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  1. #26
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    I advertised my car on Craigslist and someone bought it--when he came to look at it, he saw I was a bike fiend and offered a Trek 1000 Discovery version for reduced price on the car. I bit on that offer. So, the car now has someone who will get use out of it, and the bike does too. Win-win!
    I've never ridden a post-1986 geared bike. This one is light as a feather, has crazy clip-in pedals, wiggle gear/brake levers with little triggers n stuff like that. It will take me a day to figure out, but Im excited.

  2. #27
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    Cars pollute the environment, contribute to habitat destruction/climate change, and encourage unhealthy sedentary lifestyles. IMO, low occupancy vehicle use is a classic tragedy of the commons. While I guess I support the right to choose to abuse cars, users should pay for their societal costs. IMO, cigarette taxation and advertising limits provide a good example of how we as a society should treat low occupancy motoring.
    We tax fuel. Just not enough.
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  3. #28
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
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    Good for you! I have a similar plan to become a one-car family. We currently have a 12-year-old Toyota Corrolla and a 7-year-old RAV4. We leave town in the summers and rely on the RAV to get us about 1500 miles from home with everything we need for ourselves and the dog for an entire summer, so I doubt we'll ever be car-free. The Corrolla, though, has become expendable now that I commute on bike. In a couple of years, I think we'll move into a part of town where shopping, restaurants, etc. are more convenient. At that point, we'll sell the car and keep the RAV basically just for summers and the occassional trip out to the burbs to go to Costco.

  4. #29
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    When I ride into outer east portland I always see large groups of people waiting at bus or light rail stops. The carless poor use public or active transport and survive so I just don't buy the it's not practical argument.
    I was car free for 5 years and car light for many years before that... the need to travel back and forth to Portland got me back into driving since I was making frequenbt trips and the cost to drive was on par with air travel, which I despise for many reasons.

    Now we are back to being car light, two vehicles will not increase our mileage as we limit that... this evening my wife and daughter went to Ikea with the "new" Jeep and suspect they will need the cargo space for the shelving they plan to pick up while I am preparing to ride out to teach a cycling class.

    When I was in Portland I would park my car and we'd ride everywhere save for taking pleasure trips into the gorge and out to the coast... our car is quite fuel efficient but runs very well and we'll probably keep it from hitting the landfill for another ten years (it is a '93).

    I was also commuting from the SE to the north side for classes a few years back... a city like POrtland makes this easy while the distances here tend to be much furthewr and the infrastructure for cyclists is still lacking in many areas.

    If I visit my family on my own I ride the 50 miles, if the family is visiting we drive sine the ladies aren't quite up to that distance yet.

    Hauling oxygen and propane tanks on a bike is not advisable and bundles of tubing stock are rather heavy... a truck makes this easy and I can claim operating expenses for that.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    When I ride into outer east portland I always see large groups of people waiting at bus or light rail stops. The carless poor use public or active transport and survive so I just don't buy the it's not practical argument.
    Lots of places have poor public transportation and bike infrastructure. Not as viable elsewhere.

    being careless is easy if you only have one 'thing'. School, job, family, whatever. The more 'things' you have the less practical being careless is in just about all metro areas.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I was car free for 5 years and car light for many years before that... the need to travel back and forth to Portland got me back into driving since I was making frequenbt trips and the cost to drive was on par with air travel, which I despise for many reasons.

    Now we are back to being car light, two vehicles will not increase our mileage as we limit that... this evening my wife and daughter went to Ikea with the "new" Jeep and suspect they will need the cargo space for the shelving they plan to pick up while I am preparing to ride out to teach a cycling class.

    When I was in Portland I would park my car and we'd ride everywhere save for taking pleasure trips into the gorge and out to the coast... our car is quite fuel efficient but runs very well and we'll probably keep it from hitting the landfill for another ten years (it is a '93).

    I was also commuting from the SE to the north side for classes a few years back... a city like POrtland makes this easy while the distances here tend to be much furthewr and the infrastructure for cyclists is still lacking in many areas.

    If I visit my family on my own I ride the 50 miles, if the family is visiting we drive sine the ladies aren't quite up to that distance yet.

    Hauling oxygen and propane tanks on a bike is not advisable and bundles of tubing stock are rather heavy... a truck makes this easy and I can claim operating expenses for that.
    Hauling stuff in a truck (for work or household jobs) is another thing all together. I've never criticized that.
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
    being careless is easy if you only have one 'thing'. School, job, family, whatever. The more 'things' you have the less practical being careless is in just about all metro areas.
    yeah...tell that to the carless working poor who work two jobs and have a dependent family. getting the average (able-bodied) person to admit that a car is a privilege and a luxury is like pulling teeth.

    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

  8. #33
    Senior Member raqball's Avatar
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    That's awesome OP.. You still have a car for when / if it's needed and you saved $400 a month.. It's a win, win in my book!

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    yeah...tell that to the carless working poor who work two jobs and have a dependent family. getting the average (able-bodied) person to admit that a car is a privilege and a luxury is like pulling teeth.

    I didn't say it was impossible. I said it becomes less and less practical the busier you are in most places.

    Besides, how much does that person actually SEE their family? Sure, they're surviving but I doubt they're actually living very much.

    I am amung the working poor, and am carless, while going to school full time and working full-time. It is less of a hassle than most people think, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to do it in different parts of town. My life would definitely be a ton easier if I could afford my own motorized transportation.

    not everybody has the option or the means to move in order to enable a carless lifestyle. Or hell, the HEALTH.

  10. #35
    Senior Member Slaninar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    You moved the goal post from "practical" to "convenient".
    Both practical and convenient.

    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    I agree that cars are convenient. I also think that you are underestimating the total cost of car ownership. In USAnia the average cost has been reported to be ~7000 euros per year (and gas is far more expensive in Serbia).
    Yes, but if you drive 4000 km per year or less - i.e. using the car only when you really need one, you don't spend that much - also one could add the alternative costs - car often saves a lot of time, hassle and money if you need to transport more than 2 people with some goods.

    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    Sounds like taking the bus is actually *practical* but not something that appeals. Probably ditto for moving closer to work.
    For my wife it is very impractical. It would take almost one more hour for commuting each work day, plus all the hussle of waiting for one bus, traveling, then waiting for the next half way there...

    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    Cars pollute the environment, contribute to habitat destruction/climate change, and encourage unhealthy sedentary lifestyles. IMO, low occupancy vehicle use is a classic tragedy of the commons. While I guess I support the right to choose to abuse cars, users should pay for their societal costs. IMO, cigarette taxation and advertising limits provide a good example of how we as a society should treat low occupancy motoring.
    I agree with that. However, since we live in capitalism and it's all valued through money, all one can do is pay the price and do the best they can. In my country each litre of petrol is 50% more expensive due to taxes (eco, road use etc...).

    Bicycles also pollute - they need to be built - casting iron, aluminium, tyres - it all polutes. The only really eco way of travel is by train. That's the most eco. So if you're all into eco friendly, find a workplace you can go to on foot and stop using bicycle - go wherever you can by train.


    P.S. If it were on me to decide, I'd ban all the private cars all together - too dangerous and polluting. Only professional bus drivers, few taxis and trains. But the way it is - my several kms per year won't save the planet. Or make it worse. It is all about the money - when they find a way to tax sunshine, we'll all drive electric cars.

    P.P.S. A car is a pinnacle of human technology. If you want to see how tech-advanced we are, you needn't look at space ships and stuff - it's the car. Electronics, mechanics, chemistry - all the tech advancements put into that one product - AND made rather convenient for many people to have. It is a great luxury, no doubt - one man can have 50 or a lot more horsepower at their disposal, be dry and warm in the winter and rain - travel VERY fast, carry a lot of things. That's why I wouldn't be without one - like said previously - I've always had one cheap small car for when it is needed.
    Last edited by Slaninar; 05-03-14 at 12:06 AM.
    Evviva il comunismo e la libertà.

  11. #36
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raqball View Post
    That's awesome OP.. You still have a car for when / if it's needed and you saved $400 a month.. It's a win, win in my book!
    Not having car payment is very liberating and frees up monies for other things... with any vehicle you have to budget for maintenance because parts wear and don't have an indefinite service life.

    I can do a great deal of the work on the Jeep as it is simpler than the car in many respects and I do most of the maintenance on the car as well... shop rates range from $90.00 to $120.00 / hr here

    My Toyota 4-Runner was the most reliable vehicle I ever owned and Toyota trucks are legendary when it comes to this... my 4 cylinder model was rather fuel efficient as well and I would get mileage in the low 30's on road trips.

    My new old Jeep also falls into that category and although it burns a lot more fuel than my car (but less than many full sized trucks) I don't have a car payment to deal with and it will not depreciate like many other passenger vehicles.

    Having the smaller car for trips that don't warrant the use of a truck will also be cost effective, the extra $65.00 a month I pay for the second vehicle's insurance will be more than covered by the thriftier nature of the car which we will use for visiting family who live some distance away.

    Car companies are doing wonderful things with their newer vehicles and even full sized trucks are getting much better economy because of improved transmissions, more economical engines, and lighter materials being used.

    Having modern engines that can run on half their cylinders to conserve fuel is pretty brilliant, the geek in me thinks that the inline 6 in my Jeep could be run in this manner quite easily as inline engines do not have the balance issues of V6's and V8's.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
    Or hell, the HEALTH.
    kind of a catch-22 is it not.
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    kind of a catch-22 is it not.
    little bit, yeah. If you aren't fit it can take forever to get anywhere by bike. I was more referring to people more on the infirm side of things though.

    i certainly wouldn't want want to start riding while out of shape in my moms town, for instance. Sea level to 5300 ft in 17 miles. Lots of hills I used to avoid walking on there. Sure as hell don't want to ride them! Sure you could do it, but it would be damned intimidating to start with, and even more so if you don't have an athletic past to fall back on.

    right now I'm 220, and at the beginning of the year, when I bought my bike, I was 270. I'm not sure I would have been able to ride so much, or so actively, if I didn't have the psychological edge of knowing, 'you used to run 15:xx 5k's, you sure as hell can PEDAL at 10mph for 40 minutes...'.
    Last edited by Sullalto; 05-03-14 at 10:56 AM.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
    little bit, yeah. If you aren't fit it can take forever to get anywhere by bike. I was more referring to people more on the infirm side of things though.
    i was thinking about type ii diabetes which is a major cause of infirmity. (it's also a true story that for some MS patients cycling can give them new mobility and anecdotally induce remission.)
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    i was thinking about type ii diabetes which is a major cause of infirmity. (it's also a true story that for some MS patients cycling can give them new mobility and anecdotally induce remission.)
    Yeah, i know an old guy on the cusp of diabetes. He should be exercising, but his circulation problems are so bad he isn't supposed to put any pressure on his feet. And he's scared of water. So basically, he's ****ed.

    of course, you eat like **** your entire adult life and smoke 2 packs a day for 45 years, and live a sedentary life, yeah, your health is probably screwed and not salvageable.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
    right now I'm 220, and at the beginning of the year, when I bought my bike, I was 270.
    i think there is a tendency to forget just how much money (and time) health saves.
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

  17. #42
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    if the poorest of the poor can be car free the then average bike forum poster can be car free. it's only impractical because people confuse wants with needs.
    This is an asinine and counterproductive response (unless you're really a troll from the auto industry who doesn't want people to give up their cars, in which case, well played).
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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    This is an asinine and counterproductive response (unless you're really a troll from the auto industry who doesn't want people to give up their cars, in which case, well played).
    sustainability is often viewed as asinine and counterproductive by those who have an interest in the status quo. some of them even ride bicycles...
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

  19. #44
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    sustainability is often viewed as asinine and counterproductive by those who have an interest in the status quo. some of them even ride bicycles...
    Ok. Let's assume sustainability is the goal. Your posts are counterproductive towards that goal. Is that clear enough for you?
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  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    Is that clear enough for you?
    i honestly have no idea what you objected too. spell it out.
    Road rash is a precious gift. Road rash is your friend. Bask in it, appreciate it, love it. Above all, learn from it. --Robert Hurst

  21. #46
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
    Yeah, i know an old guy on the cusp of diabetes. He should be exercising, but his circulation problems are so bad he isn't supposed to put any pressure on his feet. And he's scared of water. So basically, he's ****ed.

    of course, you eat like **** your entire adult life and smoke 2 packs a day for 45 years, and live a sedentary life, yeah, your health is probably screwed and not salvageable.
    Diabetes is a disease caused by a poor diet that causes metabolic syndrome / insulin resistance, correcting that poor diet will do a great deal to reverse or even eliminate it even without a great deal of exercise.

  22. #47
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xixiviii View Post
    I didn't post this in the car free section, because I am not car free - just one less car. I had two vehicles, one that was paid for and one that was not. Between the two of them I put less than 10,000 miles on them last year when I wasn't riding to work. One was used mainly for camping and carrying our kayaks, the other I drove to work less than 15 miles round trip each day.

    Recently I have moved and am now less than seven miles from work in a good weather climate (North Texas). I have challenged myself to commute by bike 80% of the time from May to the end of the year which means there would be even less mileage put on them. It just didn't make financial sense to me to make a car payment on a vehicle that might get driven 30 miles on a few Saturday errands while my other may get driven even less.

    I drove to carmax last night and got the newer one (the one with the payments) appraised and was happy to hear they were offering me more than what I owed. Considering that I will likely be driving less than 200 miles a month now it made sense to sell it. The $350 a month payment is now gone as well as my insurance being lowered by almost $50 so I am pretty happy with the choice. Almost $400 less going out each month, I still have a well maintained paid off vehicle (Toyota 4 Runner), and my girlfriend's car gets upper 30's mpg for any road trips where we don't want to break the bank at the pump.

    In regards to commuting by bike, I feel like this is a positive reinforcement.
    I have been using the Jeep a good deal over the weekend to haul stuff that the car won't and like you, appreciate having a car that gets twice the mileage and is a much more economical vehicle for the city and a very good vehicle for road trips where it is just people and not a lot of gear.

    A truck is a terrible commuter, especially a 4 wheel drive as they use more fuel and maintaining them is much more costly when you only use them for short trips... when winter returns it will see more use because of the AWD capability and this will be most beneficial to my wife who has less experience with winter driving.

    Most of our daily travel needs are still covered by using our bicycles (throughout the year) while my daughters use transit to go to and from school.

  23. #48
    Senior Member Blopslee's Avatar
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    Thanks to the OP for posting! Very exciting to read about all of this stuff!

    I work part of the week in another town and already commute when I am in my home city and once I am in the other town, but last year we sold the car I used to make the commute out of town and I started experimenting with the whole folding bike amtrak thing. Selling the car brought in over $500/ month for us and I was able to convince my wife to let me build up a new commuter for groceries/ daily work in a addition to buying the folding bike for the trian. The switch has been awesome overall for us and I lover hearing about how others are thinking through this stuff.

  24. #49
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    congrats!

    i agree with the others and keep an old Audi around for situations that require a car (i.e. trains don't run that early/late). i guess that i could take a taxi to the airport (but that's usually €200 round-trip).

    its' a 1994 Audi A4 in reasonable shape.

    i paid €2700 and it costs roughly €1000/year (with insurance, maintenance and fuel).

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  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I have been using the Jeep a good deal over the weekend to haul stuff that the car won't and like you, appreciate having a car that gets twice the mileage and is a much more economical vehicle for the city and a very good vehicle for road trips where it is just people and not a lot of gear.

    A truck is a terrible commuter, especially a 4 wheel drive as they use more fuel and maintaining them is much more costly when you only use them for short trips... when winter returns it will see more use because of the AWD capability and this will be most beneficial to my wife who has less experience with winter driving.

    Most of our daily travel needs are still covered by using our bicycles (throughout the year) while my daughters use transit to go to and from school.
    First of all - thank you guys for the supportive comments - it really is appreciated and is highly motivating.

    I totally agree that having a utility vehicle is great for the hauling Sixty Fiver...it's what gets our kayaks to the lakes as well as our camping adventures.

    So I had an interesting weekend after making the original post last week...

    The 4Runner has been flawless for its entire life, and at 130,000+ I am ready to start knocking off preventative maintenance things as well as immediate maintenance needs. On Saturday afternoon (first weekend after selling the other car) we used it to run a few errands and I noticed it starting to overheat (mid 80's in Texas with about 20 degrees still to go this summer). I pulled over and saw that the radiator was leaking. I looked at my girlfriend and we had a good laugh. I couldn't have scripted it any better - no more payment, immediately followed by leaking radiator...

    I spent Sunday morning changing the radiator, thermostat, new coolant, etc. Strangely I was happy to do it - made me love not having a payment even more. I spent $225 approximately and should never have to worry about a radiator again for the life of the vehicle. I am used to making a car payment - so my thought for the next few months was that I would put that money towards preventative maintenance and make the 4R perfect. Then I can settle into having some extra disposable income / savings / etc. while enjoying my new work commute lifestyle.

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