Ah, the naysayers.  Not only can they not live without a car, they don’t think anyone else can do it either.  So many reasons.  We say, if you don’t want to do it, that’s probably why you can’t.

Among the reasons:

  • It’s too dangerous [Is it?]
  • It’s too far to bike/walk/transit [Is it?]
  • I have to pick up / drop off my kids / dog / mother-in-law [We do too!]
  • MARTA doesn’t go where I need it to go [Look harder in a 2 mile radius]
  • There are no bike lanes in my community [Neither in ours…]
  • I hate getting wet / cold / sweaty [I do too – but you get used to it]
  • My husband / wife / baby daddy/mama would never go for it [Everyone is capable of change…if they want to]

I’ll post more on each of the Nays later.

For now, a quick highlights reel of why I’m loving this car-free thing right now!

  • Guilt free cartons of ice cream
  • More quality time with my kid and husband (on the bus/train/bike – as opposed to feeling stressed in a car, or with Everett facing backwards in the back sleep)
  • Running into friends on my commute, and being able to truly interact with them, even riding along for  a ways
  • No worries about being car-jacked (hey, if it can happen to the city council president, it can happen to you)
  • No impulsive shopping trips to Target where we spend too much money, waste too much time, and have too little to show for it
  • Realization that I could have been shopping online all along, saving time and money!
  • Creative juices flowing as we plan new adventures together
  • No $$$ spent on gasoline, oil changes, major or minor repairs, impulsive gas station buys, or car accessories.  All those little thing really added up.
  • (We’re still shopping non-owner car insurance so we have coverage if we borrow a friend or family member’s car from time to time, so still paying that for now.)
  • Our nice empty driveway means we never worry about having our car stolen!  Ooops, did I already mention that?  Turned out to be one of those worries I only noticed after it was lifted.
  • More control over our lives.
  • Guilt-free travel – previously I would sometimes agonize over the “right” way versus the easy way to get somewhere.  I would want to bike or take MARTA but let time get away until it was too late to do anything but drive, or I would drive to the grocery store (one sheepish mile away) because it would have been too difficult, in my mind, to lug all those groceries home.  Turns out I was just wrong, and I’m loving it!
  • Knowing our healthful travel modes will not only benefit our own health and financial well-being, but are good for everyone around us by contributing to cleaner air, greater sense of community, and less wear and tear on the roads.

Now if only all the drivers would get that memo.

When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.  Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man.  And (unlike subsequent inventions for man’s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became.  Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others.  Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.

~Elizabeth West, Hovel in the Hills