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  1. #1
    Senior Member firebolt's Avatar
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    Eleven Consequences You May Face If You Give Up Your Car

    http://www.unconventionalideas.com/givupcar.html

    Eleven Consequences You May Face If You Give Up Your Car
    By JOHN O. ANDERSEN
    January 21, 2003


    Warning: If these sound horrific, by all means don't think another second about parting with your wheels.


    1. You'll have to get used to packing less into each day. For instance, most evenings will be family and home-centered. On Saturdays, instead of everyone going in five different directions, you may end up having to go places together, and share the experience.

    2. Your kids will be forced to ride their bikes, or walk instead of being chauffeured everywhere. And because of the effort required to get around, they may not be able to fit in two sport teams, after school music lessons, and school clubs all in the same week.

    3. You may need to take up old hobbies like cooking, gardening, or reading to fill up the time you formerly spent stuck in traffic while doing errands.

    4. With all of the walking you will be doing as a part of your daily routine, you may be too tired to go to the gym anymore, and your membership may lapse.

    5. If you go places as a family, you may need to get there by foot, bus, or light rail. While waiting for the bus, or train, you'll be forced to engage in conversation.

    6. You may feel compelled to patronize local privately owned stores (where the profits get plowed back into the local community) instead of the big box ones (where the profits go to multinational corporations) you used to reach with a car. And you may even have to equip your bike with a basket on the front and a rack and panniers on the back just so you can do your grocery shopping.

    7. You'll lose the feeling of camaraderie, and esprit de corps you had with all the motorists with whom you formerly shared the road during morning, and evening rush hour.

    8. You may have to give up the suburbs, for housing closer to the city center. You may be forced to get used to having a local park you can reach by foot, rather than by car.

    9. You may have to get your entertainment by listening to the sounds of nature, or noticing trees, flowers, and unique architecture on your daily walks. You may have no choice but to start attending cultural and seasonal events in the city (parades, Christmas tree lightings, picnics, etc.), instead of doing tried and proven fun things like driving down to Blockbuster for a video, pigging out at Taco Bell, or cruising the mall.

    10. Your relationships with 100% car dependent friends may weaken a bit. You may need to get to know your immediate neighbors since you'll be spending less time on the road, and more time in your immediate neighborhood.

    11. Your life will slow way down. Without the fast pace, you risk the potentially uncomfortable feeling of frequently being left alone with your thoughts.

    ****

    If you're frightened with these prospects, then do hold on to your car, and keep things stable in your life. On the other hand, if you think you could embrace some upheaval, and even thrive, then go ahead, ditch the car.

    But don't ever say I didn't warn you.

  2. #2
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    Yeah, when I used to drive it was "rush, rush rush". Now, I do leave earlier to get to my destination but if something comes up and I'm running late......I don't care. I'm so much more layed back now.
    All right partner, keep on rollin' baby, you know what time it is....

  3. #3
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Paige
    Yeah, when I used to drive it was "rush, rush rush". Now, I do leave earlier to get to my destination but if something comes up and I'm running late......I don't care. I'm so much more layed back now.
    Funnily enough, however, I am never late getting anywhere. Unlike some of my car dependent friends. Leaving earlier is a good thing, because it forces me to actually allow enough time to get from point A to point B.
    "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.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I notice Chris' point when I commute by bike.. Takes a little longer but I feel less rushed.. Do not sense the waste of time being stuck in traffic.. Worry less about being late.. I know how long it takes and that is usually what it takes..
    On bike I have time to stop at local bakery and take a reasonable snack for a treat for work's pending break..
    That rushed feeling in the car and stuck in traffic feeling- no time for any stops.. By bike, I almost always schedule in some kind of stop for some need or errand..

  5. #5
    Senior Member trmcgeehan's Avatar
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    I can make it to the front entrance at Walmart in 15 minutes on my bike. With my car, it takes 20-25. Parking and walking to the front entrance takes at least 5.
    "I am a true laborer. I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm." As You Like It, Act 3, Scene 2. Shakespeare.
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  6. #6
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    running late: yeah i agree... i know how long it takes on the bike and i plan accordingly. i am almost never late anymore (unless i want to be and do intentionally). in the car i always planned based on less traffic than there really was so i was always rushing to make up the time lost due to traffic... daily life was so much more STRESSED!

    and in the car i had no "time" to stop... on the bike if i want to stop in the park and watch some birds or stop by the river for a few minutes i do.

    other strange side effects:
    ** stay fit without hundres of extra pounds without crazy diets
    ** look and feel younger than your age!
    ** fewer days low in energy or sick and reduced medical expenses
    ** you actually notice the weather and have to spend time outside of climate controlled environments (car/office/home air conditioning)
    ** it's hard to handle, but you actually enjoy the commute to work!
    why drive when you can ride?
    now a fully certified German MTB Guide! (DAV)

  7. #7
    It's in my blood Pete Clark's Avatar
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    And your body will start to change from the consistancy of jello to something firmer, like oak.

  8. #8
    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    The great thing about commuting by bike is that (unless you have a mechanical problem) you know to within a few minutes how long it will take to get there.

    Traffic foul ups don't matter.
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

    1985 Custom built 531c Audax/fast tourer.
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  9. #9
    Carfree Retro Grouch hayneda's Avatar
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    When going anywhere by bike, I find that if I know the distance, I can usually predict my time to the minute. I use the 15 mph rule. If you average 15mph, you are covering a mile every 4 minutes. So just multiply your distance in miles by 4 to get the number of minutes it will take.

    Dave
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  10. #10
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    This morning I drove into work with my wife (we work in the same building). And even though we took a fairly similar route to my bike route and it took a similar amount of time, it felt a lot slower driving it. What was weirder was that I felt really tense sitting at a light, even though I was just riding along in the passenger seat.

    Strange.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I think the essense of the problem.. During commute time, rarely is driving fun.. I enjoy my commute to work by bike.. Makes going to work less of a drag and something to look forward to. At least until you get there.. Bike commuting is normally predictable, unlike driving..

  12. #12
    cycle-powered nathank's Avatar
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    When going anywhere by bike, I find that if I know the distance, I can usually predict my time to the minute. I use the 15 mph rule. If you average 15mph, you are covering a mile every 4 minutes. So just multiply your distance in miles by 4 to get the number of minutes it will take.
    exactly: and the converse - i know how far things are. i was talking to a coworker at lunch and about where we live and i said i live about 10km direct or 11km from work and said, yeah, me too! then we found out he lives about twice as close to work... his DRIVE is 11km, although the real distance is about 6km.

    most people have a really warped sense of how far or close things are - if it's near the interstate or freeway, then it's "close" even if it's 30 miles away... and a few blocks through the neighborhood is "really far"
    why drive when you can ride?
    now a fully certified German MTB Guide! (DAV)

  13. #13
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    "The great thing about commuting by bike is that (unless you have a mechanical problem) you know to within a few minutes how long it will take to get there."

    And of course, you can always have a mechanical problem with your car. Those are much more fun than mechanical problems with a bike-- you have to call a tow truck, stew at the repair shop, add a massive amount to you credit card deficit, and miss work, or where-ever it was you were going to. What fun!

    On a bike, you can repair most mechanical probelms with few small tools and be on your way. Where's the fun in that?

    Although I own a car, I find I can do almost all the things the list above says I'd have to give up if I gave up my car by bicycle. I use bikes for the majority of my transport. If I wanna go to Wal-Mart, I can. If I wanna get a video from Buttbuster (forgive me, I briefly worked at Blockbuster once) I can. I had a student whose parents made him cycle to his lessons at the arts center I teach at, and he didn't seem to have any problems getting to his lessons.

    The only thing I'd give up if I gave up my car is the ability to throw a couple of kayaks on it and drive down to the river and play on warm summer days. I think I'll keep it for that purpose alone.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

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  14. #14
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    Yeah, that really sucks, the one thing that causes one to want/need to keep a car. I haven't driven to work since I started cycling in April 2001, and I badly wanted to get rid of my car. It's a damn A4 that I bought in 1999, before I became enlightened, and I am still paying for it. However, then I realized I need a way to get to all of the bike races this year, since I am starting to do that now. It's ironic that I now need a car to use my bike. ARG!

    Maybe I'll meet enough new friends while racing this year that next year I can pay/compensate them to let me carpool with them to the races. That'd be sweet.
    53-11, Zen.

  15. #15
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I know it is not practical.. I would like to utilize mass transit as much as possible.. Trains will take you bikes lots of places.. I have gotten on the train with my bike- got off at some station and just toured.. Like to think I could do this as needed.. Certainly investigate the option before getting on the miserable freeways..

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    Honestly, some of the people in this country make me sick. It's no wonder we're the most obese nation in the world.. nobody ever goes out and does anything! I'm constantly trying to recruit new riders to the ways of bicyclists but most of them just think I'm insane. I can ride my bike to class in almost half the time it takes me to drive my car, and not only saves me time but money.. all while giving me some time on the bike to get in shape and have a good time. It seems like anything that involves physical exertion is frowned upon in this country.. nobody ever gets outside and does anything anymore! This gas crunch really isn't affecting me that much, especially since I started commuting more on my bike. It saves me probably 40% or more on gas expenses. I only use like half a tank where as I used almost a full tank before. On nice days I see no reason not to ride my bike.
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  17. #17
    It's in my blood Pete Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Jim311
    Honestly, some of the people in this country make me sick. It's no wonder we're the most obese nation in the world.. nobody ever goes out and does anything!
    That's not true, Jim.

    We love to get out to the ball games and watch others do something!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    LOL! So true. Many Americans love to watch great feats of endurance, but getting out and doing them is just a little too "extreme" when you can sit on your ass and watch it on TV
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dougmt's Avatar
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    Speaking of saving gas... I SAVE about $6.00 every trip I take to the store/work by taking the bike VS the motorhome. 5 times a week, 52 weeks a year... that's a savings of AT LEAST $1600.00 a year. I could buy a VERY nice brand new bike every year at that rate.
    Doug

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