This is the first in what I hope will be a recurring feature called Car-Free Moments. I'd like to use these stories to capture the good, the bad, the ugly, the funny, the absurd moments attached to the practice of car freedom, particularly in places where it is not the norm. Feel free to add your own extraordinary moments of walking, biking, or using public transit, whether or not you own a car or three.
I'll start with a positive experience, as I'm sure there will be plenty of absurdity later on.
Last week after work, the Walking Daddy was kind enough to give me some time for a solo leisure bike ride. With no agenda and no place I needed to go, I headed in the opposite direction from the grocery stores and the library. Although I knew that this entire area had been farmland only a few decades ago, I had forgotten how much real countryside is left, and very close by.
Not six blocks south of suburbia, I discovered real actual fields and horses and goats, framed by beautiful, majestic mountains and a deep blue sky. The lilacs are in bloom, and they lined the road and filled the fresh air with their evocative springtime scent. In a car, I never would have had cause to go this direction, and I certainly wouldn't have lingered so long. The sky feels so much bigger on a bike. And even with windows rolled down, I could never have enjoyed the lilac-scented air as well as I did on my bike, in the outdoors, at human level.