Saturday was the day. I stood on stage (briefly) and promised to relinquish my car as well as go car-free for a year in exchange for a fancy new bike. It was quite the experience. If you’ve never been to Tour De Fat, it’s worth checking out when (if) it comes to a city near you. It’s part biking, part beer and a lot of vaudeville-type shows.
Anyhow, the ceremony was Saturday, but I didn’t give them my car that day and they didn’t give me the bike that day. As a result, I’m now in this state of limbo. I’ve made the promise to go car-free but I haven’t gotten the bike yet. I’ve been bike commuting to work on my current bike, just to get into the spirit of it. Turns out, an extra 10 miles a day of biking doesn’t feel too bad… until you do a track workout after it. Then you feel slow and sluggish.
I’ve also realized during this time in limbo, there are a lot of different ways to interpret car-free and New Belgium hasn’t giving me much guidance. Obviously, I won’t be driving to work or out to run errands, but what if I’m at work and we have an offsite meeting? Can I carpool with that person to the meeting? If I’m going on a run with my running group, can I offer to drive a carpool to the trail head? If my wife wants to go out to dinner, am I expected to bike to the restaurant and meet her there? What if we take a road trip to McCall, do I have to bike there and if not, am I allowed to drive or just be a passenger? If I fly to a far off land like Seattle or Fresno, can I take a cab from the airport to the hotel or am I limited to only public transportation and a borrowed bike? And what about Boise buses? I heard from previous car traders that they we’re berated online for using buses when the conditions made it dangerous to bike… Really? So many questions.
I’m going to be asking friends for their input on where the lines are and creating my list of rules for what it means to be car-free. If you have any suggestions, comment below. Also, I had a very generous friend inform me that if I break the rules, he will come and steal my new bike. It’s always good to have friend so concerned with holding you accountable.