My sister, Erin, sent an exciting story about two women from Boulder, CO, who walked the city’s more than one thousand streets. Erin was living in Boulder during the time that I was walking all of the streets of Berkeley, and we had a couple of conversations about how it would have been fun if we did a joint project where she walked the streets of Boulder and we compared and contrasted what we saw and learned in both towns. Sometimes people who have not spent much time in either town like to say that Boulder and Berkeley are very similar, but Erin and I agree that there are quite a few differences between the two places. In any case, two women (ages 63 and 67) walked all of Boulder’s 295 miles of streets over the past year. My favorite part of the article was their pact that they would not cut corners and that they would walk to the end of cul-de-sacs.
As I have mentioned here before, I got rid of my car several years ago. Joe has a car, though it is mostly used for out-of-town journeys — he is also on foot and bike often. During the time we have lived in Berkeley and I have written this blog, we have slowly encountered others who live car-free or car-”lite” lifestyles. Nothing, however, tops the story of Angus Powelson. Joe has been taking the car to Oceanworks here in Berkeley for regular service checkups. He originally went to Oceanworks on recommendations from friends and glowing consumer reviews, but we were pleasantly surprised that Oceanworks also promotes fuel-efficient vehicles and driving less, is solar-powered and is a green business, and even sells folding bikes.
In conversation with Oceanworks owner Angus on his last visit, Joe learned that he has been car-free for a number of years! This may be one of the most unique car-free situations ever. In subsequent emails with Angus, I learned that he has a folding bike, fixed-gear bike, road bike, tandem, skateboards, push scooter, running shoes … but no car. I like to hope that Angus has influenced a few customers to drive a little less and consider other options for getting around. I don’t want to sound like I am advertising here, but I certainly recommend checking out Oceanworks if you live in Berkeley even if you don’t own a car. As I mentioned, they have folding bicycles for sale, and may even start carrying Dutch cargo bikes!