Car-Free in Ann Arbor
Ready to take on the car-free life, but not the intense physical activity of bicycle travel (like her husband Dave Askins), Mary Morgan had to find a way to split the difference. "I don't like getting sweaty," she says. "It's just more work to have a bike for me. And I knew that if that was the [only] option I had to use, I probably wouldn't use it."
Morgan left her job as opinion editor at the Ann Arbor News in 2008 and soon afterward teamed up with Askins to launch their government-focused website, AnnArborChronicle.com. With less reason to travel outside downtown than ever before, Morgan swapped her car for something less gas-hungry: a Honda Ruckus scooter. The vehicle isn't quite what the name may conjure up. "When I think of a scooter, what comes to mind is a little, girly Vespa, tooling around with your scarf flying," Morgan says. "This is not like that. It looks more like a motorcycle."
The racing-red vehicle is indeed scrappier and sportier than you might expect, sporting beefy tires and a couple of Chronicle decals. Given its generous onboard storage space, Morgan says her shopping trips are limited only by how much weight she can lug back to the scooter. On the rare occasions when she must have a car--say, when covering an out-of-town regents' meeting--she rents a Zipcar.