Politics of CarFreeBrad


Over the past few weeks I have had the pleasure of doing some interviews about CarFreeBrad.com with some really nice and interesting people.  One of the things I have learned other than the fact that I love to talk about bike riding is that nothing forces you to condense your thoughts like having an interested person ask you questions.

I have been forced to think about and address things that I have continued to put on the “back burner” for months.  The most important aspect of CarFreeBrad.com that has come to light are the politics of the whole thing.  If you read the Why CarFree section, it’s pretty clear that I didn’t start this with any clear political intention.  I’ve made no grandiose claims of having a higher purpose for going CarFree.  That is as true now as it was almost a year ago when I decided to do this.

This will remain for the foreseeable future for a few reasons but the two most important are

1. Who the hell am I?

2. How each person gets from A to B is a personal choice and each reason for going CarFree is unique.

I can’t expect to fight for a political platform after living CarFree for 6 months and have any real effect.  It seems to me that I can have a more positive influence by honestly documenting this life change honestly and tell everyone that this CarFree thing is hard and not for everyone.  I’m not a Kennedy, I can’t expect to not work a day in my life and become president.

The unique and personal nature of the choice to go CarFree is hard to quantify in many ways.  It would probably be easier for me to explain myself if I did have some profound reasoning or greater good to serve through this choice but that’s just not true.  The fact remains that anyone that chooses to live CarFree must get up each morning and get on the bike, train, bus, or walk alone in the sun, rain, sleet and snow.  It sucks just the same for all of us on the bad days.

We all live busy lives and if more people, the “everyman and woman”, are going to shift towards CarFree living it won’t be for the grand reasons or a higher purpose.  Most of us don’t have time for a higher purpose when there is the job to get to, a boss to appease, a family to take care of, friends to meet, school to attend, food to eat, clothes to wash and maybe some sleep to get!  It’s not that we don’t care or want to serve some higher purpose, but at 6 am when you couldn’t sleep, it looks like rain and the 30lb TPS reports you up all night finishing feel extra heavy nobody wants to be a hero, we just want to get to work!

At this point, a grand ideal is great but it’s the real tangible reasons that get asses in on the seats and peddling in the streets.  One reason is money, cold hard cash!  “Straight Cash Homey”(Randall Moss).  Having more of it will never make you happy but it sure does make a lot of things easier.

Cash Savings of my CarFree life is approximately $2,285!

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