I have never really found owning a car to be necessary. I owned one once when I was 17 and learning to drive but lent it to my mother, on a permanent basis. I know people who claim that they could not live without their car and indeed a means of transportation is very important to the everyday lives of everyone however there are alternatives to owning your own car.
For the majority of my adolescent and adult life I have relied on public transport. At times it can be a nuisance with certain buses failing to turn up on time and other services being unavailable, yet using public transport is genuinely my favourite means of transportation for medium to long distance journeys. A problem only usually arises when trying to travel within Cornwall. With its bounty of small picturesque villages, poor infrastructure, and narrow roads, journeys at times can become unbearable.
As a result of this, and a sudden need to find employment, last year I decided to invest in a motor vehicle; not a car but a small engine motorcycle. I utterly adore her and with a fuel efficiency of 85 MPG (£12-£14 for 260 miles) it is one of the most efficient styles of transport. However, this does mean that at times I have been neglecting to use other means of transport.
I understand that a motorbike is not for suitable everyone and in adverse weather conditions there is no shelter from the elements. However for me, as I do not have any children or anyone else to transport, I have no need for anything larger. I would not be able to afford to keep a car and even if I could, I would feel rather bad for wasting the petrol.
For this week I set myself the challenge of cutting down on my personal fuel assumption, instead returning to the use of public transport and my legs.
To guarantee my success I have started the week by cancelling my insurance and bringing the motorbike inside for a clean. This way I cannot simply pretend to myself that I need to use her to drive 10 minutes down the road, a distance that as a healthy adult I can easily walk without problem yet often find myself making excuses for.
Whilst cleaning my bike this morning it occurred to be that I own a push bike, a rusty old thing with two flat tires. By midday it only had one flat tire as there was a boxed inner-tubing with my toolkit all I need now is a second inner-tube and some oil then I can walk for short distance, cycle to the far side of town and get a bus to the county town when necessary.
Returning to my last post, I have received my second delivery of organic, locally grown vegetables. They were as beautiful as the previous weeks and I am immensely pleased with the service. I have also found myself visiting the local health food shop once again. Not a single trip to the supermarket.