I just got home from work, having taken my tried and true route of biking from my office down Rockville Pike to Strathmore Avenue and picking up the RideOn Route 5 bus to Silver Spring. And so ends my "official" month of carlessness.
To be honest, it doesn't really feel over. I'm not breathing this huge sigh of relief that tomorrow I can sleep in and get in my car and drive to Rockville. (OK - maybe I'm looking forward to it a little bit - but mostly because it will be something different to do.) I do need to make a larger-than-normal trip to the grocery store in anticipation of having friends visit this weekend for Halloween / the Jon Stewart rally, and since large trips to the grocery store can be a challenge, I'm grateful to have my car back for that reason.
But I'm taking the anti-climactic feeling of arriving home on the final day of my carless month as a good sign. What I discovered is, that despite the many logistical considerations like showering at work, having extra clothes ready to go, and never having a morning to shave, getting to the office without a car is completely manageable. And outside of the work commute, getting around by bike or even by running is a healthier, less stressful way to travel. Not once in the last month did I ever have to think to myself "where's my car?" "is there enough time on the meter?" or "I'd park here, but how do I know I won't get a ticket for some ridiculous reason?" And of course, despite its faults, there's always the metro.
So I think the reason I'm feeling surprised that this endeavor in carlessness is already over is a simple one: it's not really over. Sure, tomorrow my car insurance picks back up and I'm legally able to drive my car again - and I will, tomorrow. But I like running way too much, I like being outside way too much, I like saving money way too much, for this to really be over. Living carlessly is actually pretty awesome.
I'm left pondering a question that's been on my mind since I got back from The Cruisical: what do I do with this blog? I never expected to have so many friends message me out of the blue and say "I love reading about you giving up your car." I never expected metions from other bloggers and I never expected any attention from the media. I've just always wanted to start a blog but lacked a central focus for keeping one. The fact is, I look forward to updating this johnpiece every night and my creative juices are still flowing.
The last thing I want is for this blog to overstay its welcome or to get stale, like a TV show that used to be awesome but has gone on for so long it's begging for cancellation. I want to go out on top a la Sex and the City, and so part of me feels like this post is the "American Girl In Paris: Part Deux" of One Month. One Guy. No Car. But then again, The West Wing didn't exactly go out on top but Seasons 6 and 7 were still pretty stellar. And so, at least for another week, One Month. One Guy. No Car. will be as alive as it ever was. I think I've got some material and some more ideas left in the tank that readers will find informative and enjoyable.
Tomorrow, I'll review how the first day back in the car felt after a 30-day hiatus...