Nine Years as a Car-free Lady!

Today is my nine year anniversary of living without a car!

When I graduated from college, I just didn’t want to spend my money on a car. I wanted to buy new shoes and eat at a million new restaurants! So I moved to Chicago where I could take the bus or train anywhere I wanted day or night, close to my house.

And when I left Chicago, I moved to Washington, DC. I lived in five different neighborhoods: H Street NE, Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, and Brookland.

While I was never more than a few steps away from a bus or train, I could walk to plenty of places as well. Numerous grocery stores, farmers markets, ethnic markets, restaurants, bars, parks were easily walkable for many parts of DC. (And many that have far fewer resources of course).

Owning a car seemed like a waste of money and time. Most of the people I saw in cars were sitting in traffic. Not many looked like they were enjoying themselves.

And they were paying money do to it.

I took the bus and train in DC for several years before I decided to save some dollars, make my own schedule and start riding a bicycle.

I had no idea how much I would love it!

After a few months I found a bicycle that I could afford, I liked, and that fit me. I’m kind of short!

Me and a sunflower I grew at my house in DC last year.

(PS: I didn’t  have a camera for several years so I am lacking in some photographic evidence, but if you’d like to see some more pictures of my garden, go here!)

I would have started riding a bike all the time, every day and night, had I known how much more free I felt!

I bought my first bike for $300 after years of not really riding and within the first week I rode 80 miles. I’ve never raced or competed or considered it. I use my bicycle to get around and I spend almost no money on transportation, PLUS I get in shape!

Everyone does push-ups at their going away party, right?

And though this might be a bit late…

If you’ve ever considered biking for transportation, tomorrow is a great day to start.

It’s National Bike to Work Day! Events, group rides, and free food are happening all over the country. Check your local bike advocacy organization for information!

Pittsburgh’s Bike to Work Day coincides with the first of a series of Carfree Fridays happening around the city for the summer.

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4 Comments

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  1. Carfree Fridays? In Pittsburgh?? I can’t wait to read more. Fridays is actually the day that, for safetly reasons, I will opt to take the bus home rather than walk–Road Rage is noticeably higher on Fridays at rush hour.

    Congratulations on 9 years without a car! I think this is 9 years without a driver’s license for me now.

    • Bike Pittsburgh is doing Carfree Fridays for the second year now. Mt Lebanon is the first place and different neighborhoods will be highlighted each time. Fancy!

      Did you find it easy to give up your license? Do you like living without it?

  2. Nice! I just had my 10 year car free anniversary in february. i was in mexico at the time, so didn’t get a chance to celebrate yet. do i see an anniversary bike ride?

    • Mexico sounds like a pretty good celebration to me. How about a hauling ride or maybe a Move by Bike? I’ve carried some pretty ridiculous things on my bike, including a foosball table!

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