So three months in, the one car challenge is going pretty well. Here’s the thing. Mentally, most people assume when I say we are living with only one car that it means no car for me as my hubby must take the car to work. I guess the reason we are able to do this is because we have figured out how to share it, for real. Oh, and it’s now summer and our friends and family are good enough to book lavish vacations while we stay home manning the farm as it were, and donate their car to our family whilst they are away. Really. It’s incredible how generous people are. But the more important point is the realization that there is so much surplus capacity out there and we are the happy beneficiaries of it.
This morning, I drove hubby to the Lincoln train station as I need the car for a cello lesson this afternoon (still haven’t figured out how to do that one on a bike). It’s about a 40 minute round trip for me, including a quick stop at the supermarket for a few staples we needed anyway, saving me a trip out later today. So yet again, having just the one has made me more efficient. What is it my Sophomore social studies teacher always said – laziness is the mother of invention. OK, for me, not invention, but organization. If I only have the car occasionally, you can bet I make the most of it when I have it.
The thing I love most about people powered transport is that it builds community. You see your friends and neighbors, and even meet new people without really having to try. Many people have discovered this phenomenon through owning dogs, which is wonderful. Case in point, this morning we ran into my son’s gym teacher, with whom I had exchanged many emails over the year with regards to organizing a walk to school day, but who I had never actually met. We had a chance to chat for 10 minutes and really connect which was great. She is taking a sabbatical during the next school year to do an exercise across America tour (bike, walk, run etc) to raise awareness for exercise and fighting childhood obesity. This 10 minute conversation with her has fired me up with a zillion ideas on how to promote her program and help her out and made an important connection in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I love email, but that chance meeting was priceless and no doubt you will be hearing more about this in posts to come.