Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 55
  1. #1
    Doomsled funbun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    My Bikes
    Trek 800
    Posts
    661
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Are any of you guys car free? My truck is costing me close to 4 grand a year to operate. With that kind of cash I could give to church, save, take a vacation. How do you make the transition to car free? I was thinking of parking my truck at my parents house for a month or so. That way I could get the feel for what I would be like. Any tip or recommendations would be appreciated.
    Last edited by funbun; 09-30-04 at 06:23 AM.
    Check it out:

    Blog The Travelogue

  2. #2
    winter is comming BenyBen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lachine, Quebec, Canada
    My Bikes
    Mikado kensington 2003, "commuterized" 8yr old Mongoose hilltopper SX, Baycrest Hurricane 10 speed
    Posts
    531
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I assume you wanna go car free by relying on a bike? If so I might say that @ first you'll need to get some equipment for your bike, such as panniers, bike clothing, a good tuneup, bike helmet etc... But I bet this would be all repayed soon since you wouldn't be spending money on gas.

    As far as mentally, I guess that depends on your physical shape as well. When I first started, it was hard, and I backed down a couple of times... But now that I think of it, I needed the breaks for my muscles to get used to it. So I'd say go progressively. Start with 3 days a week separated by a driving day. Once you get into the habit of biking, you will get to love it, and you will probably love the days you bike to work.

  3. #3
    Doomsled funbun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    My Bikes
    Trek 800
    Posts
    661
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've already been commuting for about 2 years. My bike is already setup for commuting. I need rain and winter clothing. That's about it.
    Check it out:

    Blog The Travelogue

  4. #4
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    5,175
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The way I see it, I can afford to rent a car / get a taxi ride every now and then if needed. I still save money compared to owning a cage. So, I by no means declare myself "car free", but I use it very little.

    I think your plan sounds good as it is. Give it a go!

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


    Become a Registered Member in Bike Forums
    Community guidelines

  5. #5
    Commuter
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    34
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    How to go car free?

    Quote Originally Posted by funbun
    I've already been commuting for about 2 years. My bike is already setup for commuting. I need rain and winter clothing. That's about it.
    You're already off to a great start, now that you've got the legs and cardio to be able to rely on the bike as your sole transportation.


    Here is a list of potential obstacles I believe you will encounter, as well as helpful suggestions as to how to deal with them (everyone else, please feel free to add to this list to help out):

    Feeling tired - not an obstacle, IMO. I've ridden 50-75 km's after a sleepless night before, and you'll probably discover that your body's limits are much greater than expected. Sometimes when I feel tired at the start of a ride, I find that once I'm warmed up and take it easy for a while, I actually feel better than when I started the ride. So if you're tired, go out and ride anyway, just don't push too hard!

    Hauling large objects by vehicle - obviously there is a limit to what you can carry with a bike, but how often do you need to haul large stuff by vehicle anyway? For those rare occasions, you can often rely on a friend's truck, for example. If not, rent one for a day.

    Long distances - sometimes a good friend calls you up and wants to meet somewhere about 40-50 km's away from your house (80-100 km round-trip). In this case, you can either get ready for a long ride, or take the lazy way out and use a taxi or public transportation.

    Riding in the rain - there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad preparation! Get some fenders if not already done, and a rain gear kit that suits you well.

    Winter riding - do you get much snow and ice in Alabama? If so, consider investing in Nokian studded tyres. Winter gear will also be necessary; check the winter cycling forum or "Icebike" site for advice (forgot the URL).

    Music - don't laugh! Some people (OK, maybe just me!) really miss their car stereo when out riding. You can either use a walk-man, or set-up a stereo on your bike.

    Groceries - I've never gone grocery-shopping with my bike yet, but I imagine with appropriate rack & panniers it can be done. I'll let someone else elaborate. Worst case scenario, you can still use public transportation, or go grocery shopping with a friend and offer to split gas costs for the ride.

    Family obligations - such as driving kids to school, soccer, family outings etc. I haven't encountered this problem, so I'll let someone else help out with this.

    Oh and by the way, if cycling is to become your primary / only method of transportation, I'd recommend having at least 2 bikes; 1 for long-distance commuting, and 1 beater for short distances & winter riding.

    That's all I can think of for now. If you can think of any potential obstacle that is causing you to hold back, please share so we can help. Good luck!
    Last edited by Wildcard; 09-30-04 at 11:04 AM.

  6. #6
    winter is comming BenyBen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lachine, Quebec, Canada
    My Bikes
    Mikado kensington 2003, "commuterized" 8yr old Mongoose hilltopper SX, Baycrest Hurricane 10 speed
    Posts
    531
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As far as grocery shopping goes, I do it with my burley nomad trailer. The big advantage is that you can bring it inside, and put your groceries in it. When you pay, you don't need to get bags for most of your food, and simply lay it down the bottom. When you get home, you can simply lift your trailer into the house, and unpack in front of the refrigirator..

    The whole process can be even faster then going shopping by car/taxi.

  7. #7
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
    Posts
    9,622
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BenyBen
    The whole process can be even faster then going shopping by car/taxi.
    Can be, and usually is. Something else to remember here, if you live alone, you can just make more trips to the shop to buy smaller loads. It's surprising just how much time you can save by using the express lanes at the checkout everytime, rather than having to wait behind people who have 30-40 items. Mind you, that only works now that my local supermarket has actually started enforcing the 12 item limits in the express lanes.

    Something else you might consider, pick up a cheap second bike that you can rely on should your main ride ever break down. I recently thought I'd bent an axle on a pre-work ride one morning. Solution, just shove all my work clothes into a back pack and jump on The Green Machine (the name I've given to my old bike). Worked a treat.
    "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.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  8. #8
    Friend of Jimmy K naisme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Minneapolis
    My Bikes
    A lot: Raliegh road bike, 3 fixed gears, 2 single speeds, 3 Cannondales, a couple of Schwinns
    Posts
    1,458
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    First, get rid of the car. I also reccoment getting a second bike, as was said it helps if one gets fritzy with you you have a back up. Of course there is going overboard, as I have and you aquire more than two bikes, last count was 13, and 1 in Tucson at my parents house, so 14. I have 2 that are pretty much exclusive winter bikes, they sat all summer while I rode other bikes, my single speed, my road bike, my mountain bike, the folder. Come winter they all get put away and I depend on the winter "beaters" although this year I do have a cage, and live in the same building as a co-worker so there maybe some driving, but I hate driving, only doing it in some real dire situations. Having gone a winter (last) without a car, it is quite possible to commute with some ingenuity, some grit and determination, you will make it just fine.
    "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"

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    12,074
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Car-free doesn't mean car-less. If I need a car, I hire one for a day or a weekend, or use a taxi. I dont see the point in being a martyr for the cause. I only need a car a few times a year, if that, most of the time it is more effective for me to ride and use public transport.
    You need a practical all-weather bike with luggage capability (something like a tourer), and a backup bike ( a beater or even a folding bike). With the money you save from not owning a car, you can afford to buy decent quality cycling kit. Handbuilt wheels would be my suggestion. Your fun bike (road or MTB) can act as a backup if needed.
    Develop a Plan B if you can't ride due to illness, injury or weather.

  10. #10
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    nyc
    Posts
    8,093
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i'm completely car free and have been for 4 years. of course, living in new york, this is pretty common. i couldn't be happier not having a car.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,030
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by funbun
    Are any of you guys car free? My truck is costing me close to 4 grand a year to operate. With that kind of cash I could give to church, save, take a vacation. How do you make the transition to car free? I was thinking of parking my truck at my parents house for a month or so. That way I could get the feel for what I would be like. Any tip or recommendations would be appreciated.
    Is it possible for you to move out of Alabama???

    What's holding you back? Do you have a job that pays 100K a year? Are you married with five kids? If none of these conditions are true, it's time to move.

    You live in one of those non-transit states that were populated after the turn of the century. Living in a transit friendly city makes going car free a possibility. Becoming car-free is easy if you're living in the city and a nightmare if you're living in the middle of nowhere.

    I live accross the street from a supermarket. My job is 15 miles away and can be reached by train. The light-rail is several blocks away which takes me to the shopping center. In reality, I can buy anything I want as the center of town is just two blocks away. This is what you should strive for.

    You may also become car free by moving closer to your job. Any place that's within 5-10 miles of your job would be an excellant location to relocate. Furthermore, if you move to an area that's close to a supermarket or shopping center and not far away from your job, this would also be idea. There are many people like myself who moved closer to a commuter rail line or lightrail. This way you can walk/bike to the train station and commute to work this way each morning.

    Why do I want you to move? Doing what you're doing is more expensive.

    Over the next five years, you'll spend close to $25,0000 thousand pre-tax dollars on this truck. You're probably upside down on the loan so this will be a hard lesson. The truck will need to be sold after year six, and you'll do this all over again with a new car purchase. Over the next 20 years, you'll spend over 100K for transportation costs and I didn't account for inflation! This is enough to buy a new home or fund your retirement. At this rate, you'll spend the rest of your life paying off a new automobile accumulating nothing but receipts. I find many people realize this classic mistake in their mid to late 30's but others continue the rat race the rest of their lives.

    I'm glad you finally came to the conclusion that your transprotation costs are driving you into the ground. There are millions of others in this country that will spend 20-30 percent of their entire life-time earnings for their transportion costs. Why do you think bankrupty rates are so high in this country? It's because Americans have the most expensive transportation costs in the world due to motor car ownership.

    By the way, I'm car free.

  12. #12
    Doomsled funbun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    My Bikes
    Trek 800
    Posts
    661
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Right now I'm a graduate student at the Universiy of Alabama. I will graduate in May 2005. I plan to pursue a drgree in Counseling in the fall of 2005 to be bomce a liscensed professional counselor. I have calutated since I've had the truck it has cost me about $30,000. I could have bought 10 Greenspeeds for that price or paid of a hugh chunk of my student loans.
    Check it out:

    Blog The Travelogue

  13. #13
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    My Bikes
    EZ-1 Super Cruiser (recumbent), Giant for
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm not sure what they have for transit in Tuscaloosa, if that's where you are located. (I'm not sure if I found the right place on the map, either.) Most of the college campuses I've seen are very bicycle-friendly, and some of the bigger schools have transit as well. I saw a U.A.B at Birmingham on my map. If this is the University of Alabama at Birmingham, probably the city has transit. The transit authority here in Columbus just put bike racks on the buses. If you have that, your transportation issues will resolve themselves pretty easily.

    If I'm right, your weather issue will be heat rather than cold. Drink lots of water (two large water bottles or a hydration pack is not too much). Getting acclimated by riding every day will help a lot, too.

    I found a "beach cart" at Sam's Club last year. It's something like the wire grocery carts hardware stores sell, but much larger and with a net bag instead of a wire basket. If you use anything other than a conventional bike cart, I highly recommend looking up "TrailerOn" on the internet. They sell hitches that go between your bike seat post and almost any cart you could buy (child's wagon, golf cart, my beach cart, wire basket cart . . .). The beach cart or the wire-basket cart go especially well in shopping. Plus, much of the time they eliminate the need for bags, another environmental plus. I bought the beach cart rather than the wire-basket cart because it's so much easier to walk with the beach cart (the handles are longer).

    My wife still has a car. I use it to get to a specific 12-step meeting that's far from bus lines, held at night and is more than 10 miles from home. I still use the car for some other things, but I have used bikes for all except that one meeting before, and I will again if I need it or get tired of owning cars.

  14. #14
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    St. Petersburg, FL
    My Bikes
    2004 Raleigh Talus, 2001 Motobecane Vent Noir (Custom build for heavy riders)
    Posts
    5,828
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by funbun
    Are any of you guys car free? My truck is costing me close to 4 grand a year to operate. With that kind of cash I could give to church, save, take a vacation. How do you make the transition to car free? I was thinking of parking my truck at my parents house for a month or so. That way I could get the feel for what I would be like. Any tip or recommendations would be appreciated.
    I jsut jumped right into it, and had some very supportive firends who would give me a ride for those days I jsut couldnt do it.

    Part of my change was my car was unusable anyways, engine blew up and costed more than the car was worth running. It took about 3 months to fully feel good with it living downtown...just now I'm felling comfortable about going distances on my bike everyday....like going to the next town, and such.

    Best tip is to get your bike equipped with a nice rack and a large set of panniers your heels wont hit. Also, if you must use a kickstand, get a double-leg motorcycle style. They are costly, but they will keep your bike from falling over under the weight of your panniers. Get a halogen of HID headlamp for your bike, and a rather large rear LED tailllight, to ensure your night riding safety.

    Keep in mind a daily rider of this nature is not goin to look super nice after a year...so have a bike jsut for this purpose. My old diamondback outlook was great for this, since it was cheap enough to not worry about scratching up, but of decent enough quality and design that I could ride it anywhere and have full faith in it's ability to endure. If a roadbike is your thing, try an older or base model. just make sure you would be comfortable riding it for extended periods of time. my gague is if I cant ride it for at least an hour without stopping, then it's not comfortable enough.

    You body may vary, but I found oversized soft grips were great. I used pedro's dice grips, since they were soft, and extremely long...allowing me to alter my hand positions somewhat... for the seat I went for a nice split-saddle, with good amounts of padding right where it's needed. For pedals I just used platforms with half-toeclips. It wasnt some high performance racer, just a nice workhorse.

    Well, enough of my derailing...basically if your bike is fit for replacing your car, then it's far easier to do so

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,030
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by funbun
    Right now I'm a graduate student at the Universiy of Alabama. I will graduate in May 2005. I plan to pursue a drgree in Counseling in the fall of 2005 to be bomce a liscensed professional counselor. I have calutated since I've had the truck it has cost me about $30,000. I could have bought 10 Greenspeeds for that price or paid of a hugh chunk of my student loans.
    I underestimated the cost of your vehicle.

    I actually used a lower number because AAA estimates that automobile ownership to be around 4-6 thousand per year. This is after-tax dollars so you will actually have to earn 5 to 8 thousand dollars if you want to drive. Excluded from your 4K a year are gas, tolls, tickets, parking and repairs. These expenditures are also spent with after tax dollars making it much more costly than you think. In total, you've probably spent closer to 40 thousand dollars for your vehicle.

    My cost are a fraction what you're spending. My monthly lightrail ticket is $53 dollars per month. Since it's a monthly pass, I can use it on the weekends and holidays for free. My rail ticket is an additional $40.00 dollars making my total transportation costs a whopping $93.00 per month or $1,116.00 dollars per year. Since these tickets are purchased using a company "Transit Check" program using pre-tax dollars, my actual cost are a little over $900.00 dollars per year. Overall, I've spent about $4,500.00 dollars over the past 5 years in total. When you think about it, you've outspent me in transportation costs 8 times (closer to 9!) over the same period. Incredible.

    When I graduated from college, I didn't have student loans. I basically paid for my college by working part time at a supermarket. Not having a car enabled me to put all my money into my education. As a result, I graduated from college debt free. Several of my friends who owned cars never finished college. My best friend at the time bought a new vehicle and just ran out of money.

    It was only after I purchased my first car that debt finally caught up to me. I used credit cards to pay for repairs, gas and insurance. Since I paid the minimum, the amounts never got lower and incresed over time nearly sending me into bankruptcy. Several years ago, I decided to have a career change and went back to school financed using student loans. Since I had a car, there was no way I could save up enough money and ended up borrowing thousands of dollars. I'm still paying off those loans much faster now that I'm car free. I've learned my lesson.
    Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 10-01-04 at 08:15 PM.

  16. #16
    very. highly. focused.
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    My Bikes
    Trek 7200
    Posts
    65
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm car free, and have been for years - long before I got my bike. I've been lucky enough (smart enough? ) to live in cities with decent public transportation (Houston, Seattle, now Chicago). PB (pre-bike!) the El or the bus took me anywhere I needed to go; and for the few places they wouldn't, I'd borrow my room mate's car, maybe once every two months or so.

    Now, with the bike, I've cut my transportation costs even further. That $75/month transit pass is no more. I have Peapod deliver my groceries when I need a large order and bike to the store otherwise. I've got a grocery store, a starbucks, a movie theatre or three, several great restaurants, parks, and Lake Michigan within just a couple of blocks, and I don't live in one of the expensive areas of the city.

    Switching to a bike commute to work was the best thing I've ever done for myself -- I feel better, I look better, I think better, and I save money. Let go of the truck! Free the humans!
    ~

    --Merry

  17. #17
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
    Posts
    9,622
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    make sure that you don't mind carrying heavy crap around without the car
    It's called a Taxi. Now how many times a year do you really need to carry around "heavy crap?" I haven't so far this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    and that you don't mind not having access to many places...
    I'm yet to find one that I couldn't access just as well on my bike.
    "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.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,030
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    make sure that you don't mind carrying heavy crap around without the car and that you don't mind not having access to many places...
    Over the past four years, I've purchased a wide screne television set, washing machine, refrigerator, all my grocery shopping, Christmas shopping and relocated to a new city without a car.

    In fact, I never lifted or transported any of the heavy items. I used a telephone and paid people to move them.

    I've probably travelled more this year than ever before in my life. Using commuter rail roads and my bicycle, I've visited just about every location that ever visited to in my life this past summer for a fraction of what it would have cost to drive there.

  19. #19
    Member obscenesimian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Las Vegas
    My Bikes
    Cannondale R800, GT Avalanche 1.0, 1981 Peugeot UO8, Surly crosscheck
    Posts
    42
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    1. the advice above is good.

    2. sell the truck.

    3. Move closer to work\school

    4. Voila!!! you are now car free.

    enjoy your fat wallet and improved physical and mental health.

  20. #20
    NFL Owner monogodo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Irving Heritage District
    My Bikes
    7-Eleven Eddy Merckx, Vitus Futural, Catamount FRS, Colnago SL, SS MTB
    Posts
    1,486
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've been car-free off and on for a few years. The first time was the summer of 2000, when my BMW died, and I couldn't afford to replace it. I rode my bike, or bummed rides off of friends, to and from work 12 miles each way. The best part of it was that I worked 3rd shift, so I was riding at 11pm to work, and it was cool out, so I didn't work up much of a sweat. The way home at 9am or so was a different story, but I didn't care because I was just gonna go to bed when I got home. I ended up being in great shape by the end of the summer, and did the Hotter 'n Hell Hundred. Sadly, that was the last time I regularly rode my bike, because I bought a car at the end of that summer, and no longer had the need to ride.

    I'm now car-free again (kinda - my wife has a car, I don't). I'm still not riding, but that's only because Texas summers are too hot for me right now (dehydrated at Hotter 'n Hell one year, heat is rough on me ever since), and I live across the street from where I work. Well, across the street and around the corner, I can be at work in less than 5 minutes walking.

    I like having cars, I love driving. I also love riding, and miss it. I need to go clean up the Eddy and take it out soon.
    198? Colnago Super (Campy Record) | 1989 Eddy Merckx 7-Eleven Team Issue (Dura Ace) | Catamount MFS (1x8) | Top Image Neptune (SS)

  21. #21
    Guest
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Wildcard
    How to go car free?



    You're already off to a great start, now that you've got the legs and cardio to be able to rely on the bike as your sole transportation.


    Here is a list of potential obstacles I believe you will encounter, as well as helpful suggestions as to how to deal with them (everyone else, please feel free to add to this list to help out):

    Feeling tired - not an obstacle, IMO. I've ridden 50-75 km's after a sleepless night before, and you'll probably discover that your body's limits are much greater than expected. Sometimes when I feel tired at the start of a ride, I find that once I'm warmed up and take it easy for a while, I actually feel better than when I started the ride. So if you're tired, go out and ride anyway, just don't push too hard!

    Hauling large objects by vehicle - obviously there is a limit to what you can carry with a bike, but how often do you need to haul large stuff by vehicle anyway? For those rare occasions, you can often rely on a friend's truck, for example. If not, rent one for a day.

    Long distances - sometimes a good friend calls you up and wants to meet somewhere about 40-50 km's away from your house (80-100 km round-trip). In this case, you can either get ready for a long ride, or take the lazy way out and use a taxi or public transportation.

    Riding in the rain - there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad preparation! Get some fenders if not already done, and a rain gear kit that suits you well.

    Winter riding - do you get much snow and ice in Alabama? If so, consider investing in Nokian studded tyres. Winter gear will also be necessary; check the winter cycling forum or "Icebike" site for advice (forgot the URL).

    Music - don't laugh! Some people (OK, maybe just me!) really miss their car stereo when out riding. You can either use a walk-man, or set-up a stereo on your bike.

    Groceries - I've never gone grocery-shopping with my bike yet, but I imagine with appropriate rack & panniers it can be done. I'll let someone else elaborate. Worst case scenario, you can still use public transportation, or go grocery shopping with a friend and offer to split gas costs for the ride.

    Family obligations - such as driving kids to school, soccer, family outings etc. I haven't encountered this problem, so I'll let someone else help out with this.

    Oh and by the way, if cycling is to become your primary / only method of transportation, I'd recommend having at least 2 bikes; 1 for long-distance commuting, and 1 beater for short distances & winter riding.

    That's all I can think of for now. If you can think of any potential obstacle that is causing you to hold back, please share so we can help. Good luck!

    What he said.

    Seriously, though. I've never owned a car. In the short time I drove a car when I was in high school, I think I drove 2 times, and got into an accident on one of those occasions. So it's all bikes for me, and if the need arises, I can take public transportation, like when my little nephews come to visit, and I need to cart them around the city, or when I am travelling, and I need a taxi to get me to O'Hare airport. Other than that, it's all by bike.

    For grocery shopping, consider doing short trips during the week or doing one big trip. You can get a rack and fill the panniers with groceries or get a burley trailer if you want to do it all at once. Sometimes, I just walk, like I did yesterday. I came back from grocery shopping with enough groceries to last me for a few weeks easy. I got one of those grocery carts from Target and I walk the mile to the store and get my groceries, then drag them home. Sometimes, though, I just do the short trip and get a really big messenger bag and fill it up with 3 or 4 bags of groceries (the plastic bags). I've never had a problem with grocery shopping, and I will grocery shop in all types of weather. It's not a big deal at all.

    Riding in the rain is exactly what he said- the fenders will save your bike, and you should really consider getting a beater bike. I would never take my good bike out in the snow and rain, and even my beater bike has fenders... I want it to last too! You can get some pretty cheap rain gear from performancebike.com that will keep you dry. When you get finished with your ride in the rain, just be sure to do some preventative maintenance on your bike to ensure that the bike is fully dried off and water isn't trapped inside your bike. When I get home from the rain, I put my bike on the repair stand and wipe it all the way down. I relube when necessary, and I'll turn my bike upside down to ensure all the water drips out of it. I have very little rusting on my bikes.

    If I have family obligations (ie my nephews or something along those lines), I use public transportation or beg a ride off people (rare). I can't wait until my nephews get old enough and my brother says it's ok for them to ride with me, though. They love to ride, but my brother just thinks they're too young to be manipulating traffic in downtown Chicago. I agree.

    A bit of advice for you if it does get cold over there- keep riding when the weather transitions from the hot to the cold. If you do, you can adapt to the cold a lot easier than if you stopped when it got cold, then tried to start up. I'll ride in the mornings as long as it's more than 45 degrees F, but then again, I didn't stop riding at all this year, not even when I was feeling a bit fatigued lately, and it was 40 degrees this morning. I layered well, and if it hadn't of been for those sandals I decided to wear, I would have been fine, but my toes were freezing! It's time to put the sandals away, I guess. But since I could do it, I know I probably can ride the early mornings (before sunrise) probably from 30 degrees. Otherwise, I'll just wait until the sun is up and do my riding then.

    Always carry a multitool, a spare inner tube, a patch kit, a CO2 pump with a couple of cartridges, and a hand pump at the very least. You never know when you're going to hit a piece of glass or something. And if you don't know how to change a tire, learn. It will probably be the thing you do the most when it comes to bike repair! And always make sure the bike(s) you ride are well maintained.

    Can't think of anything else, except take bathroom breaks when you can if you do the long commutes. You never know when you're going to get to the next bathroom, and seriously, I just can't do the bushes!

    Koffee

  22. #22
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    St. Petersburg, FL
    My Bikes
    2004 Raleigh Talus, 2001 Motobecane Vent Noir (Custom build for heavy riders)
    Posts
    5,828
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    BTW, I know some of you love your cars to death...I do as well. At one point I aspired to get myself into racing. I'm not too bad a the driving part of it, I just never had the funding to afford it. To even like racing you have to be very fond of cars./..so my move away from cars really sucked for the first few months.

    ...Now, I just get that car kick out on racing games on the computer....I still have LeMans 24hours for the PC to get my car kicks out on

    ...but now I am wanting to race bikes...oh well..from one evil to the next, as quickly as we change socks


    ...oh forgot to make a point....point being you may be addicted to your car to teh point of irrationality, but you can find a way to live without the car...and its really not htat hard, its really all in your head.

  23. #23
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Catching his breath alongside a road near Seattle, WA USA
    My Bikes
    1999 K2 OzM, 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte
    Posts
    12,155
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    BTW, I know some of you love your cars to death...I do as well. At one point I aspired to get myself into racing. I'm not too bad a the driving part of it, I just never had the funding to afford it. To even like racing you have to be very fond of cars./..so my move away from cars really sucked for the first few months.
    I wouldn't say I love my Jeep to death but I do like driving it... offroad. And I also like roadtrips. However, because I like driving, I hate to drive. Yes, you read that right. Most of the general public is laxidazical in their driving and don't give it the proper professionalism and attention I believe is required thus driving in traffic today has the potential for becoming an infuriating experience. I don't normally drive during the week. On weekends I will usually do a roadtrip with my wife on saturday leaving me a free sunday for biking. During the week, I work from home so my commute is a one-minute crawl from the bedroom to the home-office (truth is sometimes I just work from bed... wireless laptops are so... ahem... convenient) and ride my bike before and/or after work or if I'm driving it's to head to the airport so I can spend the next couple of days both carless and bikeless in another city (usually the Bay Area).

    I have been car-free before both during college and when I lived right in downtown Chicago. I used my bike and public transit to go everywhere although sometimes I took taxis. Of course, for some trips, there was always a friend I could borrow a ride from (usually they wanted to go where I was going). The only times when things were sort of a pain was trying to get from downtown to DPA (DuPage Airport) where the FBO I flew with was located. Public transportation and taxis got expensive until I found a friend who was in the same situation as me but had a beater he kept at his parents house not far from campus.

    Grocery shopping is pretty easy if you're single and don't need to carry much. You can usually get by with some panniers and a backpack. Do yourself a favour and go to a camping supply store and get one of those insulated bags for frozen/cold foods. I don't think a trailer is absolutely necessary unless you're lugging home a big load you just got from Costco or the like. Plan a route during your daily commute that swings by a store on the way home and be diligent about keeping track of what you'll need for the following day. Nowadays there are many grocery stores that will deliver too. Hell, I just got a flyer in the mail for milk delivery from the local dairy. How throwback is that?
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
    "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122

  24. #24
    Just a thought.
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    My Bikes
    * Ciöcc MOCKBA '80, Giant Kronos, Specialized Rockhopper, Battaglin, Motobecane Grand Touring, Italvega, Bridgestone T700 *subject to change without notice.
    Posts
    21
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Wildcard
    Hauling large objects by vehicle - obviously there is a limit to what you can carry with a bike...
    Whenever the limits are mentioned as to what someone can haul with a bike, I think of these exceptions:

    Randy's Piano Move
    Bighorn's Bike Power Move

  25. #25
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Catching his breath alongside a road near Seattle, WA USA
    My Bikes
    1999 K2 OzM, 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte
    Posts
    12,155
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mindfrieze
    Whenever the limits are mentioned as to what someone can haul with a bike, I think of these exceptions:

    Randy's Piano Move
    Bighorn's Bike Power Move
    I admit that those are impressive feats but like those guys on ESPN2's World Strongest Man Competitions who are towing fully-loaded tractor-trailers by gripping a rope with their teeth and grunting for 100 feet, it's not very practical. For instance, I recently had to haul about 500lbs of landscaping bricks 5 miles up the plateau (avg 9% grade hills) to my house. I could not have easily and safely done this on a bike. Likewise, imagine going downhill on a bike towing such a load in a trailer. However, one can haul more than most people think on a bicycle. The Viet-Cong's primary transport vehicle on the infamous Ho-Chi Minh Trail was a singlespeed bike and they used it to haul everything from crates of rifles and grenades to parts for SA-2 anti-aircraft missiles.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
    "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •