Thursday, December 11, 2008

Car-less-ness Meets Reality

Early morning yesterday I had to meet someone across town over near the Montgomery Park building, about a twenty five minute ride (for me) from where I live. The day before had been wicked cold (to us, anyway-- you Canadians quit laughing), and I'd just about talked myself into making an exception just this once and taking the car. Then I remembered that I didn't have a car.

You would think that realization would produce a sinking feeling and an "Ooohhh NOoooooo!" But not. Instead my attitude changed instantly to "Oh yeh. I'm one of those people now." and I immediately started hurrying so I could leave early enough. It wasn't like bad news, it just WAS.

I am amazed by this. Once you don't have a choice, it's actually easier to ride your bike instead of harder. You're spared the whole tedium of indecisiveness and you just move forward.

On the way home I stopped downtown at my favorite store, Oblation, and browsed for almost an hour without a thought about the parking meter. I carried my Brompton in with me, very carefully so as not to knock against any of the displays, and they let me tuck it into a nook in the back.

You know how some people love to luxuriate at a spa for hours on end? For me, this store is that. You want sensuous, go to this store to smell and feel the tablets, the paper, the beautifully bound journals. Class. I couldn't help buying a few items for Lindi to put in my Christmas stocking, since Christmas shopping isn't her favorite thing. (I'm only trying to help.) If you like paper, cards, books, writing implements and other stationery accoutrements, just go there. Oblation Papers and Press. And don't rely on their website because it's lame compared to being there. It's on NW 13th at about Glisan.

Then on the way home from downtown I rode up along side this intrepid mother on an XtraCycle -- and here's a perfect example of what you might need the extra for. I didn't get her name, but wow. Maybe they'll write in, tell us what it's like. (I gave them my card.) You can get these bikes at Clever Cycles, the same place I got my Brompton.


At 1:54 PM, Blogger ChuckyLuv said...

Wow, my family is getting their 15 minutes of fame. We're a bit decadent in that we roll with two Xtracycles. Hers handles both kids while mine is better suited for cargo. In fact just today, I took the larger kid to Kindergarten while carrying another bike . Long story about why but it was dead easy and I barely got a 2nd glance from others along my commute route. Our car sits for weeks at a time. I'd love to ditch the thing entirely just to see if we'd miss it.

At 6:30 PM, Blogger Dale said...

Oh God, yes. Oblation is a sensual delight that even chocolate can't stand against.

At 9:01 PM, Blogger kate gawf said...

Oh wow, Chucky. Read back a few posts. I ditched my car just a couple of weeks ago, and it feels incredibly liberating. Now I don't have to clean the piling up leaves off of it any more. You can always do the zipcar thing if you really need a car for something. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds like all you could ask for -- a great car, with gas in it, parked a couple of blocks away from your house, that you don't have to pay insurance on or take to the mechanic.

At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chucky: You're not so decadent (or, at least, you're not alone) - check here for another family that gets it done on two Xtracycles: Lots of good tips on motivation and strategy there, and nice pictures, too. Val


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