Friday, July 25, 2008

Goodbye Car, Hello Bike

So, this is where my adventure begins, with the selling of my car. After years of memories, both good and bad, I realized it was time to say goodbye to "the turtle". There are so many reasons that I decided to take the leap to car-free, some because of money, others because of the environment. The one thing that I knew for sure is that I was tired to dealing with my car. Fixing it, filling it up, and trying to find places to park it. For those of you that have had first hand experience with my little green girl know that she has serious mood swings, attracts stupid drivers, and has a knack for giving up during rush-hour. So when my mechanic gave me the ultimatum to buy a new engine, I knew enough was enough.

Yes, I could keep draining my bank account into this vehicle. But do I have to? NO. I live on the bus-line, next to the greenway, and in walking distance to stores AND bars. Granted, I am a full time graduate student working two jobs, one of which is on John's Island and on any given day, I have to be in three or four different parts of town, but I will just have to work out the details later. Few things in life are easy, this change included, but there would never be a better time than now. So, I cleaned up my car (for the first time in six months) and posted an ad on craigslist. To my complete shock, I sold it six hours later to the first person who called. Clearly I under priced it... but there was no looking back now!

Today was my first day coming outside to an empty driveway. Luckily I had planned ahead for this occasion and bought my friend's mountain bike, although it had not been used in a while. When I first brought it home and took it for a spin, I ended up getting bucked off the bike when the kick stand came loose and then had to walk it home when the back tire popped. If I was going to depend on this thing for my main transportation, it would need some work. So today, I decided to get it ready for action... I needed a lock, tire pump, blinking tail light, basket, and maybe even a bell. I hit the greenway and headed over to the local bike shop where I stocked up on gear. Things I realized at this point: thank god for the greenway, bike accessories are expensive, and guys that bike are attractive ( just another incentive!). On the ride home, I also realized that I am definitely going to be in great shape, someday.

I have never had the illusion that living in today's society without a car is easy but I also know that it is not impossible. You simply have to train yourself to think differently- something that I know will take me a while to adjust to. Until I get everything figured out, I know that I will have to depend on carpooling, the bus, taxis, and rental cars. I am excited to see a new side to this town, especially one that will force me to learn the streets, take in the breeze, and think ahead.

My hope is that my journey will blaze the trail and that you will follow behind me. At the very least, I hope that I can entertain you. :-)

7 comments:

Sandlapper said...

well done. do you know about the bike co-op? check out: http://charlestonbikecoop.org/

Mike Valentino said...

i'm rooting for you

Eco-Unit, Inc. said...

Great blog, look forward to future posts...

Dan said...

Nikki,
Great blog! I'm cogitating the possibility of joining the bike commuter fray this fall, but crossing the Ashley on two wheels is pretty formidable almost any time of day. Here's hoping the city can do something to make the trip to and from the peninsula more bike friendly.

Katie and Rick said...

Nikki,

How great for you! Good luck in your adventures. I've started biking every morning with my Dad - more for fun/exercise not really for transportation but I applaud you and your goal.

dalilover81 said...

You rock! Thyey recently passed the bike law.... Cars must treat bikers the same as cars, we will see when that actually happens.

Ashley B. said...

Look, there is no need to trash my bike in the blog, you could have said "my dear friend was gracious enough to sell me her gently used bike for a steal, she is the best!"

But talk it up for the blog, I get it...that hurts Nikki, it truly hurts...hahah!!

Kick ass and take names on the bike and the bus, you can do it!