On Wednesday, September 22, people all over the world will be taking to the street on foot, on bikes, and on mass transit in celebration of World Car Free Day, quite possibly the most meaningful holiday of the year to me.
I don’t need to list the litany of reasons we should be choosing to wean ourselves from our cars—a simple scan of the current headlines shows the impacts of climate change. Instead I work in a different way to support the transition to sustainable transportation, by helping energize the movement to electric bikes. I started Rad when I was 15 years old, ebikes are in my blood, and Car Free Day is one day to remind ourselves and inspire others to come to the clean and freeing side of living car-free or car-light lifestyles year round!
Let’s look at some of the hard facts that fuel our mission at Rad, to get people out of their cars and going electric: We know transportation is the largest contributor to carbon emissions in the U.S., with 60% of transportation emissions coming from passenger vehicles. In the U.S. alone there are an estimated 250 million cars on the road, and according to the EPA 59% of car trips are 5 miles or less. Let that sink in. If those shorter trips were made using a car-free alternative, we’d take a huge bite out of polluting emissions in the U.S.
This fires me up: we can do this!
Of course I start with ebikes, but it’s really about each of us starting to break free from our cars as the automatic solution for how we get around. Do I want the world riding ebikes? Of course! I think they’re key to a healthier planet, they’re one of the fastest growing forms of mobility, and every person on an ebike is a person not in a car. But really, that last part is the key: I want the world to give up our cars whenever we can. I have watched hundreds of thousands of Rad riders' lives transformed by ebikes and they in turn transform their communities, one less car at a time!
So here we are, on the cusp of World Car Free Day, a day we can choose a better way and quite literally, change the world. Foregoing our cars, even just for a day, is better for the planet, for our cities and towns, and for our minds and bodies. It is inarguable. I invite you to join me and my Rad Power Bikes colleagues this World Car Free Day, next Wednesday, September 22. It’s a great place to start. One day, no car.
Together we can be a part of change.