pedal, damn it
Back in December of 2006, two days before I left Findlay, and just over a month before I moved to Japan, I sold my decrepit, barely street-legal Dodge Shadow for $200. From the photograph, I think you'll agree that I made off with several hundred dollars more than the jalopy was actually worth. Dirty money, maybe. But no regrets. Sometimes I wonder where the old Shadow is now. We had a lot of great memories together, and I almost miss that old car. But I can't honestly say that I miss having a car.
There's a lot about living vehicle-free that's completely changed my outlook on life. At first, I thought this was only possible in Japan, and then, only in the largest metropolitan centers in the United States. But as my sexy quads grew in size, so did my range. And with extended range, came a heightened sense of smug. Not "fart-in-a-glass," smug though. Mine's admittedly a bit more rustic, because I haven't bothered to outfit my apartment with proper glasses. Regardless, it was with that smugness that I acquired a newfound level of confidence, and a freedom that I'd never felt in all my years of being chained to a car.
I think it's pretty easy enough to become intoxicated on the "go-anywhere," "carry-anything and anyone" convenience of vehicular transport, but it's become pretty clear to me that convenience and necessity are hardly one and the same. Granted, being entirely devoid of decent grocery stores and attractive women, hometown life on the metaphorical island nation of Michigan positively required a vehicle. Obviously, there's certainly no shortage of backwater towns on this planet. But when those geographical restrictions are voluntarily lifted--replaced by sprawling urban city centers, and a room with a view, it's hard to believe there was ever reason enough to justify gas and Geico.
I hadn't realized the intentional nature of this lifestyle until the other day when I was pricing the possibility of leasing a car. I'd always just assumed that car ownership was an inevitable expectation on the path of life, and the bicycle was not a choice, but rather a temporary solution to bridge the transition. How presumptuous of me to think that the solution for millions of other Americans whose lives are crammed so full of needless shit, was to be the solution for me, as well. After all, the solution I really envisioned was already faithful enough. And already leaning against the wall in my apartment. It's amazing what a little simplification, and a good pair of winter riding gloves can do for the soul.
So instead of finishing the email to the dealer and requesting a quote, I bought the new Hot Chip album and a new riding jacket, and then put fenders on the KHS.
Guess that about settles it.