantages, compared to Zipcar. But one thing about Car2go is that you don't have to return them to the same parking spot where you picked them up. And with Hertz On Demand, you can get a car for just one-way. So, it'll be interesting to see how these new services do in D.C. My mom used to say that a little competition never hurt. :)