In 2009, Ana Quinonez committed to living one year car-free. She donated her car at New Belgium’s Tour de Fat, a free, fun, music-filled party in Golden Gate Park. Every year, Tour de Fat hosts the Car-Bike Swap, and awards a brand new bicycle to one lucky winner as he or she gets up on stage, hands over their car keys, and pledges to live 365 days without a car. This year, we followed up with Ana on her post-automobile life.
How did you decide to make the transition from car to bike?
Tour De Fat happened to fall on my 26th birthday, and I thought, “What better way to give up the 10 year anniversary of being able to drive?” The biggest factor is that it felt absolutely ridiculous and pointless to have a car in the city. With all of the dozens of parking tickets I got and the rising price of gas, it felt like a burden to have a car.
How did you adjust to life car-free?
I realized that I could walk somewhere in the amount of time one spends looking for a parking spot, and with so many options for public transportation and the idea of having a bike again, it just seemed like an all around perfect fit for me.
Was it difficult to give up your car?
The idea of being part of something bigger than just selling the car was huge for me. I was not simply passing it on to another driver, I was going to better the environment by being one less driver and the donation of my car would benefit the SF Bicycle Coalition.
Are there any benefits to riding your bike around the city that you can share?
I love being on a bike and doing something that ultimately is better for my health and the environment. It’s had a positive effect on my life.
What changes have you seen in San Francisco since you’ve started biking?
There is much more awareness and accommodation for cyclists in the city and it seems to continue to grow. The amount of people who ride seems to increase every year. I feel like more and more people are riding bicycles, it’s exciting to picture the future with that continuing to be the case.
Donating your new or used car to the SF Bicycle Coalition is an investment in our streets and neighborhoods and provides a tax benefit for you. Proceeds from the sale of a donated vehicle are fully tax-deductible.
The SF Bicycle Coalition uses CarProgram to accept vehicle donations. To find out how easy it is to donate your car, check out our webpage