by Bob Ruddy
In the fall of 2009 I began flirting with the idea of becoming a car light family. Going from two cars to a single car. Up till this point I had commuted by bicycle off and on since I was 11 years old (22 years). The biggest gap in that time period was from the fall of 1997 until about 2003. Since beginning again in 2003 I never fully committed. There would be several month stretches in which I would fully commit, but I always reverted back to the car. That fall I flirted with the idea of selling my car in order to force myself to commit.
Fast forward to September 2010. My daughter Elie was born. I was fat, at a hefty 228 pounds. I was still off and on commuting by bicycle/train at this point. By the end of September I realized I needed to 1) lose weight 2) live a more simple life and 3) use less resources. All of these became stronger feelings after Elie was born. I want Elie to grow up healthy, with healthy parents, be less materialistic, understand the true cost of everyday actions such as driving, and to imprint less of a physical imprint than myself or my parents did.
On September 30th I logged into my insurance’s website and “garaged” my car. This was the incentive I needed. Since that day my car hasn’t moved. As of March 18th, I have lost 32 pounds and saved over $994.
The best part about all of this… It wasn’t difficult. I’ve ridden in rain, snow, sleet, cold, warm. It isn’t difficult to motivate yourself and to just do it. We will switch to a 1 car family with little to no sacrifice.