Also known as, Old Man on a Bike–Day 1. My “grand” experiment/adventure has started! Yesterday was my first day. I made it through without any issues–except for my anxiety on trying to do something like this: that is, going carless and bicycling it. I’ve had a car/truck, or access to one, since I was 16. I’m having some withdrawal anxiety. I know there will be challenges ahead–and lots of inconveniences that I’m not use to. I’ll adapt I figure.
Sold my truck Tuesday (June 3). I really liked that truck, but it was a lot more truck than I needed now and expensive to maintain, especially since I drove it very little. My bank account is really smiling and my monthly expenses will be significantly improved without it. On my now greatly reduced income, at least for the immediate future, this is going to really help.
While finances are important, how did I come up with this bicycling idea? After more than 50 years of driving back and forth between SC and Tex, I made my last trip out there and to Big Bend area last November 2019. As I drove away from the Big Bend area on that faithful November day knowing this would be my last trip, I realized I would not be needing this big old truck anymore. Except for these Tx trips, it really stayed parked most of the time, and I rode my bicycle around my small town and surrounding areas. Both of my parents had passed and I no longer had a reason to be making that long drive. My two books involving Big Bend were published, and I had no reason to be driving the 1500 miles out here. on my way back, I said my goodbyes to my boyhood home of Odessa and its famous Jack’s BBQ, to Mary’s Cafe in Strawn, home of Texas best chicken fried steak!, and so forth.
At this stage of my life, I am focused on cultivating serenity, solitude, simplicity, self-sufficiency, and eco-centrism. All of which I am well set up here to pursue. Eco-centrism is about coming at my life from a more ecological perspective. Reducing what I use, repair and reuse, repurpose, recycle, and rot (compost). Not driving my truck and switching to bicycling would be my part for helping climate change, lowering pollution, and not supporting the massively polluting oil/gas industry. It also would be a middle-finger salute to the auto insurance and taxes involved in driving a motorized vehicle.
I think I can actually do this transition because of my living situation, my pretty-much retirement, and where I am in my life right now. My daughter and her family live right down at the end of the block, my son works a short distance down the road at city hall, and my eldest daughter is in and out all the time. I have lots of backup if I need some other mode of transportation. My main grocery store, a hardware store, my daughter’s pharmacy, my doctor and dentist, several restaurants, a friendly bar that carries a nice selection of stouts, etc., are within a mile radius of my house. Hell, I can walk if push comes to shove. Concerts are held all summer in the downtown, again less than a mile away. It’s a great situation for trying my bicycling lifestyle experiment/adventure. I’ve essentially been doing it for over a year right now anyway.
I would like to stick with this experiment for at least a year. Articles I read by others that have done it have raved about the benefits and not going back to their auto-based lifestyle. Of course, these were mainly from city folk, not small town South Carolina-types. I’ll keep you posted on how this goes. Wish me luck. Send your blessings.