It’s been one year since I sold my car and began this experiment. Setting out on my expedition, my goals were to experience Baltimore outside the confines of 1000 pounds of metal, educate myself on the issues and barriers of living without a car in the U.S., and sculpt my body into the likeness of a Roman God.
I’ve accomplished all three. Let me break it down for you.
- The first week: There is nothing to eat in the house. The nearest supermarket is 7 blocks away. I go outside to start my car and the cold reality of being without one slaps me in the face. Hard. Because I am 15 pounds overweight, I wobble the 7 blocks to pick up some noodle salad. My feet hurt and I complain to my girl. I consider buying back the car I just sold for $2,000 more than I just sold it for.
- The second and third week: It’s July 2010. Heat wave, and not the dry kind. Between sweating on a bus and sweating on a bike, I begin taking my bike to work. 5 miles round trip. It’s a mountain bike on city streets with tires that could fit on an F150. Sort of like driving a tank on an Indie Car track (intentionally misspelled). I learn a new meaning of the word “sweat”. This is when shit got real.
- The end of the first month: I learn that the Metro and Light Rail systems actually go places. Some of these places I actually need to go to. I also learn the delicate intricacies of eye contact protocol on MTA. The hard way.
- The second month: Druid Hill Park has a lake and actual grass? The places I was afraid to go to from reading “the news” don’t seem that bad when I begin riding my bike there.