Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Car-less in Suburbia update

So ... I've passed the three-month mark of my car-less in suburbia experiment. By now, I figured I'd be missing my Subaru, but it hasn't happened, even with the holiday snow and bitterly cold weather that kept me off my bike. Even when I have use of my husband's car on the weekends, I tend to stay put (if it's bad weather) or use my bike or walk (weather permitting).

DH bought me some nice Christmas gifts for my biking -- a high-powered rechargeable headlamp that I can attach to my front handlebar, handy for when I'm biking down the trail after sunset, and LED clip lights I can attach to the spokes of my wheels, so that people can see me better from the side.

The only thing I really dislike about biking is being in traffic, a necessary evil for some trips. Bedford's a bike-friendly place, but inevitably I run into what I call "road hogs" -- ignorant drivers who think they own the road and that bicyclists should be up on the sidewalks. I wish states would require drivers to review the rules of the road when it's time for license renewal as so many drivers don't understand that bicyclists follow the same rules and are afforded the same rights. When I'm biking on a road with a left turning lane and I need to make that left turn, I have to get my bike over to that lane, making sure I'm not cutting off anyone in the right lane. (I'm equally peeved by bikers who do stupid things like dodge out into traffic.) Now and then I'll get someone behind me who starts honking as I wait to cross the oncoming traffic to make my turn. Very frustrating, not to mention startling. God forbid the extra ten seconds I need to cross keeps them from their morning stop at Dunkin Donuts.

OK, I'm whining. I'll stop. Really, it's all good. I love biking and I love love love the money I'm saving by not having a car. My insurance premium has dropped to $22 a month, I went from two or three fuel fill-ups a week to none at all, and there's no upkeep/maintenance bills to be paid. This weekend, DH and I discussed selling the Subaru and I'm about 90 percent there. He wanted me to think about buying a car for the summer -- we've got an 11-year-old with an active social life -- but I  want to stay car free until October 1. Not sure if I'll be able to get through another winter without a car, but by then I'll feel better/less guilty about buying a "new" car.

Speaking of which, here's what I've been drooling over ...


A Fiat 500. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know ... Fiat stands for "Fix It Again, Tony," but it's so sexy. And cute. I've always been a sucker for Italian design, what can I say?



  1. Great experiment. Living in a rural mountain area (10-12 steep miles from the nearest town), biking wouldn't be an option for me, but I really do try to drive as little as possible. Before the eldercare and veterinary medical dramas of the last 5 years, I often could go 6-8 weeks without filling up my gas tank.

  2. Roxanne, anyone who can live in a rural area and not fill up their gas tank for 6-8 weeks is doing awesome in my book! It's tough, even impossible, to go without a car in some areas and/or under many circumstances. If I had a kid or pets who needed frequent medical care, I'd get my car back in a second.

  3. It sounds like this change is really agreeing with you (if you could get the drivers to comply). I love the idea of this but don't think I could ever make it work.

  4. It definitely agrees with me, but I have to admit, I'm a little shocked I haven't thrown in the towel. It's funny we're willing to give up versus what we "can't live without." I can go without a car and air conditioning, but don't touch my dishwasher or KitchenAid mixer. ;-)

  5. That's funny you should post about this. I was just thinking about you and your "carless year" yesterday, wondering how it was going. I vote for you getting a Mini at the end of the year. It would go perfectly with the theme of your blog! :-)

  6. True, Kristie. However, Cooper Minis are pretty popular around here. And as much as I like the ones with the Union Jacks on the roof, I need to tone down my Anglophilia ... after all, I've already got Winston Churchill presiding over my dining room and a dresser about to be painted with a Union Jack.


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