Ever since I wrote about families living car free for the Tribune, I’ve been wondering if our family would ever be brave enough to try car-free living. Well, more through circumstance than bravery, here we are.
We bought this little beauty at a rummage sale just a block or so from our house. Yes, I know that Pebbles’ helmet is on backwards. She put it on herself just for the picture.
Now that I dropped off the rental van earlier today, it’s time for us to try navigating our daily life on bikes and public transit. I’m not too worried about the day-to-day — I’m working to try to get Toth into a nearby preschool, the girls’ elementary is two blocks away, and there is shopping a plenty within a few blocks.
The decision not to buy a car right away has put roadblocks in some plans, like joining a gym with rock climbing or having the girls resume their ice skating lessons. Both are just too far to make biking practical — considering that Nutmeg, age 8, will be pedaling herself. And I’m not crazy about long bus rides with little kids.
There is a car-sharing service with cars on the island, which we may join. And there are always cabs. The thing about not having a car is that you can feel OK about splurging on a cab when you need to get somewhere quickly, because you’re saving so much on car insurance, payments, maintenance and gas. If we want to drive to Tahoe for the weekend or something, we can just rent.
I don’t see this as a long-term thing, but given our current income and the expense of the repairs we’re making on our new house, we’re going to try to hold out at least until the end of the summer. That would allow us to keep a little buffer in our bank account for the first old thing here that breaks, be it roof, water heater, furnace, etc.
UPDATE: We biked it to our first destination, swimming lessons, with 10 minutes to spare yesterday. So far, so good!