Thursday, February 17, 2011

Car-Lite FTW!

Three months ago, we made the move to a car-lite existence. We'd talked about it for years, but when you have a (relatively) reliable car that's been paid off for ten years, its tough to pull the trigger.  Thus far, we haven't run into any conflicts that we haven't been able to solve. We've prepared ourselves for unexpected taxi fares and the occasional missed opportunity, understanding that the benefit is tens of thousands of dollars in savings from not owning a second car.

We also prepared ourselves for the occasional rental car, and today was the first test of that.  I had business meetings all day today in Raleigh, and needed to extend my availability in order to meet with colleagues from other offices before and possibly after the client meeting.

So, last night I strapped a packing blanket on the back of my folding  bike and rode to the rental car office. I signed the paperwork, threw the blanket down in the trunk, folded the bike up and laid it in the blanket,and drove home. This morning, I threw on my monkey suit, packed up my work gear, tossed my bike gear in my backpack and drove to Raleigh.

The meetings went well and we broke a little early.  I was able to gas the car up and get to the rental car office by 4:35, where I turned in the keys, changed into my biking gear and pedaled to the bus stop. I'm on the bus now and will be home in time for dinner.

All told, its a success. I didn't want to spend $60 to drive to Raleigh today, but it is all we've spent on a car for me in the last three months, so I think we're still ahead of the game.

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