It is a grey, rainy day and I’m wishing that it would dry out and warm up so that I can ride my bike. On days like this I end up taking public transit, which I truly appreciate… but I would prefer to bike. Currently, I don’t own a car. For those of you who don’t have a car, have you ever had someone react almost violently when you tell them that you’re living car free? People have such a difficult time imagining living car free, and I’m often asked “how can you live that way?” I just laugh.
My car-free life has saved me thousands of dollars over the years. As time went on and I started repaying my student loans, traveled abroad to fun locales and enjoyed eating great food, having a car became less and less appealing. Also, public transit in the city that I live in has expanded wonderfully, so I now can get to most places within 10 minutes. Being car free is also an earth friendly way to approach transportation if you care about that sort of thing.
Did I mention that I was provided with a bus pass from my work?
But, if I were to be truly honest, after awhile I just loved not having to deal with all of the issues that car owners have to manage. I didn’t want to deal with a car payment. I wasn’t wanting to pay for yet another type of insurance. Gas was so expensive up until recently, and don’t get me started on the cost of maintaining your car.
When your bike is your car, you do have some minimal costs like paying for the inevitable flat tire and getting your bike tuned at the beginning of spring. But those costs average thousands less than car ownership. I also love that using your bike as your car is also great for your health.
I love riding my bike across my city when it’s early in the day and everyone is sleepy. I love looking at the sun as it rises in the sky creating an explosion of color. I love spending time by myself, meditating on life and renewing my connection with nature as I ride slowly around my town.
In case you’re wondering, I don’t find it difficult at all to pick up groceries or run other errands on my bike. I get larger items delivered to my house. And, as for going out, we now have Uber, Taxis, Lyft, public transit or rides with friends.
I do love my car-free lifestyle, but I think that there can be a middle ground. I can’t ride my bike 5 hours south for a retreat at The Great Sand Dunes, and I don’t want to ride for 2 hours up the mountains to Breckenridge for snowboarding. Being car free can be a bit awkward when dating, too, and sometimes you just want to drive as far as you can and explore new places.
So I’m going to be buying a car sooner than later. I truly appreciate my past car-free life and will work hard to combine the best components of this lifestyle after I purchase my car.