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Trade my car for a bike: Portland

For us, at the heart of car free living is a choose your own adventure: live the 7-11 life or bring our subterranean square of suburbia just a little closer to the tiny cabin in the big woods with the foosball table on the porch.

Cars make life easy and easy inevitably translates into empty consumption. Or, for those of us less inclined towards mathematical figurings: cars = convenience = empty consumption. Getting by on a bike requires planning and intent. This is not a bad thing! Routes are mapped, time is allotted for, destinations are purposefully evaluated. Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch as my fiance's grandfather famously proclaimed before leaving the house.

Of course drivers plan, too. But the car is a mechanism which asks nothing of its operator but cash and enclosure. The bike is a different machine, powered entirely of your own accord and at no cost but time. Certainly inclement weather can make one wish for a cozy interior but I am a strangely, tremendous fan of being caught in unexpected rain storms if I have no where else to go. Who doesn't like wheeling through giant puddles? A change of clothes are a worthy weight exchanged for living like a six year old every now and again.

To sum, 10 reasons we want to live life sans auto in no particular order:

1. A new city looks very different from a bicycle seat than from a car window.

2. Legitimate reason to complain about the cold. Fiance grew up in Montana and I grew up in Saskatchewan. We've been wussified by Oregon and feel compelled to reminisce about the up hill both ways in six feet of snow wearing just a sweat shirt (bunny hug in SK) days.

3. We will buy less. It's amazing how quickly you learn to think of objects in terms of basket compatibility.

4. I suck at parallel parking.

5. Bikes don't mix with fast food drive throughs.

6. There is no heat in the car. Can you say sleigh ride in winter?

7. There is no better way to rise to a challenge than to sign up.

8. I like my bike helmet.

9. It won't be easy.

10. Our parents will breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing that the Anti-Chrysler has been put out to pasture.

Cheers,

Kate and Aaron