True Life Stories of the Carfree– Melanie, Michael, Ryan (4) and Sarah (2). Winnipeg, Manitoba

In the fourth of our series about carfree families (that aren’t us), we turn to Melanie & Michael of Winnipeg, Manitoba, to provide us with some serious inspiration for winter riding as the weather gets colder. Are you a carfree with kids? Would you like to share your story? Please contact us at carfreewithkids at gmail if you’d like to contribute to this series.

Melanie writes:

We are a family of four – Ryan (4 years), Sarah (2 years), Michael and myself, Melanie, living carfree in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada). We started to go carfree about a year and half ago, and sold our car this past March. The deal was, if we could make it through a Winnipeg winter without using our car, we’d sell it. And we did! We’re heading into our second carfree winter.

Our primary motivation for going carfree was the environment, but the other advantages (health, money, fun, not having to deal with parking etc.) are so huge that I’m not sure we’d go back even if that wasn’t a consideration. We mostly use bicycles for transportation, although I usually take the bus to work – the infrastructure just isn’t quite good enough to make it safe and feasible to bike on a regular basis, even in the summer. We have a bakfiets (a workcycles long) for our “family bike”, and a folding bike that I take on the bus with me so I can bike partway to work. Ryan is training-wheels free, so we recently purchased a trail-a-bike, but we’re having trouble figuring out how to get it stable enough to ride comfortably on real streets. Not sure if it’s our hook-up or if we just need more practice.