READER REPORT:

Why I'm giving up on car-free living

ROBYN METZGER
Last updated 05:00 24/09/2015
bike-landscape

Robyn says encountering dangerous drivers every day while cycling has been a downside to her car-free lifestyle.

Could you live car free?

Share your stories, photos and videos.

Related Links

Could you live car free? My car made me lazy

Relevant offers

Could you live car free?

There's nothing you can't do without a car 12 years of living car-free Why I'm giving up on car-free living My car made me lazy

I just have just arrived home from a trip to the mall, car free. Along the way I have twice had vehicles cut in front of me at intersections, forcing me to apply brakes. Not very safe on a wet drizzly day.

Two years ago, I sold my van to go 'car free'. I liked the idea of forcing myself to use my bike more, saving on costs, and getting more exercise.

I do enjoy biking and walking more and find the local bus service is quite good.

The down side is the dangerous drivers I encounter every day.

Intersections are particularly bad and I often have to take evasive action. Once, I was forced into the Mad Butcher parking lot by a driver who cut in front of me. I swerved but fell off my bike anyway and the young driver never stopped to check whether this 57-year-old granny was ok.

READ MORE:
My car made me lazy
Chch hospital set to be car-free area
Staff advocates car-free benefits

I consider myself a careful, 'defensive' driver and now try to avoid dangerous intersections by either dismounting and crossing, or sometimes going on the footpath if it is deserted.

Cars hate me whatever I do.

If I use the footpath I am abused because I am cheating, if I dismount and cross I am abused for holding up traffic. A young lass in a car once told me to 'hurry up you silly, old, slow, c#%*', because I walked with my bike on the pedestrian crossing in front of her car.

Robyn's electric bike in Samoa, where cycling presented a different set of problems. PHOTO: ROBYN METZGER

In Christchurch, with so many road works, the lanes are often reduced and I can feel - and sometimes hear - the car drivers getting impatient when they have to follow me along in single file. Yet when I have given the cars room by going on the empty footpath, I have been tooted at, yelled at and given the two-finger salute.

I had a different problem when I was biking while on holiday in Samoa - dogs running after me trying to nip my legs. The best way to avoid the dogs was on the electric bike, when I could outdistance them.

Ad Feedback

Back in Christchurch, after two years car free I am giving up. I am now looking for a vehicle with a tow bar so I can take my bike out of the city to safer riding areas.

Hopefully we will get the bike lanes that have been talked about so I can go car free again.


View all contributions

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content