Car Free living
My Biggest struggles and over coming them (sometimes.)
Weather actually seemed to work mostly well for me. I never once got stuck going to a place in bad weather, I’d somehow miss it by minutes. But I often got caught in it coming home, which I just didn’t worry about, drenched rat and all, I would just get home, and hot bath time. I would keep an eye on the weather all the time, such as on the way to work. Sometimes if it looked like rain was on the way I would leave early and this paid off a lot as I missed rain so many times by only a few minutes. But it was never anything I stressed about. I often wear glasses rather than contacts…that’s a whole other instructional blog post as anybody who wears glasses will understand.
Other car driving people can be really mean. I would always follow street laws and proper rules but other drivers seem to just have it out. I don’t come to this too often but I had to ride on the defensive all the time as drivers are almost always on a cellphone, almost always not watching before the run a stop sign or make a turn and almost always don’t go wide, especially when on a road and passing a parked car that they want to squeeze you up against.
Buying too much at the grocery store. This happens…all the time. I am the worse at misjudging or it’s like I forget in the vortex of grocery stores that I am not driving an SUV. I have more than once had to call a cab to take my bike, my groceries and myself home because of this. Costing me some money and carbon footprint. But that’s rare and usually part of the fun of diner with friends has often been the bike rode together to the store first. I do typically keep a few different bikes and one is the “Grocery Getter.
In summer here it gets sweaty super hot but the way around that is to really dress like you live on a beach, as we do, in airy breathy flow (but can’t get stuck in your tires) clothing. I am also personally not a makeup wearer and the salty sea air helps keep us with that beachy wind blown look. You just have to rock it. Funny thing is 2016 brought that as an actual thing so for once I am in style.
But biking doesn’t have to mean you always wear bike gear and helmet head either.
For those who say it doesn’t get cold here, I curse you. We get cold and it’s a different kind of wet cold down to the very bone. I am in my 30’s with a few old injuries so I personally ache in this type of weather to no end. Bundling up well, tall boots, jeans and good layering of sweaters with a good coat and proper ear coverage is the way I go, and gloves.
Place’s that don’t have any place to chain up a bike. I went to a yoga studio and tried a tree but I had to be careful of killing flowers, I even tried a back gate but they needed the usage, there wasn’t a pole or rack or anything there. Stores and shops can cause the same problems on longer rides away from Down Town where you can’t park and chain in one spot and then walk a block or two if needed. There should be more bike racks. Especially in a Down Town area. Galveston Down Town is just now starting to see a few racks besides the ever available one at Mod Coffeehouse.
Lack of bike shops for fixing flats. When you can’t put your flat tired bike in a truck and take it places it can be hassle. Since our down town Galveston shop closed it has been missed, especially by the down town crowd & UTMB students. However, learning how to do much of bike repair on your own is a great thing especially since most things are very small and simple and will save time and money as well as good when on long rides and takes very little tools. Warning: Knowing how to work on your own bike or build one, can become very addictive.
Dating. Guy’s think because I don’t own a car I must be a broke ass bitch. Very not true but I get tired of explaining my car free living choices. Also the fact that suddenly dating seems to mean going places in his car all the time, while sometimes can be a fun treat it makes me want to convert them to a lot more bike riding activities and not compromise my original reasons of living car free. But also dating guys that don’t live near by becomes a problem. Yes, dating and car free living is a thing. However it has had it’s ups and downs it has been a useful tool to weeding out guys in your life, just be careful not to make the mistake of living in a small pool. But frankly you tell them why you do it and they either are all “Yeah wow that’s pretty cool” or they don’t call you back and well…you don’t need them to call you back.
Bike theft. Especially when one has a strong emotional relationship with one’s bike. which totally happens. RIP Yellow Bike.
All in all struggles and not there are a lot and enough benefits to be car free. I promise.