Here is the thread that I will more fully discuss my changes in primary transportation means. I have decided to return to driving and private vehicle ownership. Right now in a part time capacity, later more full time. To understand the whys, let me illustrate the changes in my life.
I have always been a real supporter and rider of cycling as a primary means of getting around. I never owned a car or other private motor vehicle of any type. I do have a valid driver’s license for my state and had one since I was 20 years old. I paid for my driving lessons & exams myself. I occasionally rented or hired cars as needed. My preferred method of transport was always and still is my bikes. Unfortunately, circumstances have been and will continue to happen in my personal and professional life that is pushing me back toward driving.
First off, I would like to introduce you to my dog, Zero (see photos below). He was the final straw in going back to driving. He injured his back recently and became lame. The original orthodox veterinarian I consulted wanted to perform surgery immediately, even going so far as to suggest to put him down. I did not want to go the surgery route-especially the other one suggested-until I exhausted all other options. In order to exercise these options, I have to go to a distant holistic clinic about 35 min.-1 hour by car, 2 or more hours by bus/train, or I don’t know really how long by bike to get to this particular clinic. And the bike trip might do far more damage to his spine as I must keep the dog calm and immobilized during transport-roadways are not too smooth and very noisy around here. Not to mention not making him too nervous or excitable in the process.
I am renting a car for this particular problem I am dealing with my dog as I did for myself earlier this year. But then I realize there have been and will continue to be the need for a privately owned car because of the huge distance I must always cross when I do anything major here in the Los Angeles basin especially with other people who cannot drive or take public transit. Car sharing is not much an doable option as the cars are located in faraway locations (the nearest ones are around 7 miles away) from where I am located-never mind the run on cars during high demand periods like transit strikes. I realise that there will be times that I need to chauffeur other sick, elderly, infants, the temporary or permanently disabled people, my own and/or other people's pets, or even myself when I cannot ride a bike for a good reason.
My bicycles will still be my “number one” transportation option I will still vigorously support and do myself as much as possible even after the arrival of one (and only one) new small car (no large ones acceptable by me (see examples of the type of cars I grew up in and love below with my bikes) that is just A to B transportation for the times that my faithful bicycles cannot do as well. I will grudgingly support it mechanically and insured in a manner that is safe to myself, my passengers, and everybody else out on the road. I do take some solace and some measure of comfort in viewing videos like the one from Copenhagen showing smaller cars and bicycles both sharing space. These vehicles are used by this city’s residents that reflect each person’s best needs being addressed by the use of one over the other at different times for different activities..
I leave you with this wonderful video that helped me see that I can return to driving responsibly and not leave my bikes behind. I humbly ask for your well wishes for my dog’s speedy recovery. Thank you for over 5 years of unconditional support!