The Journey Begins

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Where to begin …

It begins now, but it began over a year ago. We made the decision that we wanted to make changes in our life that would help us be healthier. We cut down and/or eliminated most soda’s and other junk foods. We talked about walking and riding bike more, but never quite made it out the door more than once a month. Finally we faced the fact that if we were serious about not using the vehicles we had; then we would have to get rid of them all together.

Our vehicles were practically family members to us.

Charles loved his Toyota truck100_2484

and me, while not in love per say, I was very comfortable with driving the family Dodge mini van100_3660

Letting them go was not easy, but once we decided we were going to do it, we did it and haven’t looked back.

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We staggered the goodbye’s a week a part. First we let go of the truck, and used the money to get ourselves new bikes. We both grew up with Schwinn’s, so after careful research we got some middle to low end hybrid Schwinn’s to get us started on our journey. {Mine is the one with the basket.}

The week that followed the sale of the truck, we shared the mini van and took turns walking or riding to or from work. Finally one full week later we sent our 13 year old van, nick named “purple” by our youngest, off to live with a new family.

May 21st, 2013 became our official first day of our new car free lifestyle. This doesn’t mean we will never drive another car ever again, we already have plans to rent one over the summer when we go camping and down to southern California. In addition to the bikes and walking we will also use public transportation or taxi’s as needed.

We know we aren’t the only ones out there on the roads without cars by choice, we know we aren’t the first, and we know it’s not for everyone. For us it’s bringing daily living back into perspective and slowing everything down.

For the record our grown children, and several of our co-workers think we’re nuts and can’t imagine life without a car.

We hope you will enjoy our journey as we share it with you.

Do you have your own story to share, please leave a comment.

All posts written by Melinda Dawn, unless otherwise noted.

A very brief update

Ouch almost two years since my last post.

Hubby still uses the TerraTrike daily for his work commute. For winter holidays he splurged and treated himself to an electric motor for it, which he uses as an assist on the overpass (it’s a fairly steep overpass) between home & work. But now for groceries we take the city bus, and sometimes a cab home so that we can both go.

 

My world is still somewhat upside down, and I am still rockin’ the walker, and am no longer employed or at university.

It took over a year and switching doctors to get referred to a lumbar specialist, who in turn ordered more comprehensive x-rays than what had been initially done. However I finally have answers and not ones that had me dancing with joy.

The specialist found early arthritis and a partially deflated disc in the tailbone region of my spine, whether or not I’ll ever walk again without assistance let alone ride bike again is still an unknown. Cortisone shots were tried and found to be non-effective, and I’m allergic to most medications prescribed to alleviate arthritis and/or swelling.

I did have an opportunity to drive a car recently, and found the motion used for working a foot pedal aggravated my back so odds of me returning to the road as a driver are low. But on the upside I have recovered some of the mobility I had lost early on, and on a really good day can make it half a mile with a cane for assistance instead of the walker. Honestly for the most part I really don’t miss having a car. I miss a few things here and there, but I know that if I were able to ride my bike it wouldn’t be an issue.

So we are continuing our car free journey it’s just not the same journey we thought we’d be taking when we started out in May of 2013.

March 2014

This month has been long and seen a few small changes.

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Charles alternates between bikes for work and uses the two wheeler and the Travoy for groceries.

Me, I’m currently rocking a different kind of wheels.

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My back went out at the end of February, and I’m working with my doctor to find out why, what, how, and a solution. Sometimes I find myself going a little stir-crazy, because I miss the go-go-go of work and university, but stir-crazy is far better than worse off so I deal.

 

Came across this video, having never ridden outside of the US I appreciate the perspective this gentleman gives on our riding style(s). He manages to touch on some of my frustrations as a commuter cyclist regarding how our roads and main travel spaces are primarily set up for cars.

Cycling in the US from a Dutch perspective

Given the cycling inventions I see coming out of Denmark, I wonder what it’s like to live/visit there as a cyclist. Perhaps someday I’ll get to visit and see for myself, perhaps.

 

 

 

 

Charles’ new wheels

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He’s taken it out on a short trial run, and plans on adding reflective tape and lights to the back before putting it to use full time.

At this stage we are also planning on getting bicycle insurance on our bikes.

Posted from WordPress for Android – by Melinda

Travoy love

If you read yesterday’s (Happy Valentine’s Day 2/14) post you saw that (Charles) hubby got me a Travoy. Today  I am very grateful to not be packing all the supplies needed for class on my back and the front basket.

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I already have two of the five quarts of paint needed at school.

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Had everything packed and realized that I’d forgotten my tool box.

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Almost everything.

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Okay, now everything is packed, and I think it’s close to the 60 pound limit.

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Handled like a charm and will be easy to take on the bus, and even easier to take into class.

I will need to adjust my travel route due to a very steep curb on the I street bridge.

Ps, if anyone is wondering at the increase in posts I recently upgraded my phone to a Note III which makes it very easy to post on the go instead of trying to find time when I’m home. Not to mention I would frequently forget what I wanted to post.

Posted from WordPress for Android – by Melinda

Happy Valentine’s Day

Today is shaping up to be a great day.
slept in took my time getting ready for our errands. Our first stop was Practical Cycle, hubby got me/ us a Travoy for Valentines day.

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The Travoy is going to Make getting all of my supplies to art class easier.

Posted from WordPress for Android – by Melinda

Not Cool

I’ve been using the newly paved trail behind my work site to get home and to campus. Today after work I had just entered the trail when I see a woman with her baby stroller and a dog not on leash. The dog charged at me, I had come to a complete stop but didn’t have time to dismount, ignoring it’s owner it continued it’s forward charge and bit me. Fortunately today I wore the pants that are flared even though I don’t like them.

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The tiny hole in my pant leg is from where the dog got a mouthful of fabric. Fortunately it did not break the skin.

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There is some redness where it bit. It will probably be a faint bruse by tomorrow. I politely let the owner know that her dog had bit me, she apologized and put the dog on it’s leash. Per her request I showed her the hole in my pants.
I hope to not encounter this dog again, and I hope that from now on she keeps her dog leashed in accordance with the city’s posted leash law for the multipurpose trail that is also used by school kids and horse riders.

Posted from WordPress for Android – by Melinda

Fog

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Yesterday I thought it was foggy but today was much foggier .

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Today the fog was so thick that I had to take off my glasses just so I could see where I Was going.