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  1. #1
    Senior Member mustridebikes's Avatar
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    Where to live car lite/free

    My fiancee and I are seriously considering leaving the US in the next few years; both of our professions are valued more elsewhere in the world. One of our primary considerations is living car lite (initially) and possibly car free once we are comfortable with the area. We've already downsized to one car for the two of us and we're down to using about 1.5 tanks of gas a month. It's not perfect, but it's a start! As we begin our long-range planning, I'm searching for info to help narrow down the options.

    The locations we're considering include Victoria or Vancouver, BC, or the Sydney or Melbourne areas in Australia. Anyone with any experience living car lite in those areas? How culturally acceptable is cycling for transport (i.e., will I be the weird American when I ride to work)? Having lived in several areas in the US, I can tell you that being a commuting cyclist here in the southeast I stick out quite a bit! Any other cycling related knowledge from locals is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Why not consider Europe? Some of the best cities in the world for car-free living are over here.

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustridebikes View Post
    My fiancee and I are seriously considering leaving the US in the next few years; both of our professions are valued more elsewhere in the world. One of our primary considerations is living car lite (initially) and possibly car free once we are comfortable with the area. We've already downsized to one car for the two of us and we're down to using about 1.5 tanks of gas a month. It's not perfect, but it's a start! As we begin our long-range planning, I'm searching for info to help narrow down the options.

    The locations we're considering include Victoria or Vancouver, BC, or the Sydney or Melbourne areas in Australia. Anyone with any experience living car lite in those areas? How culturally acceptable is cycling for transport (i.e., will I be the weird American when I ride to work)? Having lived in several areas in the US, I can tell you that being a commuting cyclist here in the southeast I stick out quite a bit! Any other cycling related knowledge from locals is appreciated!
    Victoria or Vancouver would both be decent choices. There is quite a large cycling community in BC.

    As for Sydney vs Melbourne ... I'd vote for Melbourne. But that's probably because we lived just north of Melbourne for several years. Cycling is quite popular here in Australia, and Melbourne is no exception. Victoria (the State where Melbourne is located) has some great cycling.

    Just know that all those choices are expensive when it comes to accommodation.

    If it is possible, I'd actually recommend going to a smaller community near one of those locations. We lived about 100 km out of Melbourne and housing was significantly less expensive out there. We're currently in the Hobart Tasmania area, and housing here is about the same as out in the country near Melbourne ... quite reasonable.


    Some links that might interest you ...

    Melbourne area ...
    https://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/Par...eretoride.aspx
    https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/traf...cle-route-maps
    https://www.railtrails.org.au/trail-...tions/victoria

    BC ...
    British Columbia Cycling Clubs
    BC Randonneurs Cycling Club
    Cycling routes, maps, and trip planner | City of Vancouver
    Biking Routes In Victoria | Victoria

  4. #4
    Has opinion, will express
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustridebikes View Post
    My fiancee and I are seriously considering leaving the US in the next few years; both of our professions are valued more elsewhere in the world. One of our primary considerations is living car lite (initially) and possibly car free once we are comfortable with the area. We've already downsized to one car for the two of us and we're down to using about 1.5 tanks of gas a month. It's not perfect, but it's a start! As we begin our long-range planning, I'm searching for info to help narrow down the options.

    The locations we're considering include Victoria or Vancouver, BC, or the Sydney or Melbourne areas in Australia. Anyone with any experience living car lite in those areas? How culturally acceptable is cycling for transport (i.e., will I be the weird American when I ride to work)? Having lived in several areas in the US, I can tell you that being a commuting cyclist here in the southeast I stick out quite a bit! Any other cycling related knowledge from locals is appreciated!
    You would be one among many in Melbourne. The city has heaps of cycling infrastructure and a good train and tram system that helps with living car free. The cycling culture ranges from hipster through to pseudo racer (and real racer) with everything in between.

    As Machka says, the rentals are quite expensive. This is very much my personal opinion, strong as it is, but I wouldn't touch Sydney with a barge pole; its rental market is well overheated and the average motorist has little to no respect for cyclists on the road.

    Adelaide is a neat and tidy city, and Perth might have some opportunities plus a good range of cycling facilities. Out of all those cities, Perth is my favourite -- I lived there for several years and it was the place where I started over a decade of living without owning a motor vehicle.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mustridebikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Why not consider Europe? Some of the best cities in the world for car-free living are over here.
    We've considered it, however she's a teacher and I'm a psychologist, both native English speakers. It would be tough to start over in those fields with a new language. England is tempting though...

  6. #6
    Senior Member mustridebikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    You would be one among many in Melbourne. The city has heaps of cycling infrastructure and a good train and tram system that helps with living car free. The cycling culture ranges from hipster through to pseudo racer (and real racer) with everything in between.

    As Machka says, the rentals are quite expensive. This is very much my personal opinion, strong as it is, but I wouldn't touch Sydney with a barge pole; its rental market is well overheated and the average motorist has little to no respect for cyclists on the road.

    Adelaide is a neat and tidy city, and Perth might have some opportunities plus a good range of cycling facilities. Out of all those cities, Perth is my favourite -- I lived there for several years and it was the place where I started over a decade of living without owning a motor vehicle.
    Fantastic! Thanks @Rowan and @Machka for the info! There's still plenty of time, so I'm sure I'll have many more questions as we continue deliberating.

  7. #7
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustridebikes View Post
    We've considered it, however she's a teacher and I'm a psychologist, both native English speakers. It would be tough to start over in those fields with a new language. England is tempting though...
    I would select Ireland, especially after the referendum last week.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustridebikes View Post
    Fantastic! Thanks @Rowan and @Machka for the info! There's still plenty of time, so I'm sure I'll have many more questions as we continue deliberating.
    Feel free to ask and we'll tell you what we can.

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