Saturday, 25 December 2010

High 5-ing the World

Resolution? Promise? Goal? I don't know what you'd call it, but a year ago we made one.

In a conversation about where we'd like to be as a family, we quickly realised that the future we were planning didn't include a car.

Three years ago we gave up shopping at supermarkets, a year ago we gave up air travel, two months ago we gave up eating out of season and we're slowly transitioning towards giving up our mobile phones. But giving up our car feels like the biggest decision we have made so far.

It took us a year of preparation. We started a log book so we could see all the reasons we were justifying using the car. We biked, walked, carpooled and used public transport as much as we could, and after surviving the winter, knew that we were ready.

The town we call home has limited public transport options—no trams and no trains—so we knew we'd have to be a bit more organised whenever we wanted to leave. But on the plus side, we live in town, so it's a five minute bike ride up to the post office or library.

A week ago, we drove our car to Melbourne and delivered it to its new owner. The second he drove away it started to pour, and it dawned on me for the first time, the reality of our decision.

The next day, PJ started converting our carport into a bike/tool/potting shed.

After researching and test riding several cargo bikes, we finally made our decision. Yesterday PJ and I bussed and trained to Melbourne where we picked up our Kona Utes. Our first ride was a two-hour stint from the nearest train station, home.

My legs feel strong today, though my arms are a little sunburnt. Not from waving down passing cars to give us a lift, but from feeling so overwhelmed with freedom, I couldn't help high 5-ing the world.