Part III of a continuing series on going car-less, telling the stories of those who have successfully made the switch. Did you miss Part I and Part II
This one comes from Joel Dice, Thanks Joel!!
The first step in traveling by bike is finding safe, pleasant routes to the places you and your family want to go, such as work, school, and the grocery store. Ideally, this should be an important consideration when choosing a place to live, but even if you're already past that point you can pick up a map (such as the one published the Denver Bicycle Touring Club) at a local bike shop and use it to plan your trips. The best route is not always the most direct one, so you may want experiment with a few alternatives.
As for the bike, I recommend a solid commuting or touring bike with mounts for full-coverage fenders and front and rear racks. Once you add racks, panniers, and a bungee cord for the rear rack, you've got a lot of carrying capacity for groceries, extra clothes, or whatever else you might want to carry. Fenders are essential if you want to show up at your destination clean. Finally, if you ever ride at night, invest in a high-quality headlight, taillight, and reflective vest and anklets. A bright headlight that lights the way is essential for confident night riding.