Monday, March 1, 2010

What THE TRUCK?

Brace yourselves. Things are about to change in a big way and this little blog will never be the same.

Okay.

Are you ready??

Today I bought a truck. Yes. A vehicle with four wheels that burns gas. But how could I? I am suppose to be living car-free right? (Technically its a truck, so does it really count? haha). Well my friends... after one year and eight months my journey has come to an end. I am taking a job in which I must move to Johns Island, have reliable transportation, and the ability to make deliveries. After spending the last two years biking, catching the bus and negotiating rides- I have finally reached a point where living car-free is simply not feasible anymore. And honestly, when I am riding in other people cars everyday, how will I ever truly become car-free anyway?

So what are my first thoughts? Well... when I got in the truck and drove away I was extremely anxious. My hands were shaking, my palms were sweating, and I felt as if the moment was surreal. For one, I had just taken out a loan from the Bank of My Parents and the thought of even more debt freaks me out. Second, after having such an epic failure of a car experience my last go-round, I am like a rider afraid to get back on her horse. I was convinced that at any moment, the car would break down and I would be unintentionally car-free AND broke. Welcome back to the world of the auto-slave. When I had my mechanic look at the car, he admitted in a thick southern accent that "Guuurl, I thought you was NEVER gonna buy a car again." But he gave the car a big thumbs up and admitted that if I didn't buy it, he would, so that's a good sign, right?

So my first few hours of owning the car went something like this:

After buying a new battery, then the engine NOT turning over (panic!!), then having the auto-zone hero man strip wires and attach a new contact thingy (yup, that's what its called), my questionably trusty steed revved up. THANK GOD. I then headed to the County Tax office, spent MORE money and proceeded to the DMV where I spent even MORE money. Still, I was proud that I was able to get in 7 hours at my job, buy a car, get a battery, fix the wires, get the taxes, tags, plates, and insurance all in one day.

As I sit here and reflect on the last year and a half, I know that I will always be fond of my car-free experience and I look forward to hopefully being able to do it again in the future. Yet vehicle or not, I will continue to ride my bike when possible, car-pool, and catch the bus when I can. Living car-free gave me a new found freedom to explore, more exercise than I ever wanted (seriously... not an athlete), tons of amazing friends, and even helped me to meet my dog-fox. In the end, I want to thank all of the people that supported me, followed my blog, gave me rides, lent me their cars, taught me about bikes, and will hopefully understand my decision to move on.

If you want to continue to follow my adventures in life... check out my new blog: http://wings-of-tin.blogspot.com/

Since I started my blog with a picture of my car, I will end it with the same. Here is my new truck, dubbed "The Magic Carpet".


Thank you all :-)

Nik

10 comments:

Dan Kelley said...

After you told me about the few messages of disappointment and inspiration-lost that you received from this post, I wanted to follow up with another perspective that you can tag with keywords: scheme of things, grand overarching vision, big picture.

In whatever capacity you were able to reduce your personal carbon footprint and popularize pulling your "monetary vote" from the automotive economy, your endeavor to own a car again is not a shame. Your next step into the local food movement addresses a much larger environmental and social quagmire than the personal automobile.

I say that not to diminish the cumulative effects of 100 years of personal automobile ownership. Those effects are certainly vast. What I intend to say is this blog did not have the same gasoline reduction capacity as what the local food movement has the potential to achieve. You are upgrading your efforts by shifting other people's "monetary votes" to food that has not traveled 3000 miles.

In short, I admire your efforts to instigate a paradigm shift in consumer culture. If you need a truck to get there, let's at least dabble with homegrown fuel. Ultimately, gurrrl, I like your truck.

Nikki said...

Thanks danimal. :-)

Katie and Rick said...

Nikki, good luck with your new job. My nieces and nephew live in Johns Island. Next time I am down there hopefully I can see you too.

Mike said...

I have the fortunate ability and desire to pursue the same car-free commute to work. What I find amusing are the same justifications that my vegetarian sister hears- I would do that if this; or, I live too far to do that (given that I average 30mi/day). Some/most people don't acknowledge that everyday actions make the biggest difference.

Thank you for yours.

Nicole Vickers said...

Oh so you already bought this lovely truck. Whoa! How nice it is, really! You don't have to worry about being car-free honey. It's still okay for you to own a car, just as long as it's environment-friendly and you just use it when you need to.

hurrairaansari said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Stelle Courney said...

"Magic Carpet", huh... That's a pretty cool name for something that can "show you the world" or at least help you to. Good luck with your new blog!

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