Why Car-Free?

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.

2 thoughts on “Why Car-Free?”

  1. Hi, I am also in the same mindset. I have a car, but I rarely use it. I’ve been thinking of going car free for a while, as I was when I lived in the city 10 years ago. Living 1.5 hours from Boston, the car is really nice to have, but admittedly, I could go without. I’ve found that even in the worst weather, with snow and ice, I can handle it on my winter bike (Surly Cross Check) with Nokian studded tires. That said, I’ve also noticed I am a bit less social when I refuse to drive.

    Anyway, your commitment is very impressive, and also inspiring. Thanks for posting. Good luck out there and keep pedaling.

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