When I was offered the opportunity to take over the bike workshop, I was told I would have to drive occasionally.

This is because the bike workshop doesn’t have a massive amount of storage space, so the bikes from the local government recycling centre have to be taken to a building in another town, where a team of clients separates the serviceable bikes from the wrecks, and then dismantles the wrecks for any usable parts.

My part in this highly developed infrastructure of supply is to occasionally drive a van over and collect any usable bikes or parts the team have for me. Thankfully, this a relatively rural area; drivers tend to be more relaxed than I’m used to in Stuttgart, and other vehicles are in any case further apart.

Thus it was that a couple of weeks ago, I tentatively drove a rather battered transit van from the workshop accompanied by a colleague/chaperone/lookout and navigator to make sure I didn’t make the van even more battered, or indeed get lost: a less obvious aspect of living car free is that I can ride between two towns more times than I can remember but still haven’t a clue how the roads connect to each other.

Having achieved the journey both ways without causing my colleague to scream, I’ll be driving there and back every two weeks.

The irony of this situation is not lost on me; I got the job because living car free meant I learned to repair bikes, and now I’m not only driving but getting paid to transport bikes around the countryside…