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Old 08-03-05, 09:19 PM   #1
elliesmom
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Soon to be car-free in Chitown

I'm a transplanted Southerner who, after much deliberation, has decided to give up her car (as of next week) and attempt a car-free life in Chicago...a bit of a challenge, since I live in the City but work 20 miles north in Northbrook AND I've been driving since I was legal (completely different mindset). But, I'm in a situation now which is optimal for at least attempting a car-free existence.

I am glad to find resources, like this community, to learn, share information, and get new ideas/perspectives to manage better the new challenges I'll face.

I had a "practice run" today which didn't go so well...missed the train, had a flat tire, hot/humid day. But, I have the support and expertise of a great bike shop (Rapid Transit in Wicker Park), as well as a few bike commuting co-workers, and am ready to try again tomorrow.

Since I've recently moved to Chicago, I am not sure what to expect this Winter. Like the rest of this, it'll be part of the adventure.
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Old 08-04-05, 09:58 AM   #2
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I had a "practice run" today which didn't go so well...missed the train, had a flat tire, hot/humid day. But, I have the support and expertise of a great bike shop (Rapid Transit in Wicker Park), as well as a few bike commuting co-workers, and am ready to try again tomorrow.
wow... i like your positive attitude! that was one heck of a rough first try... glad you're being so tenacious about it.

i've been car free in rural maryland for years but am adding a bike in the next couple of weeks... can't wait to increase my range of motion and whatnot. i'm REALLY looking forward to winters here... not as rough as what you guys get in chicago, but it'll be intense for riding. i hope you enjoy it! i know i will.
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Old 08-04-05, 10:12 AM   #3
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The cold in the winter is not as bad as the heat in the summer, because you can always add another layer of clothing. When I used to bike commute through the winter I accepted that when there was a heavy snowfall I would use public transit for a few days.
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Old 08-04-05, 10:21 AM   #4
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what about your face & hands... how do you keep them warm? a friend of mine and i were just talking about this the other day and we both suspected those would be the hardest to deal with.
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Old 08-04-05, 02:24 PM   #5
mugglemomof3
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Good luck. I'm going to try and ride to work starting next week, but I only have 5-6 miles to travel, so I am proud of you! And now if my first day doesn't go so well, I'll have to try again!
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Old 08-04-05, 09:19 PM   #6
elliesmom
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Just wanted to follow up and let y'all know today delivered! I had a great commute...made it to the train (and the right platform!!) on time, much faster than yesterday; I didn't have any technical difficulties; and I made it back, safe and sound. The bonus: I met a few other train-bike commuters and was able to discuss challenges and find solutions. Even the conductor on the train home got in on the conversation...he's an avid cyclist who bike commutes to work everyday!

I know not everyday is going to go smoothly...but now I know what's possible.
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