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Thread: Going car-less

  1. #1
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
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    Going car-less

    I have a friend who works on Wall Street in NYC. He lives in Manhattan, and walks to work (30 blocks each way). He doesn't own a car, although he could easily afford one. He and his family rent a car when they want to go out of town. He says he saves $500 a month in parking fees alone, not to mention parking tickets.

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    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Going carless ultimately paid my way through university.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
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  3. #3
    RAGBRAI. Need I say more? Steele-Bike's Avatar
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    Last night after filling up my girlfriends car, I began to think about how much I save by not having a car. She/we put about 50 miles a week on the car, so gas prices are not really a factor. When only factoring in routine maintenance, gas and insurance, I estimate she spends $1500-2000 per year. Even though I bike to work and she takes the bus to school/work, what it all comes down to is that it is expensive to own a car, even if you don't use it.

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    山馬鹿 Spire's Avatar
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    When you live in a city (espicially with transit such as subway nearby), the need for a car really dimishes. I can walk to the grocery store, to the bike shop (well, I'd rather ride there) and pretty much everything else I need, otherwise I have 2 subway stops on different lines less than 5 minutes from the house. Why would I need a car on a daily basis? Espcially since I go to school 4 blocks away!
    http://www.cyclistsroadmap.com/eng/ - Cyclists' road map. Checkout which roads are good for cycling and rate roads in your area.

  5. #5
    It's in my blood Pete Clark's Avatar
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    The more I avoid driving, the more I feel the strength of independence from tyranny.

    I can't describe how amazingly powerful that makes me feel. Cycling for transportation has added a dimension to my life that
    makes life itself much more precious. Even the simplest of pleasures are magnified.

    I enjoy a simple fresh breeze, green trees, the sweet smells of foliage, the sky, clouds, animals, people, food, drink, relaxing, talking, dreaming...

    I don't feel like I have to "get something" new to be satisfied, now. I am already rich!

    "The world is so full of a number of things
    That I think we should all be as happy as kings."

    (Robert Louis Stephenson?)
    Next in line

  6. #6
    Marathon Cyclist MediaCreations's Avatar
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    I'm still amazed by the attitude of others when it comes to being carless.

    We have a family car which my wife needs to get around the place with the kids etc. I ride my bike.

    I still get people saying "Surely you didn't ride in this weather?"

    I have no choice - I don't have access to a car during the week and they know that. (Not that I'd want to drive anyway.) I wonder if people think I can just pull a car out of thin air on those days that the weather turns nasty.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Going car-less is a long term goal.. Driving to work tonight, took about 7 traffic lights just to exit the interstate.. Driving is so insane, people are about to crack.. I am so much more relaxed when I bike to work.. To go car-less I need be about 10 miles closer to work.. Someday, my wife will have the only car, and usually I will bike commute to work.
    I will be proud. I have encountered others who took the leap and they were proud..

  8. #8
    Carfree Retro Grouch hayneda's Avatar
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    My coworkers are always focusing on the weather . . . "Wasn't it cold this morning?" Or, "guess you didn't ride in today" while they look out the window at a light rain.

    I don't get it. I get to experience something new with the weather day-to-day. I get to be in the outdoors. Every morning's commute is a new adventure.

    Besides, haven't all these folks concerned about the weather ever heard of that great invention--clothes? If its cold, I dress for cold. If its wet, I dress for wet.

    We've all probably heard that old saying about "not smart enough to come in out of the rain," but what about "not smart enough to put on a rain jacket or fleece vest?"

    Dave
    Bikes are either fixed or broken

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    Senior Member tchazzard's Avatar
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    My office is the same. I always hear, did you really ride?, are you crazy?, do you need a ride home? I only excepted a ride home once, well actually it was not all the way home. It was snowing really hard. I told a fellow employee the route I was riding home on and to look for me. I made it 5 out of 8 miles before he caught up to me. The snow was deep and packed in places....making it hard for me to keep the bike under control...with cars sliding all over the place. So in the van went the bike.

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    Everyone at work thinks I'm crazy, they tell me all the time, My family thinks I'm crazy, they tell me also, At intersections I've had people in cars tell me the same. But we know differently, don't we? The truth be known, they are just too dammd lazy and caught up in the rat race to truely enjoy the real world. The world is a much better and more beautiful place when looked at from the seat of bike. Why do we ride? Because we want to, that's why. It's as simple as that.
    Achieve your goals: Attitude is everything:

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    Bike Happy DanFromDetroit's Avatar
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    Regarding weather:

    I have actually come to enjoy weather that most other folks find uncomfortable. If I am dressed properly (Gortex is magical stuff), I can actually appreciate rain or very cool temps.

    As a matter of fact, since I have been commuting with the bicycle or on foot, I am able to be comfortable across a wider range of temperatures, even indoors. My co-workers seem to be too hot or too cold most of the time, and I hardly notice. I chalk this up to improved blood circulation. Or maybe my body has just gotten to be very adept at regulating it's temperature.

    regards
    Dan
    There is nothing homlier than the face on your last dime.
    --John Wildcat, Greenback Friend

  12. #12
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    To all you folks that are able to ride bikes to work... I am jealous and happy for you. Wish my job allowed it.


  13. #13
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Garbar. This is directed at you. Do you think motorists in Temecula are about at wits end. Temecula puts in like 7-10 homes a day. Each month, the traffic seems to take on new dimensions.. Two days ago I commuted by bike the trip 1 3/4 hour. By car yesterday- one hour.. But much less frustrating..
    The freeway is the worst place to be if you want to move.. Coming down the 1-15 hill from the south, you always suspect the freeway has stopped due to a traffic accident.. Going out Winchester Road, the cars drive insanely.
    Do you find bike commuting faster? Co-workers are so frazzled- I think they are considering different jobs to get out of this rat race caused by the horrendous traffic. I almost think once you get into central San Diego the traffic moves better than Temecula..?
    How are you doing. Does the speedway on our favorite wine route, cause our bike commute on the wine road to be less desirable ?

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by cyclezealot
    Garbar. This is directed at you. Do you think motorists in Temecula are about at wits end. Temecula puts in like 7-10 homes a day. Each month, the traffic seems to take on new dimensions.. Two days ago I commuted by bike the trip 1 3/4 hour. By car yesterday- one hour.. But much less frustrating..
    The freeway is the worst place to be if you want to move.. Coming down the 1-15 hill from the south, you always suspect the freeway has stopped due to a traffic accident.. Going out Winchester Road, the cars drive insanely.
    Do you find bike commuting faster? Co-workers are so frazzled- I think they are considering different jobs to get out of this rat race caused by the horrendous traffic. I almost think once you get into central San Diego the traffic moves better than Temecula..?
    How are you doing. Does the speedway on our favorite wine route, cause our bike commute on the wine road to be less desirable ?
    I don't think their at wits end yet. My buddy is on our traffic commission. Our infrastructure, which isn't much, is getting taxed during rush hour. However, the rest of the time, it's pretty easy to go anywhere. I go to No SDcty for my bike related issues and it takes 30mins on Sat. No matter how you cut the pie, traffic in the surrounding Temecula Valley is much easier to cope with verses SDcty or Octy, which is where I moved from. SDcty is way worse during rush hour. Our building community is going crazy. :confused: And, everyone commutes either No or So on the 15frwy. What sad is that our slow growth committee is struggling to get new supporters because housing prices are going crazy. Everyone I know is doubling their home investment, we've almost tripled.

    As for bike commutes, I don't know what to tell you. Most of my riding is on the wkend, so I don't have to contend with traffic like you. I've quit riding on 79, N or S or Rancho CA north, due to crazy commuter traffic. It's tough finding places to ride these days. Oh well...

  15. #15
    It didn't hurt that much. Ouch !'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by mrfix
    Everyone at work thinks I'm crazy, they tell me all the time, My family thinks I'm crazy, they tell me also, At intersections I've had people in cars tell me the same. But we know differently, don't we? The truth be known, they are just too dammd lazy and caught up in the rat race to truely enjoy the real world. The world is a much better and more beautiful place when looked at from the seat of bike. Why do we ride? Because we want to, that's why. It's as simple as that.
    I wish I wrote that.
    Life can be Beautiful, you just have to look.

  16. #16
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Garbear.. My drive through Temecula is at the 5-6 pm rush. CA 79 is nuts..You wait so long to make turns at intersections without lights, people are going nuts. You can not get out without taking a risk. I generally do not ride in Temecula other than my work commutel- so I do not experience conditions when they are slower.. The wine road is a great ride and on the ocassional Saturday's I get over there, it is very enjoyable. St route 79 which I use has mostly wide bike lanes and I see lots of other cyclists using it..
    Maybe should traffic come to a halt in Temecula, we will see a greater percentage of cyclists. During the rush hour that seems a possibliity.. Developers run that town. I see no chance of slowing down the growth.. From what I hear the advocates of slower growth show up at public meetings, they are treated as weirdos...
    All I know at one time my commute via auto took 25 minutes- it now can take 15 minutes to get off of a freeway exit ramp..

  17. #17
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Garbear.. I have always commuted by bike to work in Temecula on Friday nights. Since I have to do an extra OT day, (PM shift) I did the unusual and drove my car.
    Just getting from downtown Fallbrook to Interstate 15, it took me about 30 minutes. Thought there must have been an accident up ahead. No ! Never saw one.! It was just so much traffic entering the Freeway and the freeway backed up- it backed up traffic for about 5 miles almost all the way into town... Traffic moved about 5 miles an hour for about 4 miles. Much of the time it was totally stopped...What caused the freeway to back up that much?? I have no clue. At the freeway intersection I decided to use surface roads- but as said, the surface road was backed up due to the inablility of the freeway to move traffic..I think...
    God, such commutes causes a person to see red. I was about 20 minutes late. I was totally frustrated before even getting into Temecula traffic.. Since I almost always commute by bike on Friday nights, Mabye this could be NORMAL?
    As stated on an earlier entry, the commute by car used to take about 35 minutes. Tonight it took about 1 hour and 15 minutes. By bike as I speed by the non-moving cars- it takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes..
    And we wonder why there is so much road rage. We can only take so much.. Maybe if we are lucky and gas goes to $7 a gallon, we will have other alternatives and a car- less society and a saner population.

  18. #18
    It's in my blood Pete Clark's Avatar
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    Intown, the road design is "grid," offering a number of pleasant options for the bike commuter. There are some drawbacks, such as on-street parking and rough pavement. But the low speed limits are great.

    Suburban riding has two options for me: arteries with two lanes, or four lanes. The four-lane arteries are really better, because they are wide, smooth, and allow traffic to pass more easily; most cars pass me on these roads without even leaving the lane. The two-lane arteries were once less congested, but they have outlived their usefulness. I ride them because I have to.

    No wonder more people are moving back to the old neighborhoods--they can get to work in 10 or 15 minutes.
    Next in line

  19. #19
    Friend of Jimmy K naisme's Avatar
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    Garbear, I don't understand, your job doesn't allow you to bike? How can they dictate the ways and means their employees make it to work? Do they force everyone on mass transit?
    I guess I feel fortunate that both of my jobs allow me to commute. I also live in a pretty decent city for bike commuting. The politics here are pretty screwy though.
    I have enjoyed the adventure of going car-less myself. It happened this summer. It is really cool to be riding over the traffic clogged hiway and see the steel coffins sitting there. There is the exhileration of looking up at the night sky and see Orion on the way home. There's the smells at night of cooking, log fires, decaying leaves, restaurants, along with the traffic.
    I think I enjoy two things most, it's the look on the face of a driver who sees me ride by after he's acted the fool at the last light and raced to get in line at the next, and I pedal past all smug to the front of the line. The other is talking about commuting with others, not necessarily other riders, but normal people who say things like "it's too cold."
    There is just something about not having a car, it is more than just not spending money on gas, insurance, parking space, tickets, moving it on snow days, parking, up keep. Well, you know all the work and cost...
    Last edited by naisme; 11-02-02 at 02:32 PM.
    "I will remain the stranger who came from a faraway land." Lance Armstrong

    "The more you drive, the less intelligent you become." Miller "Repo Man"

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by naisme
    Garbear, I don't understand, your job doesn't allow you to bike? How can they dictate the ways and means their employees make it to work? Do they force everyone on mass transit?
    NO, none of the above... I am one of those CEO's that dictates corporate policy. I live over an 1.5hrs from my office, across a small mtn range and lots of ugly freeway traffic. Consiquently, I only go into my office when it's absolutly necessary. Otherwise, I work from my office at home.

  21. #21
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    As I posted last Friday it took me about 30 minutes to drive about miles.. I talked to a friend and she was coming from the other direction. No the 30 minute drive is not normal. There was an accident, it just became completely cleared before I got to the crash scene...
    It was another case of drivers refusing to wait for constant on-coming traffic to clear and making a left turn into traffic, because turning is impossible..

  22. #22
    Rukopisi Ne Goryat Puckloki's Avatar
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    I'm 35, have never had a car and never will.
    I live in Seattle, my commute is about 8 miles if I go the shortest way. I have no insurance payments, no car payment, no gas. going car-less is a lot easier than people think. You just get used to a different way of doing things. I don't hate cars, but I do think they're way overused. We're a country of stressed out obese junkfood eaters and that's part of the reason why.
    no car
    no license
    never had one
    never will

  23. #23
    Senior Member danr's Avatar
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    PLEASE, INSPIRE ME! I want desperately to go carless. My wife has a car, why do I need one? I keep finding weak excuses to keep the beast. I NEED HELP:irritated

    What really blows is the summer. It is hot and humid out here during the St Louis summers. Riding to and from work is no big deal, since I can change at work (I wear a uniform). However, there are many times I must leave work during business hours, and I don't have time to change out of my long-sleeve shirt and pants. Quitting my job is not an option.
    Does the perfect bike really exist?

  24. #24
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Going carless is really pretty simple. You will make some intelligent lifestyle changes and decide that you don't have to drive all the way across town to save 5 cents on a bag of "on-sale" apples or to go to a gym that takes you 35 minutes in the car to get to/from.

    The biggest thing is that everybody will think you are a kook. Your close friends and family will eventually understand, but others just won't get it.
    Mike

  25. #25
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    I am carless and still go all over town to save 5 cents in fact I usually find more than that on the road on the way lol.I agree with others viewpoint it is really a lifestyle choice of avoiding mindless consumption and unnecessary stress to finance it and spending more time actually enjoying life.

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