Thursday, April 21, 2011

Going Car-Lite

Tim and I are doing an experiment. I'm taking it very seriously and hope he is too. (If he isn't, I hope this blog post will make him.) We have decided to try going car-lite. In other words: we have two cars. Both of us bike commute much of the time. Both of us feel fat and want to get skinny. Both of us wish we had more disposable income. And I, at least, have a growing dislike of cars and a growing envy of the residents of cities like Amsterdam and Davis where getting around by bike is as easy as can be. I have aspirations towards becoming a politically active bike pest. So we came up with the great idea of trying out the idea of being a car-lite couple, where we only have one car.

Of course, getting rid of either car is a big scary step and we are nowhere near ready to do anything that extreme. So we decided to do this experiment first and just see what happens. Our experiment is this: see how long we can go with having one car in the driveway at all times. That means if he drives to work, I have to bike, and vice versa. So far if I count the days of my Boston trip, and I definitely do, we are on Day 6. Not bad!

Today is his day with the car. So I biked to work and home to let the dogs out, and now am about ready to go out to dinner. Since he's got the car and he's at WOG, I have to bike to dinner. If we weren't doing this experiment, naturally I would've driven, since I already rode 22 miles today. But in the interest of being car-lite, I am going to bike it instead. Isn't that cool? Don't YOU want to be car-lite, too?

Of course, even if we go for months like this, it would be no little thing to give up a whole car. For one thing, which one would go? Logic would seem to say his, because he still has a car payment and mine is long paid off. But he loves his car. But my car holds all the dogs. But his car has heated seats. But my car can fit both bikes at once without taking wheels off, and big Home Depot purchases like wheelbarrows and things. But his car gets twice as many miles to the gallon. And so on. But that's a problem to deal with later -- for now, I am just going to ride as much as I can and enjoy the smug feeling that goes along with burning calories instead of fossil fuels.

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