I’m not yet technically car-free, as I haven’t really even tried to sell my truck. I also haven’t driven in several weeks.
People go car-free for a variety of reasons: environmental, financial, health issues, loss of license, never got a license, etc.
I don’t have a clearly defined reason. I guess it started when I first started riding a bike in 2008. At first I was scared of traffic. I adjusted, but I also felt like I could kill someone anytime I got behind the wheel. Even that feeling faded with time. I’m confident in mixed traffic whether I’m riding a bike or driving a car. The seed had been planted at that point, that living without a car could be done.
When I still lived 16 miles from work I wanted to ride my bike to work every day, but time constraints and exhaustion from a 33 to 40 miles round-trip, depending on route, every day was a bit much. It was then I started thinking about moving into town.
I moved into town in September of 2010. Since then, I have lived the car-free lifestyle, but had a car here at all times, two when Kristy was still here.
I enjoy the car-free lifestyle, but I always had a car quickly available. I rarely had to put gas in the truck because I was rarely driving it, but I did drive it occasionally.
I can afford the keep the truck. Hell, I could afford to start driving to work everyday and pay to park, but why would I?
I’m choosing to live car-free as a simple lifestyle choice. Active transportation beats passive transportation. My commute makes me feel better rather than worse. I want to simplify my life and this is one step in that direction. Even the weight loss has taken a back seat to the lifestyle choice. That may be why I’m not losing weight right now.
What am I giving up? Very little. If I need a car to, say, drive to Michigan for example, I’ll rent one. It’ll require a little more planning, but not much. If I want to go to a group ride that is some distance away, I’ll have to either get a ride from someone else, or ride to the ride. I’ve done both of those things in the last year.
I guess the biggest issue I’m going to face is the social aspects. Those who don’t know me may think I got a DUI. Dating will be problematic unless I find an understanding woman (which makes other things easier anyway). I don’t want to be “that guy” who asks for a ride on every trip, so either I pay gas, or rent a car, and others chip in.
I’ve already learned how to handle traffic, weather, trip-planning, and a bit of bike maintenance. Now I just need to sell the truck.