Thursday, September 22

World Carfree Day Failures

The bitter irony of World Carfree Day is that I have driven more miles today than I have in the past month up til today.

Of course I do ride my bike every day in lieu of driving. Of course I do that.

So I can't let this day pass without at least doing a good post on the event. Please forgive me in advance for my backsliding ways...

First off, I put our new plates on the car. We got the "Share the Road" plates. I only wish it were just that simple.

And then Gump has needed new tires for a few weeks. But with our schedules its hard to shuffle things around and get the lone car into the shop for anything now that school has started back.

Since Bean's babysitter is out of town until tonight I opted to stay home with her today and take the opportunity and get the tires put on. I made the decision before I realized today was "World Carfree Day." Alas...

So we drove Mandy and Boone up to school and back home. 9 miles one way. Then we drove over to the tire shop in Golden that was recommended by our mechanic. 9 miles. He had to order the tires. I should have called first. 9 miles back home. We're up to roughly 36 miles.

I wanted to take the new MTB up to Arvada Bike because I was hypochondriacking about my front fork. So instead of driving we hitched up the armageddon buggy, threw the smurfy thing on the trailer and cruised up to the bike shop. No driving miles.

Of course we had to go back to Golden this afternoon and get the tires. 18 more miles RT. And as I write this we're getting ready to head out the door to go pick up Mandy and Boone at school. 18 more miles. Roughly (I've rounded to 9 miles for each trip, actually distances may vary significantly) 72 miles total today. How many freakin' miles will I have to ride my bike to offset the damage I've done today?

Well, it had to be done. We're not yet ready to go completely car-free. We're car-lite for sure. We do try to minimize our combustion powered trips as much as possible. But today was just a bump in the road. BIG bump. We needed tires on the car. If we're going to use the thing we need for it to be safe and that is paramount. I couldn't, in good conscience, let my family travel around on bad tires any longer.

After today, World Carfree Day, I'll go back to my individual car-free life. And as a family we go back to car-lite. But for today we appear to be one family of the masses who seem to be ignorant of the significance of the day. But we're not.

I think if Mandy thought she could she would go car-free. For her its not as convenient as it is for me. She doesn't have a shower at work. She has to get the kids to school. If I take Lily I only have Lily. For Mandy it would be getting Boone to and from school five days a week and Lily too two days a week. Boone can't really pull the hills at a reasonable pace and he's too big for her to haul, especially if it were he and his sister together.

I'm not going to insist that she do it. With all the effort it would entail it is entirely up to her to make the call and I support her no matter what. For now, we need the car. But we've made the decision consciously. We've discussed the matter and we've explored the possibilities. For now this arrangement is what works best for us. As we can make the changes we want to in our lives we will.

As World Carfree Day winds down I am tired. All of that driving has wrung me out.

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