We hesitated: to do or not to do? We talked a lot, not sure if it was the right decision. We got rid of our car.
We are 61 and 58 years old, we live in the countryside, without any supermarket around the corner. There is public transportation, but this is Belgium: you can’t get anywhere without delay, to get to next small town, we have, if lucky, a 1,5 hours journey but most likely 2 hours to get there with several busses and trains. With the car, without the unavoidable traffic jams, it takes 20 minutes. With the bike, it takes 45 minutes.
So, the bike it is. We are proud to be the owner of 2 new e-bikes, we have bags for the groceries, we still have to buy some decent rain clothing.
Will we manage, without a car? Some say: no, impossible, utopy, what were you thinking?
What we think: we will see. We certainly will have to adapt, it will not always be easy. We will curse, hesitate. Sometimes, we won’t get to our destination, will have to decline an invitation, or arrive wet, sweaty or dirty.
I see you, hear you, feel you think: but why? Well, there are plenty of reasons:
- since a couple of years, our income has declined a lot, and with our retirement ahead of us, it will never get better. To own a car had become a luxury
- I want to redeem what I have taken for the next generations: we use to have a huge ecological footprint, taking planes like other take the bus, with a german company car and its scandalous co2 emission, our house was a perfect exemple of the belgian string development, and, I admit, each year we used 25000 litres of fresh water to fill our pool. Sorry, Anuna, sorry Greta. It is for people like us that you protested the last months.
- there is nothing that I like better than cycling around in our region, Pajottenland. While cars are passing by, I see a squirl hopping to his tree, or fields full of poppies, meadows with young calves. There is stress sometimes, especially when a moron with his SUV is just failing to drive me over. But most of the time, there is the joy of cycling, in good or bad weather. Freedom.