Bruiser being my affectionate term for my ten-year-old Volkswagen Jetta that has many bumps and bruises after a few run-ins with bumpers, poles, and other things throughout its life. The bruiser is now sold and gone, which for some reason makes me a touch sad and causes me to sing my own words into a well-known song: One love. One car. Let’s get together and feel all right.
That’s right: we have decided to become a one car family. One ten-year-old Mazda Protégé named the Red Rocket that is. With the actual purchase price, the regular maintenance, the yearly tab fees, the insurance, the ever-increasing cost of gas and the dreaded unexpected expenses such as when your bruiser’s catalytic converter clunks out on you, owning a car is an expensive endeavor. And in case you haven’t heard, it’s not the best thing for the planet or for the size of the junk in your other trunk.
Minneapolis doesn’t have the best mass transit system, but it was voted the #1 Bike City in the country by Bicycling Magazine in 2010. We live right near a bus stop that can take us to work, to downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul, to the trendy Uptown shops and restaurants, and even to the Mall of America (although it’d be about an hour each way). We also have some pretty kick ass two-wheeled rides and plenty of sensible shoes that would make many a European cringe.
So we have committed to drive less, walk more, bike more and let it ride until the Red Rocket, which unfortunately in no way resembles an actual rocket, shoots craps on us too. At that point, we’ll have to start researching our options as far as leasing, buying a new car, or buying a used car. Until then, we can bike or walk to many of our favorite stores and restaurants located less than a mile from our house, including: Target, Byerlys (an upscale grocery store), Trader Joes, Caribou Coffee, Chipotle, Subway, Bunny’s Bar and Grill, and McCoys Public House (our neighborhood restaurant). We are also going to try to strategically plan our trips that require a car so we can make all of our stops in the same outing and avoid having to fill up as often.
It’s a start and a step in the direction. We’ll see how it goes and keep you posted.