That’s usually the reaction I get when I tell people about the adventure I am planning. I have heard everything from, ‘are you crazy?’ to ‘way to go’ to ‘you gonna give up yo’ car an’ ride this nasty ol’ bus everyday? You can give me yo’ car’, immediately followed by high-fives all around and a few ‘that’s what I’m talkin’ about!’s.
People’s reactions are different depending on their lens. I told my EXPO Advisory Council at our first meeting of the year. They nodded. Seemingly incredulous. Somewhat as if to say, ‘OK, you started this EXPO, I can believe you’ll do this now….. ‘ Actually, I was partly inspired by one of the projects a women, Tina, from the 2009 EXPO Advisory Council, was working on. She’s another amazingly, scary-smart woman. She works at GA TECH. She’s working with FORD Motor Company and the City of Atlanta to pilot a program of urban mobility where your GPS would tell you where the nearest bicycle rental, cab stand, ride share, or bus/train was. And if it is the bus or train, it will tell you how long until the next one. That’s my kinda app!
Other reactions? Mark asked me who I was going to give my stilettos to. My neighbor, Kai, wanted to know if he could have them.
But for others, this seems like a very strange idea. One reaction I thought was most unusual was my friend Cynthia who immediately said, “You need a first aid kit!” So judgmental me told this story to another friend, Michelle. Michelle is an AMAZING women, someone for whom I have a great deal of affection and respect with all that she has taken on professionally. And she agreed with Cynthia!
Now, I’m worried.
Michelle then proceeds to lift her pants leg, takes off her shoe and shows me her adventure scars. Seems she was a WithOut a Car person, only she did it in NY, a very WithOut a Car friendly city, as I talked about in a previous post. So, Michelle shares a few stories with me and proceeds to tell me how she got blisters on blisters. Then, she explains her shoe box labeling system and tells me I am going to want to do this. She labeled her shoe boxes in her closet with numbers like 1 or 3 or 2 1/2 or 8. “What for? ” I ask. She informs me that she learned how long she could walk in each pair of shoes and that helped her decide what to wear each day, based upon where she had to be. I ‘m not hiking to Montana, I’m just walking to the train station! YIKES!
One thing we both agreed upon – no tennis shoes!
Today I announced my adventure at SART, an event attended by all the greenies in town. I got a different kinda high-five there. As a matter of fact, a few people came up and told me versions of their “I don’t have a car” story. You would expect it from them. I am joining their club. I am Going AWOC…Atlanta WithOut a Car!