Movin’ on up… to a not-so car-free life.

On April 1, we decided we wanted to trade our bikes for an SUV

We’ve been doing the bike thing for close to a year now and it’s been a pretty nice ride. We’ve lost a few pounds, got in decent shape, reduced our foot print on the environment, and saved some cash. We’ve ridden through rain and sleet and snow and survived it all.

In the meantime though, we kind of feel like we’re missing out as participants in American culture. Sure the Xtracycles can haul a lot, but just try using one after a Costco run for a 50″ Plasma TV, car battery, and family-sized box of ultra slim. It’s just not going to happen. And when was the last time we had time to go spinning class? Riding everywhere takes so long and so much energy that we don’t have a spare time for the gym or audio books or Oprah or anything like that.

We want a car. A big one.We’re tired of being cold, tired of being “that weird family that bikes everywhere” and tired of doing our part for the planet while our neighbors blindly zoom up and down the street in their 3-ton suburban. It’s just not fair. We want our little bit of luxury. We want to live a little and give our kids some of the advantages of our car culture.

So what do we give up by trading our bikes for a SUV? Well, we’ll probably spend a little more. That’s a fact. There’s insurance and gas and car payments and car coats and vanity license plates. On the other hand, America’s greatest living president is throwing a tax rebate our way that ought to subsidize our fuel bills back to 1999 prices. And our load on the planet may increase a little bit. But having a car means we’ll be able to stock up on affordable green products at Target and Wal-mart and other big-box retailers that are hard to ride to.

And the weight loss thing? Frankly, Americans are so fat these days that no one has even noticed our trim new look.
Really, these are minor issues compared to the freedom of the road we’ll gain with a nice set of wheels. Instead of hopping on a cold snap deck, we can wrestle our kids into car seats where they can safely sip their juice boxes, cradled in a cocoon of 15 airbags. Then, as a whole family, we can enjoy Shrek on DVD while we idle in the Starbucks drive-thru lane. What’s more American than that?

Sorry gentle readers but April 1 will go down in history as the day Anne and Tim bought a Escalade!


13 responses to “Movin’ on up… to a not-so car-free life.

  1. you had me going there for about 4 seconds as I began to splutter “Zipcar!…”

  2. Bravo! What a scream for April fools day! Your doing Mr Brown proud!
    From my experience people who drive those big things get mighty indignant when you point out what they’re doing.

    I know the difficulties you mentioned about riding everywhere can be true and it can sometimes be a drag. You guys are my heros for the effort you’ve made to stay true to your plan.

  3. I had completely forgotten about the day. It wasn’t until I read “but April 1 will” did I get it. Keep up the good work, you have inspired my wife (I already do) to ride for all her out of house activities.

  4. Please tell me you actually posted this on craigslist! I went there but couldn’t find your ad. Did someone flag it and get it removed. That’s some funny stuff.

  5. Thanks for comments, everyone. Our kids were totally getting into the spirit today so we thought we should, too.

    The ad is still on Craigslist, but it’s not showing up in search. I’m not sure it it’s flagged or something else. For now, you can see it here:

  6. Pingback: The Recumbent Blog » Blog Archive » Movin’ On Up

  7. Ian Nicholson

    Boy……am I dumb! you guys really sucked me in. I was so disgusted that one or two of our “OWN” would desert or abandon us for that gas guzzling almost obscene lifestyle. I was actually angry..What a dope.

  8. So, did anyone take you up on it?

  9. I’m a bit late to the table on this, but thank you, it made my day when I first saw it in your Flickr stream.

  10. We’re just now getting ready to have kids and I really wanted some inspiration for a car-free life with kids, and I’ve found it! I love your blog, and I hope we can do the same in Chicago. Although the winter (for me) means more public transit and less biking – not so for my partner.

  11. Martinique – I’m glad you found us! I wish you lots of luck with parenting and carfreeness. At least Chicago has good public transportation so you have options.

  12. Pingback: Leaf-Blower Elegance in a Bike-friendly Package « Car Free Days

  13. Pingback: Leaf-Blower Elegance in a Bike-friendly Package « Car Free Days

Leave a Reply to tfahrner Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s