Photo 1: Market St.
Photo 2: Bicycle chic via The Sartorialist
Photo 3: by Zakkatography via Copenhagen Cycle Chic
Photo 4: sticker on pole at Allen Parkway intersection
It’s not until you’re out of a car do you realize how much of a hurry you are not in.
I’ve just returned from an early morning stop to my local coffee-house where I enjoyed Friday’s paper, a wonderful ham and cheese croissant and an equally wonderful cappuccino. I sat outside. The coffee shop happens to be on Washington Avenue which has a posted speed limit of 35 mph and a designated bike route, but is actually like a mini-highway. As I sat outside, cars and cars were speeding past me and in close proximity. It began to annoy me, because it’s loud, but more than that it began to scare me as the cars are so incredibly close to where I was sitting. I began to think, as I often do in the morning.
Let me be honest, cars scare me (as in frighten) more than a little bit. Perhaps I am coming to terms and accepting my car phobia. Ask anyone who’s had the joy of being next to me in the passenger’s seat, I’m like your old grandma, making sighs, shrieks and ‘aye dios mios’ the whole way, while steady holding on to the ‘oh shit’ handle. I have issues with being in cars this much is true. The issues with cars, stem far back into realms (accidents) that I don’t have the time, or care to discuss in this forum.
I’ve gotten more than one strange look from people I considered to be ‘progressive’ when I told them I don’t have a car and that I ride Metro. People look at me almost as if I am out of my mind (which I’m not) or from some far away land that they’ve never heard of (it’s a lifestyle choice). I enjoy walking to Target, which isn’t far from where I live, but would probably take 5 minutes in a car. I also don’t mind walking into downtown to get groceries.
And by the way, what happened to walking?
Hopefully as you know, in another cities, the idea of walking to the store, cinema, market is not a foreign concept….It’s actually pretty normal. Perhaps I have become accustomed to a different lifestyle and frankly just might prefer it.
And it’s true people get completely attached to these speeding metal things with 4 wheels, I know, I once owned and drove one and I liked it. To be fair, cars are helpful and do quickly get you from point A to B to C. But I also remember feeling: stressed, aggravated and completely annoyed by other drivers (going too slow or fast), or coming to a red light or stop sign. I remember cursing and giving someone the middle finger for behaving in what I considered-poor driving etiquette. Honestly that is far too much stress than I want to experience again….It’s like, once you’re behind the wheel you don’t want to stop or slow down. Thanks, but I’ll pass.
And, do I want to sit in traffic with everyone else to commute to a job that should be 20 minutes by car? Um, no…I feel like if I got back into a car I’d become fat and lazy with road rage.. Yeah, I said it.
Not having a car for these past 8 months, I can honestly say the only thing I really miss about having a car is the ability to get in it and drive:
Luckily there are rental cars for this very purpose.
That’s my car rant. What works for me, might not work for someone else. That is the beauty of life and choices. We all have the ability to make our own and create our own realities.
Now back to the flowers..