Tuesday, January 26, 2010

the time has come, the walrus said

The time has come to stop being a hypocrite. The universe has decreed it.

(bikes in Cambridge - www.stockphotopro.com)

Himself and I are pretty passionate about the planet we live on (and I have to be honest here, Himself does all the hard work and research, I just do what I'm told). From what we eat, to where we shop, to where we go on holiday we try our very best to keep our carbon footprints and our plastic bags as minimal as possible.

Except I have one great weakness. My car (Himself doesn't drive so he can continue to polish his halo). I know, I know. It's not even a new car, with low pollution, let alone a hybrid or electric car. It's a 14 year old heaving rustbucket. But I love it. I use all sort of excuses for driving places from "you try carrying 15 yoga blocks around with you on the bus" to "I've got fibromyalgia *whine whine*". Yeah, quite. I really don't use it that much, there's just times, like going to work, when it's just more....convenient.

But really these days I have no excuses. I live in Cambridge, the City of the Bicycle, I no longer need to carry 15 yoga blocks anywhere and honestly, my health is under control.

And then yesterday, a message from the gods. My car went in for a service and came out a write off. The work it needs will cost about twice as much as the car is worth.

I was so upset. Himself worked out how much money I'd spent on the damn car in the last year and I had a minor heart attack. He then pointed out that I could get a lot of taxis/pairs of shoes/glittery eyeliners for that money. I smiled.

So this morning I cycled to work. It's a 6 mile (about 10km) round trip. The 3 miles to work takes me about 25 minutes at the moment but I'm hoping to get that down to 20 minutes over the next few weeks. It felt good to be cycling, I felt I could be in a much more mindful place on my bike than in my car and oh but how good it felt cycling past the queues of traffic that I usually sit in!

So for now, we'll see how things go. We're going up to Yorkshire at the weekend so I will be hiring a car for that. it does mean I will have to cancel the teaching opportunites that I had lined up as I physically will not be able to get to the venue, but everything happens for a reason. Maybe the universe is telling me to focus my energies elsewhere.

I'd like to think I could live without a car. I'm taking it one day at a time.

In the meantime I would like this panier set!


Anonymous said...

I love cycling too - on the cycle paths - I get a bit nervous on the main roads.

Do you live anywhere near the route of the Guided Bus? (If it ever opens!!). I am hoping that cycling between St Ives and Cambridge will be a possibility this summer.

Hope you continue to enjoy cycling - stay safe and enjoy the improving weather (that will happen soon won't it??)

Anonymous said...

Should clarify the above comment for your other commenters - the Guided Bus will have a cycle track next to it :o)

Rachel said...

Angela, I'm really lucky in that it is cycle paths all the way to work - I go along the cycle paths next to the guided bus for most of it. Which of course also means if the guided bus ever opens I have an option B on rainy days.

Eco Yogini said...

YAY!!!!! (well, ok, NOT yay that your car is broken...) but YAY cycling!! WOOT :)
I am so excited for you! what a wonderful thing, and you can cycle now?? it must be spring there sooner than here in Halifax.
And I read this on the day that it was raining and SO SO windy that I punked out and drove to work....LOL.

There is no judgement from me!

all in small steps right? :) oh i am so jealous that you have a bike......

Elizabeth said...

You are so lucky to be able to cycle to work. I live in Los Angeles and cycling to work would be dangerous ! Not to mention the 25 miles. I do try to ride my bike to the sotre, post office, etc. but only when the weather is nice !

green ink said...

I am lucky that I can walk to work, and nearly everywhere else I want to go. I haven't owned a car for three years but luckily in central London you don't really need to. YAY to you for seizing this opportunity to live fully within your beliefs. The benefits of not having a car go beyond saving money and the planet, they make you feel alive :D xx

The Misanthropic Yogini said...

Biking for transportation is a wonderful experience. I went three years without a car, cycling everywhere, and it was life-changing and extremely thrifty. It completely changed my consumption habits, since every trip required a large energy investment, and I could only ever buy as much as I could comfortably carry. Even though I drive now, I have (mostly) retained my good shopping habits.

babs said...

When all this dang snow melts...I'm gonna give biking a try. And walking. I think the hound will appreciate it :D

La Gitane said...

It takes courage to accept the signs from the Universe with grace, Rachel. :) Well done you. I think that as we progress in the way we are headed, we will all have to move towards a world where using a car is a rare necessity, not an everyday habit.

3 cheers for you!