It is not too often that I am totally reliant on a car to get around. Today was one of those days. Not only did I not bike or bus anywhere, I don't think I so much as saw one. Yet I traveled most of 100 miles.
The occasion was a Toastmasters event at Westmoreland Community College, some 45 miles from Pittsburgh. I got a ride there and back with other attendees. This was actually fun, as it would have been a boring ride going out solo, had I had my own wheels available. For them, they each had a radio of some sort to listen to, had I not been there to converse with.
I am not against car use. I am against 100% car dependency 100% of the time. I would not have been able to attend this event without a car.
I actually got to previous events of this type by motorcycle, even in January, but even that was fraught with trouble: 2016, wrecked on ice. 2014, got there (actually, Zelienople, that time) but couldn't get the bike started when leaving. 2013, got there but fog covered up my glasses so badly I was temporarily blinded at times. So the m/c is not necessarily a worthy option for the winter trips.
Other years, like today, I've been able to catch a ride with one of the many other attendees coming from the metro Pittsburgh area. We all benefit, as we get to discuss matters of common interest. In turn, I've done favors or assisted people, not that either of us feels indebted to the other, just more of that karma I mentioned in a post last week. We all help one another.
Nor is there a concern that the event is in an inaccessible location. Like it or not, while it is quite a haul from Pittsburgh, it is central to the larger District 13 Toastmasters, which stretches from State College PA to Morgantown WV to Salem OH. WCCC is only a couple of minutes from several major highways, so is not difficult to get to other than distance.
What would be bad, for me, is acquiring a car for the sole purpose of driving twice a year to an event 50 miles away. That's what rentals are for. I would sooner drop $100/day for a car I need only sporadically, than $10K/year for the same purpose. Sure, I can use that car for other purposes, but that is justifying the huge cost from the avoidable 100% daily dependency, which to me seems just nuts.