Thursday, June 21, 2012
Ditch the Car
Someday I want to live in a town that doesn't require me to have a car. I want to be able to walk or ride my bike everywhere I need to go. The West wasn't built for walking, it was built for people with vehicles. But I'm going to walk or ride my bike anyway. (When it is feasible, that is. I'm still not hard core enough to ride my bike to, say, my mom's house, which is a 2 hour drive from here.)
Now that it is warm out I have been trying to walk or ride my bike as often as possible. I ride to work. I walk to the store. I walk to return my redbox rental. I walk to the park. I ride my bike to the trailhead.
Walking or riding a bike makes things so much more personal. I notice people more and get a chance to talk to them because I'm not zooming by in my car. I am more aware of what is in my neighborhood. Going slow down the streets gives me a chance to read signs, to notice little shops and side roads, to smell flowers and touch trees. And on top of all of this, I'm getting more exercise, more fresh air, more sunshine. When I have more of those things in my life I usually feel pretty damn good. Not to mention the lack of carbon emissions because I'm not using my car.
I am glad I live in a place where this is a relatively feasible option. I did the no-car thing last summer, too, but it was a lot harder. I was living in a town that was a 90 minute bike ride from my work and not close to many stores. I did it, but it was tough. This summer I'm only a 30 minute ride (all uphill, but not in the snow) from work and there are a few different stores that are within walking or riding distance.
I think it would be a dream, though, to live in a place where it isn't so hard to walk or ride a bike, where carrying my groceries home in a little basket attached to my bike handles wouldn't be weird. And of course I'll have a cute little cruiser bike with a bell and a basket and flowers on the seat and I'll ride around in my cute little sun hat waving to the neighbors and getting chased by dogs.
Wouldn't it be lovely?
(PS if you can name where that last line comes from you get extra credit)