An Update on the Car-Free Life

So in June we ditched our money-pit Jetta in favor of biking around and taking transit.  “How’s it going?”, you may ask?  Swimmingly.  Absolutely swimmingly!

One possible outcome that made me really nervous was that we’d either A) become complete social hermits, or B) become those annoying friends that are always up for hanging out/doing stuff, but always need a ride to/from the event.  I’m really happy to say that neither of those things has happened!  We’ve been able to work the transit system quite conveniently, and aside from allowing extra time to cool down and stop sweating when we bike (TMI? well, it’s summer, people, and that means sweaty bike rides!), we’ve had our usual summer social calendar in full swing with no problems!

There have been a couple changes we’ve noticed, too!  Instead of running errands as they come up, we’ve taken to collecting them and running a bunch at once.  Or deciding that we don’t really need to go to the grocery store right away for one thing.  We’ve become reacquainted with to-do lists in a serious fashion…if someone is biking to the store, you can bet there’s a list coming along!  If, on the rare occasion we’ve rented or borrowed a car for an errand, I can guarantee every mildly car-related errand has been run at the same time.

We spend way less time shopping/running errands, or at least it feels that way.  I think between collecting errands until there’s enough to make it worth the effort, and weeding out errands that are superfluous, we’ve pretty successfully whittled a lot of wasted time out of our day.  And we’ve stopped getting stuff “on the way”.  We used to hit the grocery store several times a week because we’d get stuff for dinner “on the way home”; or we’d hit the outdoor store on a whim because we were “in the neighborhood”.  Now we analyze more…is it worth biking across town and strapping a kayak to my bike just because it’s on sale?  Hmmmm….no.

Plus, I love my commute now.  I take the bus about 25 minutes each way, and I have read so many books just on my commute!  It’s grand!  The transit system is also a lot more convenient and timely than I’d previously given it credit for!  I mean, try and get out of the ‘burbs after rush hour and you’ll still have a pretty good wait for the hourly bus, but getting around within the cities and during rush hour is easy peasy!

We’ve decided we rather like our car-free-life, and we’ll continue this way for a bit at least.  The plan for now is to make it through one month of winter commuting and see how we like it then!  I’ll pop by with another update in a month or so…till then, adios!

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