Monday, March 13, 2017

Going car-less carefree!

On January 7th I text Lisa. “How soon are you ready to go car-less?”
“ASAP!” she replies. I log on to Volkswagen's vehicle buyback website to schedule the date...March 23rd was the first available date.

Embarking on a new adventure - going car-less!

Well, okay. This gave us time to prep. When I mention that we are going car-less the typical response from friends has been offers for us to borrow their car if we need. Sweet! At this rate I’m building a fleet of loaner cars indefinitely into the future. We’ll become professional car moochers and start a car share app business!

Yes, our coming experiment to go car-less is about to begin. March 23rd is the date. Our diesel-gate VW Jetta Sportwagon will be bought back by VW with a settlement payout that day. We will walk/bus/bike/Lyft/something our way back home with a $20K check in hand.

Car-less adventures abound! Bike touring Italy's Tuscany region in 2015.
So, actually this car-less thing has been a long time in the planning. We considered it in 2011 before our current VW car when our last car was dying. But due to work logistics it was needed for our budding non-profit. Fast forward to 2015 and news breaks about VW's cheating with emission standards. We realized this might soon be the time to ditch the car thing and wait patiently for either the electric, self-driving car age to arrive or the expansive Euro-style public transit networks to be built. Either way I guess it will be a wait.

So, here I am imagining how my life will be different without a car. Guess what my biggest fears are?

1. Having our home broken into. Yes, our car currently sits in our carport 90% of the time. It will no longer be there to give an impression someone is home which helps to deter burglars. Our car is our home security system. And it works! We have never been burglarized (knock on wood).

Anyone have an extra car they need to park somewhere else for a bit? Too bad we don’t live near the University and just charge a poor college student for a parking space. Or maybe we should make a sign: “Burglars beware. Homeowners do not own a car and may or may not be home at any given time.”

2. My trail running days will be few and far between with increased difficulty to get to trail heads. Or, I could flip that around and consider the getting to the trail head as my new cross-training. For last resort I could use the Tucson Trail Running Facebook group to ask over 500 peeps for a ride share to the trail head. This actually worked well as a beta run in early March when trying to get to the Old Pueblo 50/25 race start. Perhaps I can continue to build my shared ride bartering economy and offer home-brew kombucha, kiefer, sauerkraut, or whatever other skill/service I may be able to offer…

So, soon I may hesitantly ask you for a ride to the trail head to escape the urban jungle. Thank you in advance for your kindness.