I have to say, for as long as I've had it, I have loved my Subaru Forester. It was the right car for me, matched my personality well, got me to point B from point A and back again regularly. But, as it's been getting older, and growing in milage, it's age is starting to get the better of it. Take for example this last month. "Fozzie" as I affectionately call the car, started to stall out in certain situations. Not good. So we took it to the shop, where she waited and waited and waited to get the new parts that were required to nurse her back to health. As we were waiting, the owner of the shop (who is awesome by the by, this story is not a dig on them at all) decided he could no longer bear the thought of us being without car, and so while we were waiting for the last part to come in, he would patch Fozzie up and get it drivable, and then I would return her to the shop when the part arrived for a complete fix.
You can predict what happened next...
That's right. In a stunning display of warning lights and demon infestations, Fozzie died right at a red light on Route 19, with a student in the car, in traffic. Not the best situation. So we managed to get her to the side of the road, call a tow, and wait.
During the waiting I did some thinking. The average cost of ownership of a vehicle in this country, according to AAA, is $9,122 per year. The average cost of pedaling my bicycle, a habit I had started since coming back to work, is substantially less than that. Every now and again I have to buy a new chain, and then there's the cost of food that I consume as the vehicle's engine, but that's really it.
So we will get Fozzie fixed. And chances are when the time is right, her old age will finally win out and we will buy another truck. But really Friday was all I needed to push me over the edge. I am a full member of #bikelife, and plan to live accordingly. Saturday I loaded up a couple of bags and panniers and did my grocery shopping by bicycle. It felt liberating. I have been riding to work every day for three weeks now, to the point that truth be told, driving Fozzie on Friday felt really weird. There are times when a car will make substantially more sense, but there are more times than that where cycling is the better of my options, and I want to live into those more.
It's cost effective. It helps the environment. It's a great time to clear my head each morning and collect my thoughts. Most of all, it's really fun. With twins in my life I don't know that I'll ever be able to completely give up on cars, but this here is my flag in the dirt. I'm embracing #bikelife. Who's with me?