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  1. #1
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    I want to live car free!

    Hi,

    My name is Chris and I live in Buffalo New York. My whole life I have been in love with the gas pedal. I own a 4 year old truck, a Yamaha R-1 sportbike, and a 4-wheeler.

    Recently I was slammed with a $2000 repair bill on a truck that shouldnt be needing repairs for years to come! I still have 2 years left @ $380 per month.

    I love my motorcycle and I love my quad but I wouldnt mind wrapping my truck around a tree right now. I feel like the truck owns me more than I own it.

    I want to live truck/car free as much as possible but there are many factors to overcome and hopefully I can find a few answers on this website.

    1) I havn't owned a bicycle since I was 15 and that was a Dyno VFR. Not a bike that I would consider efficient. I am almost clueless as far as these high end bikes go. Can someone recommend me a bike that can reach semi-fast speeds and can also go off road? I want something ~$500 range because I might be mounting a small 80cc 2-stroke motor onto it, and I dont want to ruin a nicer bike. I am still undecided about this though.

    2) Buffalo winters are BAD! How do you guys hack it through the snow and cold? I want to start riding a bicycle in the Spring so that I can gain experience before next winter. At the moment I don't see riding a bicycle during a Buffalo winter, feasible.

    3) Many roads out here dont have sidewalks. Is riding on the shoulder safe from all the poor drivers out there? All it takes is one accident to ruin someones life.

    4) How do you go grocery shopping/run errands/ etc.

    5) How much does maintenance cost to keep these bikes in good working order?

    6) Anyone other advice for someone who is trying to make a life decision and drive my truck as little as possible?

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Welcome to Bike Forums.
    You should find all of your answers here:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...iving-Car-Free
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Welcome to Bike Forums.
    You should find all of your answers here:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...iving-Car-Free
    Thanks. Thats a very helpful section.

    I really hope I can pull this "car free" lifestyle off.

  4. #4
    FNG
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    Hey CF...I don't understand something. You want to live car/truck free because of the costs or beacuse of your carbon imprint? Strapping an 80cc engine to a mountain bike seems a bit counterproductive or backwards. Just buy a vespa or an electric scooter.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    late 80's bianchi campion d'italia, early 90's trek 2100, early 90's shogun selectra, mid 90's aluminum marin xcMTB, dept. store grade but upgraded columbia double eagle tandem
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Fist View Post
    Hi,

    My name is Chris and I live in Buffalo New York. My whole life I have been in love with the gas pedal. I own a 4 year old truck, a Yamaha R-1 sportbike, and a 4-wheeler.

    Recently I was slammed with a $2000 repair bill on a truck that shouldnt be needing repairs for years to come! I still have 2 years left @ $380 per month.

    I love my motorcycle and I love my quad but I wouldnt mind wrapping my truck around a tree right now. I feel like the truck owns me more than I own it.

    I want to live truck/car free as much as possible but there are many factors to overcome and hopefully I can find a few answers on this website.

    1) I havn't owned a bicycle since I was 15 and that was a Dyno VFR. Not a bike that I would consider efficient. I am almost clueless as far as these high end bikes go. Can someone recommend me a bike that can reach semi-fast speeds and can also go off road? I want something ~$500 range because I might be mounting a small 80cc 2-stroke motor onto it, and I dont want to ruin a nicer bike. I am still undecided about this though. For 500 you are better off with something moderately used. The R-1 allready has a 1000cc engine, your Bicycle doesn't need one.

    2) Buffalo winters are BAD! How do you guys hack it through the snow and cold? I want to start riding a bicycle in the Spring so that I can gain experience before next winter. At the moment I don't see riding a bicycle during a Buffalo winter, feasible. Spring start good Idea. Check commuting forum for info on winter commuting, some of those guys go to extreme lengths to do long commutes in terrible conditions.

    3) Many roads out here dont have sidewalks. Is riding on the shoulder safe from all the poor drivers out there? All it takes is one accident to ruin someones life. Real men don't ride on sidewalks anyway. Commuting/advocacy and safety for advice and education about being safe on the road.

    4) How do you go grocery shopping/run errands/ etc. With big bags called "panniers" attached to a rack.

    5) How much does maintenance cost to keep these bikes in good working order? Not much. Some chain lube and some grease go a long way keeping your bike functioning without major problems. Components do wear out and things do break though. Lower end perfectly good stuff is pretty cheap to replace. High end slightly better stuff is really expensive to replace. see Bicycle mechanics forum.

    6) Anyone other advice for someone who is trying to make a life decision and drive my truck as little as possible? Look into "pleasure use only" insurance, to save money, and keep you out of the drivers seat. Spend some time here and elsewhere reasearching your needs before you pony up the cash and buy a bicycle and accessories, as the right bike and the right stuff are very important factors in how much you will enjoy your new lifestyle.
    Answers in Bold in quote. I had some time on my hands. Answers are very basic on purpose, you have a lots more research and question asking to do before you spend any money.

  6. #6
    Dare to be weird!
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    Well, as you know, a bicycle is not a direct replacement for a motor vehicle.

    1 - You will be directly exposed to the weather
    2 - you may face significant challenges in terms of riding time, distance or hills
    3 - you will have a much reduced cargo carrying capacity
    4 - it is generally not possible to carry casual passengers
    5 - arterial roadways may become bicycle barriers
    6 - it is much trickier to travel at night

    We have at least one regular poster in Living Car Free who lives in Buffalo and rides daily in winter conditions there.

    It is generally more practical for people to use their bikes when the circumstances allow and to keep at least one motor vehicle in the household for use at discretion. That's car light living. This is a strategy that is also discussed in Living Car Free. Most of the posters there are actually car light.

    There is also a popular Commuting forum here which may address some of your concerns. Commuting focuses more on the specific problems of reliably making a regular bicycle commute with the same destinations, but many of the problems are similar to what you encounter with car light or car free living.

    Good luck & I hope we'll be seeing you in the LCF forum!

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