Thursday, January 13, 2005

Ditching the family vehicle

Now that the holiday season is over (with the usual problems showing know what I mean) I decided the time was right to start a new fitness regime. But joining a club hadn't worked in the past. Heck, even having my own in-house rowing machine hasn't done me a heck of a lot of good (so far.) So I decided on something a bit more dramatic.

Yesterday, I sold our van.

OK, maybe it's a bit extreme. But it will be interesting to see how it all comes out. Of course, I didn't do it just to bring my fitness level up (although I will be doing a lot more walking, obviously.) I also decided that having a great big Honda Odyssey sitting in the driveway, ready for occassional trips to the grocery store, or Limeridge Mall, just wasn't worth it. For one thing, we were leasing it, and so the money was heading out every month for leasing, insurance, gas and oil, maintenance, etc. And since I don't have what some would call a regular paycheque arriving every month, reducing the monthly outlay carries a lot of weight.

I'm not the only person that feels this way. Here's a site that's all about living without a car. Kind of strident, but some of the links are interesting.

I'm not opposed to cars, or anything like that. But I'm attracted to the idea of getting along without a car, for awhile at least. I do have a bicycle, which hardly ever gets used. I'm not likely to start using it right now since I'm not a big fan of winter bike riding. (Mind you, as I write this, it's +14 C outside -- go figure!) But we do have buses here in Hamilton. And I usually take public transit when I head into Toronto.

I also realized that for the price I was paying to have a van around (when you consider the payments, upkeep and insurance costs) I could take a lot of taxis and even rent a vehicle occasionally.

Just to be clear, I won't really be without a vehicle all the time. My wife still has hers. But her work as a midwife requires that she have 24/7 access to her vehicle, so I don't plan to be using it very often. But it means that our household is not without wheels totally.

Still, it's going to be interesting to see how we get along with the big steel carryall we've become so accustomed to in our driveway. I'll keep you posted on how thing go.

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