|Car-Free Day, London, 2000.|
Fast-forward to 2011, and I was inspired enough by Car-Free Day to pledge to go car-free (or at least car-lite) on that day. Since I haven't gotten my bike together at the new house, and since rain was in the forecast, I decided to try taking the bus.
According to Google Maps, I could walk for 0.9 miles, take the bus for 6 minutes, then walk for 1.3 miles. So I consulted the bus schedule and headed out so that I would arrive at the stop 5-10 minutes before the bus was scheduled to be there.
|Car-Free Day, Bowie, 2011.|
On the return, I figured out how better to use NextBus. I consulted the site from my office computer and allowed a generous 40 minutes to leave the building and walk the 1.3 miles. So when I saw that a bus was 40 minutes away, I left my desk and headed out. Things went much more smoothly that way, although until the moment that the bus showed up, I was suspicious as to whether I would actually see it. There were probably around 15 people on the bus, so I was glad to see the route gets fairly heavy use. Only one other person got on the entire time I was on the bus -- I suspect almost everyone was coming from the New Carollton Metrorail station.
What did I get out of it? I learned how to use Nextbus better. I learned I'd much rather ride my bike, even if there was going to be some rain. I learned that the bus is available as a backup, even here miles outside the Beltway. I learned I can walk more than 6 miles in a day, but it's nice to be able to soak in a tub at the end of it. And I learned that going car-free isn't just some crazy European idea.