No car is no cake walk.
That cake walk expression is pretty dumb, isn’t it? And not altogether true. Have you ever participated in a cake walk? It’s actually pretty rare that you walk away with a cake. That’s beside the point though.
The point is that being car-free can be really freaking hard.
Life without a car isn’t all bad. In fact, there are a lot of fantabulous perks to car-free-ness. But, like any life choice, it has its challenges and drawbacks. We car-free folk can’t just roll up the windows, crank up the AC, or turn up the volume to eliminate, cool, or mute the world around us.
We move through the world with a lot less armor, and the world is a friendlier conduit some days than others.
At the moment, it’s about a zillion degrees outside, which means I arrive at almost every destination with hair plastered to my forehead and sweat dripping down my shins. This morning a driver who lacks knowledge of cyclist road rights—and apparently has more horsepower than intelligence—honked long and loud at me, on my bike, as he passed dangerously close to me. And tomorrow I’ll be en route on buses for more than four hours to complete a trip that would take an hour and a half by car.
Guess I needed to gripe a bit. Hope you’ll forgive me.
While I’m at it:
- Whoever drew up blueprints for the placement of the bike rack at my place of employment apparently has never seen a bike before—or he would know that you can’t properly lock one to a rack fewer than six inches from the parking garage wall.
- The crosswalk light at the corner of Broadway and 10th is totally biased toward the Broadway travelers.
- After an 8-hour shift, the hill at the very end of my bike ride home from work provokes in me suicidal thoughts.
- The 83 bus arrives every 20 minutes like BP captures 5,000 barrels of oil from the Gulf every day.
Ah, I feel better.
Now, it’s you’re turn. Gripe away, car-free comrades!