I'm writing the following post as an incentive for those car-light folks like myself who haven't yet made the jump to being carfree. Last month I spent over $500 on car repairs and today it's going to cost me over $1000 to get the engine fixed. Of course, within a couple more months I'll be dropping another $1000 for another year of insurance.
Now I know you carfree folks reading this are probably thinking that it serves me right for owning a car, and to a large extent you are right. I commute by bike to work every day and just officially survived my first year of commuting through a Canadian prairie winter. I'd love to sell the car and be rid of the damn thing, but my girlfriend is not as close to work and since public transportation is deplorable here, she uses the car.
I realize that those of you who are carfree are living testament to the contrary, but due to the way cities are sprawled out, I believe carfree living is difficult for the majority of people. Personally, I think it's an absolutely assinine way to build cities and wish there was an alternative so that more people could get around without using a car. Vehicles cost too much in proportion to their usefulness, not only in monetary terms but also in environmental and social costs.
As a cyclist, I sometimes feel like a small mammal darting among lumbering dinosaurs. I'm waiting for the proverbial asteroid (peak oil?) to come along and assist the evolution of transportation. Hats off to all the carfree people. Hopefully someday I'll be carfree as well, hopefully by choice but perhaps not.