(Maybe not car-free, but car lite. I still have access to family member's cars when the need arises.)
In October, my family and I moved closer to my job, which has put all of the major stops in my normal life within easy biking distance. Mother's car was totaled, and I gave her my car, leaving me with biking as primary transportation.
Then in December, my faithful Surly LHT bit the dust:
It was very sad to see the Surly go, but this cleared the field for my first new bike in ten years! After researching commuting bikes, I received go ahead from the familial budgeting office to splurge and get a dedicated commuter - with belt drive, internally geared hubs, integrated front and rear lights powered by a hub dynamo, hydraulic disc brakes and plenty of cargo capacity. Though it runs a bit less efficiently than my Surly, it is quiet, smooth, and I don't have to rig it up every time I go out - just strap on the bags and go!
Using a bike as primary transportation has been easy and fun these past few months. I save loads of money and improve my health each time I replace a car trip with the bike. Despite this and the light and friendly traffic in and around North Hills, I have seen only one or two others in the area that commute by bike. Hopefully that will increase when the weather turns warmer. I hope that by writing about how easy and efficient this choice is, and by being visible out in my neighborhood on bike nearly every day, I can convince those who are interested and able to join me to make cycling a viable and normal choice for transportation in Midtown Raleigh.