I had been thinking of selling my car for some time. I was rarely driving it, insurance is expensive, and she (my car) deserved to be driven. So about 2 weeks ago I met up with a friendly man from Des Monies, took the plunge, and sold my cherry red '99 Mustang GT.
Initially, something deep down within my Nebraska upbringing cringed at the thought of not owning at least one reliable vehicle (not counting my motorcycle). But the feeling passed and I made some adjustments to my bikes (like putting a nicer rack and bigger panniers on my hybrid). And before I knew it, I was getting used to the fact that if I wanted to go somewhere, I had to pedal my happy ass there myself.
Moving to be carless, I knew that it would be good for my health, but that everywhere would take longer to get to. I would have to plan more, and be more careful about the things I bought at the store. I wouldn't have to pay for gas or car insurance anymore. The list goes on of things that I had been preparing for, but here are some unexpected things that I came to realize about the car-less life:
-You don't really realize how stressful driving is until you give it up. When you are driving, you are in a hurry, and no one else is going fast enough. When you are on a bike, you are the slowest (usually), so everyone has to wait for you, which is much less stressful. Similarly, traffic lights are an opportunity to catch a quick rest rather than an inconvenient stop. And that old lady that drives way too slow is a suddenly a great lane blocker.
-When you go to the grocery store and get all of the groceries that you need in your cart and you are on your way to the checkout and you see that sixers of a delicious micro brew are on sale but you can'y buy one because you don't have enough room on your bike. This may seem like an obscure case, but it has happened 3 times in the last 2 weeks now and it is seriously getting depressing. And unfortunately I am not enough of a drunk to go back just for beer.
Thats all for now on car-lessness. More updates to come.