What have I learned over the last year?
The biggest gains have been in my overall conditioning, big surprise that, and the money we've saved with only one car. Mrs. Yam has been without steady employment for many months now, so the loss of the extra expense of a second car has been a welcome relief from the financial pressure on the Yam household. Licenses, fuel, insurance and general upkeep are, or were, an unnoticed though steady drain of cash and the loss of the second car gained us some badly needed breathing room. Between the bikes and the rechargeable bus card, there are few places I can't go if I haven't access to a car.
Summer is here and this one has been quite a bit cooler than our normal summers and this is quite a relief to your humble narrator. I'm still a winter guy, but with days reaching into the mid 80's and nights pleasantly cool, I can live -- and bike -- with this. I just fear that the other shoe will drop and that shoe will be very cold indeed. I have a winter bike and I've been able to get the clothing mostly right, so our second winter with a single car will be possible.
So, now into my second year of single cardom, what do I expect to see? Hopefully more of the same and perhaps even more time on the bike during the deepest, darkest days of winter. Motivation is difficult to attain when you're biking in the dark most of the time, temps that freeze the water out of the air or snow so thick that walking is faster, but wrapped in my blanket of self-righteousness and donning my cone of smugness, I hope to survive the winter.
Don't consider this an exhortation to drop a car, but see this missive as an example that you can (possibly) get by better than you think and the benefits, though initially well hidden, are there. I'm not anti-car, I still have one after all, but cutting down is completely possible and you may even improve your life a little without the vehicle.