August 31, 2010

One year car free!

By Elisa | 10 Comments »

First, apologies (again) for my absence in posting.  Things are so busy with work and Bici that when I get home I have nothing left in me to write.  I do miss you all, and am hopeful that things slow down soon.

Last week, I celebrated 2 big days…my 31st Birthday and my one year anniversary of being car free!  It was any other day…riding around to meetings and friends houses.  Nothing special about the day, in fact it practically came and went before I remembered.

What has being car free taught me?

That my friends rock.  When it rains, when I need a ride home from the Greyhound station, when I need to borrow a car to head to a conference 2 hours away…they always show up.  It is amazing.

That Birmingham’s public transport really does suck.  In one year I have yet to take it.  The reason?  I can’t figure the damn thing out!  The maps are all separate and trying to get from one end of town to the next takes hours and multiple bus transfers (on a less than timely bus “schedule”).  For those people who don’t even have bikes, I am not sure how they do it.

That the hottest summer in history makes for a lot of sweaty meetings.  Seriously, I spent most of the summer wiping sweat from my brow while talking to people about food security!

That I can eat as much food and drink as much beer as I want and not worry.  Sure, I have gained some weight, but I still look the same (muscle weight, baby!) and feel great.

That your gas costs go down, but your food intake goes WAY up.  I eat so much food.

That I am not sure I ever want a car!!

Thanks everyone for all of your support.  This year has been great and terrible and I never regret selling my car.  Freedom!!!

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  1. On August 31st, 2010 KatieBLV said:

    This is so very inspiring! I’m currently car-free here in DC, but I’m a student with not many places to be. Keep riding and rolling and preachin’ it!

  2. On September 1st, 2010 anna said:

    Wow, congrats! Even more impressive when you have improper public transport. I don’t know how people do it that can’t use cars or bikes, and even have problems using public transport (handicapped people)…

  3. On September 1st, 2010 Ginger said:

    Congratulations — on both the birthday AND anniversary!

  4. On September 1st, 2010 welshcyclist said:

    Great to hear you confirm what all us cyclists know, riding a bike liberates you, while at the same time helps keep you healthy, and gives you a hearty appetite.

  5. On September 1st, 2010 steph said:

    GOOD FOR YOU! I know what a challenge it is riding in Birmingham… I ride downtown sometimes just for jollies, and I love it, but it’s difficult at times (you know, like when the traffic is just too bad – there are no bike lanes – and you get up on the sidewalk, and there are no ramps, and the sidewalk is all broken?). Also, I am so glad to hear someone else say that about public transit here. I can’t figure it out either! It’s crazy. I would give them that feedback, except I don’t think they care. Anyway, kudos for what you are doing, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY too. :)

  6. On September 1st, 2010 mike said:

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  7. On September 2nd, 2010 MG said:

    Wow, happy birthday and congratulations on the car-free life!! That is awesome.

  8. On September 3rd, 2010 michael said:

    cheers.. found your blog randomly while searching for things to do to celebrate a one year anniversary of car-freedom. (sept 1 marked the one year anniversary of car-freedom for me and my spouse). of course, we live in Portland so I guess its less impressive for us since its a big biking city and we have decent transit too. but glad to see other folks out there giving it a shot! congrats!!

  9. On September 5th, 2010 Traci said:

    Congrats on being car-free for a year! Actually, congrats on being car-free at all in B’ham! I went to UAB years ago and can’t imagine biking there. Things have probably changed a lot since then, but I’m sure it’s still not the easiest city to get around by bike. I know what you mean about public transit. At least with MARTA in Atlanta, riding the trains is easy and their website will tell you which buses to take for a specific route, but you sure won’t get anywhere quickly! The word ‘rapid’ should not be part of their name. For example, for my work commute of 6.5 miles, I need to take a train and 2 buses – no thanks! That would easily take 2 hours (since none of their train and bus schedules are coordinated) and I could practically walk there in that amount of time!

  10. On September 25th, 2010 Kara said:

    What an amazing feat to go car free. I really admire that kind of commitment. It is totally inspiring.

    And Happy Birthday! I am 31 too. I think the 30s are pretty great.

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