Saturday, 25 December 2010

High 5-ing the World

Resolution? Promise? Goal? I don't know what you'd call it, but a year ago we made one.

In a conversation about where we'd like to be as a family, we quickly realised that the future we were planning didn't include a car.

Three years ago we gave up shopping at supermarkets, a year ago we gave up air travel, two months ago we gave up eating out of season and we're slowly transitioning towards giving up our mobile phones. But giving up our car feels like the biggest decision we have made so far.

It took us a year of preparation. We started a log book so we could see all the reasons we were justifying using the car. We biked, walked, carpooled and used public transport as much as we could, and after surviving the winter, knew that we were ready.

The town we call home has limited public transport options—no trams and no trains—so we knew we'd have to be a bit more organised whenever we wanted to leave. But on the plus side, we live in town, so it's a five minute bike ride up to the post office or library.

A week ago, we drove our car to Melbourne and delivered it to its new owner. The second he drove away it started to pour, and it dawned on me for the first time, the reality of our decision.

The next day, PJ started converting our carport into a bike/tool/potting shed.

After researching and test riding several cargo bikes, we finally made our decision. Yesterday PJ and I bussed and trained to Melbourne where we picked up our Kona Utes. Our first ride was a two-hour stint from the nearest train station, home.

My legs feel strong today, though my arms are a little sunburnt. Not from waving down passing cars to give us a lift, but from feeling so overwhelmed with freedom, I couldn't help high 5-ing the world.

13 comments:

farmdoc said...

A new adventure begins.
Go, guys.
xxxx

Meg said...

Thanks FD!

Go, we will. Just very slowly...

OSP said...

That's awesome Meg. High 5!

Jill said...

Good for you! How inspiring! High five!!!!

Eddy said...

Oh my god meg,
great post
great bike
and congratulations.
Secondly I have been grappling with the idea
of giving up my phone, and hence blog.
I have decided that when my phone, a hand me down and over 5 years old
dies, so to does my blog etc etc..
My bike, also very old,
but awesome
much much older than the phone yet still going
and am going to pop it on the train
inspired, and come visit the hills.

As ever, high five back. xxxxxx
much love.

Tricia said...

Inspiring!!! You must be so proud Meg.

I'd love to go car free. maybe one day. I'd also love to give up the supermarket. I know i'll do that soon. i'm nearly ready.

Enjoy your new bike :-)

Danielle said...

Stopping by via Little Eco Footprints.

First of all, high-five right back at you! We have been car-free for 3.5 years (two of which were while we lived in Japan, the other two have been in the U.S.) and it is awesome!

We also just got a new bike, a boxcycle (www.boxcycles.com) to facilitate our car-free lifestyle. After all, in just a matter of months we'll have two little people to tote about!

Enjoy all the benefits of car-free living, I hope you love it as much as we do!

JulieG said...

I like how you kept a log as preparation - I bet it'll lead to you keeping this resolution more firmly than if you'd just jumped in on a whim.

Good luck!

Isis said...

this is inspiring!!!! thank you

toasted said...

I love that PJ started converting the carport the very next day - people of action, you are.

Well done to you all.

I'd love to get updates on it. Especially how your particular bike goes.

Umatji said...

hey meg - such a good leap - i bet you will love it. also was so glad to find you and pj in the permaculture calendar we got for christmas - made me all warm and fuzzy!

Ms.Ding said...

How's the car-less life going Meg? I commend you for doing so. I moved to the city and ditched my car 15 years ago. However, when my boyfriend and I moved in together a few years ago, we kept his car because we too share custody of his son and we just couldn't work running him back and forth w/o the car. He has his own bike too, and the car sits unused quite a bit, but we still have it. Let me know if you have any thoughts on riding for transport around Melbourne - I'm putting together a post and would love a family's perspective.

Leonie said...

Oh...that is BIG!! Congratulations to you both. And I must say Meg, your garden is looking AMAZING. I haven't popped by for AGES and check it OUT!!