So today was my first day back to driving. I drove primarily just for the contrast and to mark and end to the experiment. Boy, was the irony suddenly laid on thick. I climbed in my car, turned the key and nothing happened, just a clicking noise as the starter motor tried to turn over. My battery had died. I had to get a neighbor to come over and give me a jump-start. I guess the heat combined with the lack of use had drained it dry. I had noticed that it had a hard time starting on Tuesday for my short trip to work after my tires were punctured and apparently my short commute hadn’t been enough to top off the battery. So the great irony of the experiment is that after all of my worry about being without a car for a month, the time when I really needed help was when I returned to driving.
The fact is that the experiment really wasn’t much of anything. None of the challenges that I expected ever materialized, at least not to the level that prevented me from living my day-to-day life. There were a few hurdles such as my battles with flat tires and a couple of rides in the rain. However, the fact is that I made it to work every day, saw friends, bought groceries, ran errands and generally lived my life with no real disruptions. The amazing truth is that I really could sell my car tomorrow and things would be just fine.
However, I’m not going to go entirely car free. There are still some things that are still difficult to do without a car in this area. For example, a lot of my cultural experiences take place in Tulsa and driving really is a must to get there. Also, my parents live about 30 miles away out in Jones and while that it a great ride, there are times when it wouldn’t just be practical.
That being said, I do think that my day-to-day travels though are going to remain “bike-centric”. For most of my trips, there really isn’t a need to use the car and the bike trip is always more enjoyable. That is my big “take away” from the experience, most of the time I will be happier biking and so that’s what I plan to do. Hope to see you out on the road . . .