Errands and Humor and Leisure09 Aug 2008 11:25 am

In a past discussion about transit funding and transit use, a friend used the term, “the transit habit”. He said, “You have to get ‘em young.” He’s right about that and it applies to cars and bikes, too. Get ‘em young and that’s what they take for granted.

We can also change our thinking along the way but like so many changes, it’s harder. Even though I’ve ridden a bike since I was a kid and stuck with it, and likewise public transit, having car access for so long now has made that an assumption. Now with this car-free or car-low exercise, I find I don’t make that assumption as easily.

The rental car is still sitting at the curb where I parked it yesterday. And this is not a monkish exercise in self-deprivation. I’m almost forgetting I have it.

My main need for movement today is a delightful plumbing job I have to figure out: swapping out a crummy bathtub faucet on which the shower diverter no longer works. Since I have to turn off the water to the house, I’m under pressure to resolve this quickly, so I rule out dawdling with the dog to Millen’s Ace hardware store, choosing my bike instead. Good choice because the first trip is investigating what I might need for the job. That requires me to come back to the house, bring the offending faucet and feed pipe information, and return to the hardware store for specific items. The bike worked fine for these trips and as I’m riding, I think about those heavy-duty “Cycle Trucks” still used on factory floors for chasing parts.

Interestingly, an email from my wife also delivers yet another story about someone doing without a car and the assumptions he must dispense with:

Living Without a Car: My New American Responsibility
By Andrew Lam, New America Media. Posted July 24, 2008.

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