We aren't alone: Child transport unplugged.

I’ve noticed that car cultures are like the Matrix: If you’re plugged in, it’s hard to understand that there are other ways to live. For example, we were told so often that it’s “Very hard” to live here car-free that we believed it for a while, but then realised that actually, we wern’t doing so badly. Now people frequently look look slightly furtive when we tell them this, as if we’re about to say “So what’s your excuse, car-owner?” Often we get an unsolicited list of reasons why our lifestyle is impossible for other people. Sometimes the questioner gives us a narrow, appraising gaze then asks “And what about ambulances?”. Generally, the argument is the same: car = mobility, therefore no car = no mobility. Remember, we are between the headquarters of Mercedes and Porsche…

I guess I’m preaching to the choir on this blog, but last week we discovered a family we know in the village are also living car-free. They approached us about the Xtracycle because it’s getting harder for them to move their children about in a bike trailer and they’re looking for options. This is another comment we get, by the way: that we will have increasing problems transporting the boys without a car. The suggestion that they can also learn to ride and thus be independently mobile from a young age is met with a knowing smile and a comment like “They won’t want to ride when they’re older” It turns out that our friends have exactly the same comments, so it was good to be able to relax and not have to justify ourselves. They are probably going to borrow the Xtra in a bit to test it out. We’re looking for the next step as well, because the Xtra has proved that a workbike is a good idea, so it’ll be handy to be looking with someone who has the language down.

Generally though, it was simply good to be with someone else out of the Matrix.