Back on My Feet


Four years ago I got into my 2001 VW New Beetle turbo dream car. What speed and very roomy (in the front seats). Well, it’s gone, I dropped it off at the West Hartford VW dealership and took the bus home.

In what will be a six month experiment, I will attempt to live without my own car. Of course when I lived in NYC that made perfect sense, but in Hartford it will be more of a challenge. A member of my Quaker meeting gave me her old mountain bike (purple no less), I bought a helmet and a 40 ride pass for the bus.

I see some advantages to this move.
1. more exercise (or should I just say exercise. The biggest workout I’ve gotten lately has been getting out of bed!)
2. environmentally friendly. With all the flying I do, I pollute the planet enough.
3. support local businesses.
4. car sharing (borrowing or begging) with friends.
5. meet new people on the bus
6. look really cool and athletic in my new bike helmet (and kinda dorky too)
7. look really tough with a chain wrapped around my waist as I ride my bike
8. save loads of money on gas and insurance.

I will check in periodically about how the experiment is going. This week will be easy as I will be in Saskatchewan, Canada for Kairos, the United Church of Canada’s Young Adult Confernence. Early September will be my first real test.

This post has 7 Comments

  1. Clint from GCN on August 21, 2005 at 3:29 am Reply

    Welcome to my world. 😀 Actually, for me, my Asperger’s symptoms get in the way of my driving (trust me, I’ve tried). So, I really don’t know what life is like with a car, at least life on my own. (And, when I was a kid, we couldn’t afford gas for the car often anyway.) One reason I moved to Minneapolis was the transit system. And I luck out–I can get a pass as part of my benefits package at work.

    Peace
    Clint

  2. abbyladybug on August 21, 2005 at 2:59 pm Reply

    Yeah. I think the answer is that it really takes selecting the right US cities to be truly able to have a great life without a car. In Oberlin, OH and Bloomington, IN (both small towns), it would have been easy. In bigger cities, it’s often possible. It’s the in-between sized ones with bad public transit and unsafe road conditions for bikes that are a problem.

  3. Jennifer on August 21, 2005 at 8:57 pm Reply

    Peterson,
    That’s a great idea. I would do that too, except for the fact that it’s hard to grocery shop when you ride a bike there and back. Then is the problem of weather and road conditions

  4. Jennifer on August 21, 2005 at 8:58 pm Reply

    Is that your house in the photo with your now former VW Beetle (oh it was so cute!)?

  5. Willie Hewes on August 22, 2005 at 6:57 am Reply

    Well done, that’s very brave. Cycling is good for you. I’m from Holland, so I should know. Haven’t been online this weekend. Man, you blogged lots!

  6. encarna on August 25, 2005 at 4:51 am Reply

    I’ll give you a call whenever I’m on my way to A Dong or Wild Oats. 🙂

  7. Peterson Toscano on August 25, 2005 at 9:30 pm Reply

    No, Jennifer, that is a guest house where I stayed when I was in Philadelphia in the spring.

    Tina, thanks! I love A Dong! (it is an Asian supermarket in Hartford. The best red bean buns on the Eastern seaboard and right next to Pho Boston for slammin’ Vietnamese food)

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