If it weren't for the numb toes, bitter winter winds, and sweaty arrival at work I'd happily stay car-free in regional Australia.
Working as a young journalist in Dubbo in the NSW Central West without a car - or driver's licence - is a unique life experience.
Each day, I find myself saying good morning to at least three strangers on my four kilometre cycle to work, who smile and greet me back.
It's a positive start to the day and something I've never done before.
Metro to slo-mo
I've lived in Pune, India (population 7.4 million), then moved to Sydney (population 5.3 million), both big cities with big public transport networks.
It's safe to say I'm a highly experienced public transport user who's never "needed" to drive.
And I figure if Cardi B, Tina Fey, and Robbie Williams can exist without a licence, so can I. (Of course, I don't have a chauffeur. But I do have a headstrong spirit.)
Secret superhero cyclist
So how do I get to places? I cycle, walk, or take a bus.
Taxis are reserved for rainy days and Sundays when buses are not in service.
I also have a great community of colleagues and friends in Dubbo who give me the occasional lift.
But mostly I cycle.
This takes planning - lots of it. I need to check the weather, find a safe place to park my bike, and decide what to carry and what to leave behind.
Now, frost or shine, I put on athleisure wear and zip through rush-hour traffic.
I get to the office and change into work clothes so no one can see me sweating, kind of like Clark Kent and his alter ego Superman.
Fit and carbon footprint-free
I compare my commute to meditation or mindfulness.
Everyday anxieties leave me and I focus only on my surroundings so I can stay safe on the road.
Cycling to work also makes me feel better about not being able to make time for exercise during the week, as well as my carbon footprint.
But my nemesis is the magpie. The infamous swooping attacks force me to keep a watchful eye on the skies.
Magpie-proofing my bike helmet with cable ties is on my to-do list.
Exploring my new home town
Since I moved to Dubbo, winter has been something else.
It's too cold to ride on below-zero mornings; the bitter winds give me a headache and my toes go numb.
This is when I rug up and walk to work.
Once, a woman soaking up the sun in her front yard said my winter walking gear made me look like I was ready to rob a bank.
But my walks also let me explore my new home town of Dubbo. I take different routes along its wide, open streets and notice new things.
I do have plans to get my licence very soon and, once I do, it's over for you, magpies.
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