These past couple weeks have been splendid! I have been able to discover more about Memphis than I have in the past 11 years that I have lived here. Biking, Busing, and Walking through the city has enabled me to gain more awareness about things happening in the city. Meeting people, learning about bus schedules, events are all examples of what I mean. On the first day of the Car-Free Challenge I woke up around four o’clock feeling nostalgic, because I have never ridden the bus before. An hour later I arrived at my bus stop just to make sure I wouldn’t miss it, but ended up waiting for thirty minutes because it was schedule for five thirty, not five. I felt pretty embarrassed not knowing how to use a MATA card or bike rack, but it only took a couple seconds to understand how to use them. I learned from those experiences and the rest of the week went by smoothly.
On Thursday, April 3, I commuted by bus then decided to bike the rest of the way home. About a mile from arriving home a friend passed me in a car and said out of the window, “Why are you biking Felipe?”, I felt like asking why are you driving. That question remained in my head for the rest of the day and when I saw him the next day I told him, “Because I’m participating in a “Car-Free Challenge” that challenges citizens of Memphis to go the entire month of April using alternatives for transportation”. After I explained it to him I felt really good, but had to continue with my day. The following week was a bit more difficult.
Particularly, on Monday the weather decided to be hateful and rained. I couldn’t do anything to change the weather, but I could prepare for it. Thanks to time management, a rainproof bag, and windbreakers I stayed warm and dry. As the week continued I met some very nice people that guided me to which busses to take and what to look out for. I look forward to more good experiences as this program comes to an end.