Car-less for Two Weeks – Active Transport Now

20130528-135607.jpgIt has been quite a learning curve over the last two weeks of car-less living. I am enjoying it so much I wish I had made the move long ago. This last two weeks I have found little treasures in using active transport and public transit systems. I have also learnt from some of my mistakes.
My biggest mistake so far has been trying to catch a bus with a folding bike at peak time. I got to the bus stop with 10 seconds spare before the bus arrived. I was in the middle of the fold when the bus pulled up. My Tikit folds in a couple of seconds so that bit was all good. I have my Tikit setup with bullhorn bars so it is wider when folded. This made it difficult to get down between the seats of the bus. I placed my two panniers in the baggage area and stood next to them. But at the next stop I was asked to move back. I ended up crammed at the back o the bus with my bags at the front for the rest of the trip. Then when I went to get off at my stop I could not get to the front fast enough to get my bags and exit with my bike. In the end I got off at the next stop. I will just ride the entire distance from now on, it takes just as long either way.
My second mistake for the week was trying to run to work, from my son’s school. My son’s school is on the other side of the Brisbane river from our house. The bridge is a road bridge with no pedestrian access. So when I run or walk across the bridge I have to share with cars. Not the best of bridge designs but that is how we live in a car centric Australia. So on the day after attending under 8s day with my son I started running to work. I got to the bridge to be told I was not allowed to cross. They are doing works on the bridge and it is cars only. I explained to the traffic controller that I need to cross the bridge I will even go and swim across the river as the next closest bridge is 35km extra away. Eventually after explaining that I need to get to work the traffic controller asked the next car to take me across the river. So I got in a strangers car to travel 300m across to the other side. Thanks to a kind tradesman and his ute I got to the other side.
I am now doing all my errands by bike, two legs of phone. In the last week I have got dog and chicken feed delivered. I have taken the sump pump to the local pump repairers. In the past I would have driven to a pump shop much further away. I am now using both more local stores and services along way away via Internet postal shopping. I am traveling less distance doing more and spending less. It is wonderful learning about what is just around the corner from my house. Stores I would have just driven past in the past are now my local stops for things.
To go car-less does take more planning you do need to thing ahead. The advantage is you think more about purchases because just dropping down the shops takes more effort. So you spend less on just what you need. I have found now taht I am putting in even more research time into each purchase. I have found that the waiting time also provides the oppertunity to really see if you need something. I have mad doo a couple of times by rething the problem and finding a new solution that involves no expences. I am now planning out my trips on a real need basis and saving because of it. It is becoming a win win for me! Give it a go try a week of car free living!!


One thought on “Car-less for Two Weeks – Active Transport Now

  1. Well done!! I’m also enjoying replacing car trips with bike trips – a good set of panniers certainly helps. I know just what you mean about discovering new things in your immediate neighbourhood, simply because you plot out different routes by bike than you’d use by car. Over the last few weekends, I’ve replaced all my usual car shopping trips with bike shopping trips and it’s both fun and cheap! There are so many benefits in changing the way we get around, more than you’d first anticipate. Keep spreading the word.

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