Sunday, February 22, 2009

carlessness, pro and con

So let's get this straight. I love not having a car. I love not paying for insurance, gas, or expensive automotive repairs; I'm stoked every time I don't have to worry about parking or rush-hour traffic. I love the exercise that is ingrained into every part of my day; I love that I'm using totally my own body power to get me places, as fast as I want, on my own schedule, and over routes that take me away from other people and cars. I can do my own maintenance when I need; aside from my broken chain earlier this year, I can usually fix a problem on the road at least well enough to get me home, without having to call AAA.

I cannot conceive of owning a car, ever.

That being said, sometimes I wish for the long-distance freedom of a car. Sometimes I want to be able to ship out and camp for the weekend, without having to factor in the many hours it would take to get wherever it is on my bike. Bike camping is great, I mean, but in the span of one weekend, it means that I can't actually go that far if I'm going to have time to get there, back, and still have some part of the weekend not spent in transit.

I guess I'm thinking about all of this because this weekend, one of James' friends took me snowshoeing for my first time ever, and it was awesome. I would love to go again, just for a day or maybe for an excursion if I had the time, but that's something I can't really imagine doing on my bike--at least, not in only a day. (Maybe I'm just not hardcore enough?:) Happily, there are plenty of people in the world who own cars who can take me to do these things, but if I don't want to own a car, should I really let other people do all the unpleasant car-ownership things and then just take me for joyrides? I'd pay for gas, of course, but if I think that owning and driving a car is the wrong this to do for me, should I really be letting other people drive me places? Even if they're just occasional, excursiony places? (I'm not talking about getting a ride to the store here or anything.)

I'm not sure, but I do love my adventure--and sometimes that seems easier with a car. I don't know. My gut feeling is that it's okay every once in a while to carpool and get beyond where I can get with my bike, though that may just be an attempt at self-justification:) Either way, though, I'll be stoked to hop on my bike and book it to school tomorrow. Bring on the turning-spring biking:)

1 comment:

aimee said...

I for one am glad that you do not have a car and I would love driving you to weekend excursions.

BJ and I now have one car between the two of us and we really couldn't imagine being without it (especially here in Chicago). When we were in Portland we both biked to work on a regular basis, or took the bus, but having the car for costco trips and weekend camping was essential to our happiness. That being said, I am thankful that there are people like you who do not have cars. For your extra world-consciousness I would be happy to drive you to your next snowshoeing adventure--Or better yet, to a camping adventure this summer!