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Are you pulling my proverbial leg?

December 9, 2010

It is coming up on Christmas, after all.

Someone is car-free—by choice—in Atlanta, Georgia.

According to a 2009 report from Texas A&M, Atlanta is the third worst large city for congestion in the United States, and the League of American Bicyclists recently ranked Georgia 35th out of 50 states for “bike friendliness.”

Despite these grim statistics, Chris Hrubesh, a senior video editor for CNN, has been car-free there for more than a year. He’d done the suburban Atlanta thing for years, but was no longer satisfied by that lifestyle—so he made some changes.

“Being car-free is not a big deal in most cities in the country, because you have great mass transportation infrastructure,” Hrubesh says. “Here in Atlanta, Georgia, we don’t really have that.”

How on Earth does he do it?

The first thing he did was move downtown, close to work and to dense, urban amenities. Then, he bought a bamboo bicycle, which he says is light, fast, and fun. Then, he devised a sound, if fairly obvious, four-pronged approach:

  1. Walking
  2. Biking
  3. Training
  4. Car-sharing

“Ditching my automobile has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, despite some of the challenges,” Hrubesh says.

Since he gave up his car, he’s lost 10 pounds, and he saves $300-500 a month in car expenses. Plus, he gets to lead a more leisurely life with more outdoor time.

As you had to have guessed, his city does not always smile on his car-free lifestyle. He says that there is a 30-second stretch of his commute that terrifies him twice a day. I’m not sure how he manages to pedal for even one second during a Hotlanta summer. And someone once threw a bottle and hit him in the back of the head while he was riding.

But still, he does it, and he plans to keep on doing it.

Mr. Hrubesh, you are one admirable Georgian.

Car-freely,
Amy

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. pawl permalink
    December 21, 2010 3:26 pm

    Those Bamboo Bicycles are pretty cool. I haven’t seen one in person yet.
    Indeed it is admirable. It’s unfortunate that among the rewards is a bottle to your head.

  2. avaerewyck permalink
    January 5, 2011 1:26 pm

    Well, I’ve had good experiences with bamboo kitchen utensils. So, why not a bike! Bet it’d be a lot nicer to haul up to my third-floor apartment every day.

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