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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 06-10-17, 07:25 PM   #1
tandempower
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Escaping the Driving Cult

Driving culture can feel like a cult that's impossible to escape until you just do it and start living car-free.

With cultural liberty, people respect you in your independence, but in a cult people pressure others urgently not to leave the fold.

In your experiences of doing things LCF, do you feel respected in your liberty or do you feel cult-like peer-pressure?

Btw, I know that certain posters will respond to this thread by accusing LCF being cultish. If that is a topic you want to discuss please start a different thread about that. This one is for people to discuss going LCF and feeling like they are escaping a cult of driving.
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Old 06-10-17, 10:26 PM   #2
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In your experiences of doing things LCF, do you feel respected in your liberty or do you feel cult-like peer-pressure?
Locally, not really; people see that I haul as much home from the store as many of their typical trips, and when they find out it takes me ~10 minutes to get home from the stores on the other side of town, they pretty much realize I've got a fine solution, at least when the weather is good. When we have a week of steady rain, I tend to agree with them that I'd rather have a car available and choose to use the bike or not on a trip-by-trip basis.

OTOH, I do have a lot of people online who think I'm crazy for using a means of transportation that makes it impractical to visit the nearest large city (60-75 miles of hills, so easily a day to get there and another to get home, especially with any load at all) when I could just get a car and be there in the same hour it used to take me to navigate ~8 miles of Dallas traffic. On that one I sometimes agree; I miss being able to get off work at 5, grab some dinner and be at a swing dance (swing dance clubs are good competition for triathlons and hilly centuries in terms of the concentration of women with spectacular legs) there by 7, but that's a want, not a need.

Then again, I couldn't dance nearly as long before getting back to heavy riding, so it balances out to a degree.
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Old 06-10-17, 11:59 PM   #3
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I've never felt that owning a vehicle or not owning a vehicle was "cultish". People can do what they want to do when they want to do it. Nope ... not "cultish" in any way.
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Old 06-11-17, 12:25 AM   #4
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A co-worker (who I didn't know very well) saw me pulling up on my bike on a snowy day. She said, "I hate people who ride bikes in the winter. If my husband saw you, he would run you off the road." Her facial expression indicated that she wasn't exaggerating when she used the word "hate".

In about 2005, a couple hundred people attended a city council meeting to protest a proposed bike lane. They were local GM workers who had an idea (much mistaken) that the BL would impede truck deliveries of auto parts to an assembly plant. Some used violent anti-bicyclist language and were cheered by the others. That BL was turned down by council, so I guess democracy worked. Subsequent BLs have not met with such violent resistance, fortunately.
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Old 06-11-17, 07:12 AM   #5
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Locally, not really; people see that I haul as much home from the store as many of their typical trips, and when they find out it takes me ~10 minutes to get home from the stores on the other side of town, they pretty much realize I've got a fine solution, at least when the weather is good. When we have a week of steady rain, I tend to agree with them that I'd rather have a car available and choose to use the bike or not on a trip-by-trip basis.

OTOH, I do have a lot of people online who think I'm crazy for using a means of transportation that makes it impractical to visit the nearest large city (60-75 miles of hills, so easily a day to get there and another to get home, especially with any load at all) when I could just get a car and be there in the same hour it used to take me to navigate ~8 miles of Dallas traffic. On that one I sometimes agree; I miss being able to get off work at 5, grab some dinner and be at a swing dance (swing dance clubs are good competition for triathlons and hilly centuries in terms of the concentration of women with spectacular legs) there by 7, but that's a want, not a need.

Then again, I couldn't dance nearly as long before getting back to heavy riding, so it balances out to a degree.
For me, the norms of the automotive lifestyle seem extravagant and almost 'hyperreal,' to use Jean Baudrillard's term. It's like in the movie, the Matrix, where people are running around jumping buildings and dodging bullets. It's so strange that a normative culture has evolved around the combustion power, to the point where getting around by bike on smooth pavement, an incredibly fast and efficient mode of transportation by pre-automotive standards, is construed as falling short of expectations. It's so strange that people have lived their entire lives taking automotive culture for granted to the point they don't even have a car-free baseline to frame reality. It's like living in a Star Trek reality where people are so used to beaming around instead of walking that they forget what actual geographical distance is and means.
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Old 06-11-17, 07:52 AM   #6
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I consider vehicle ownership and driving to be normal behaviour. There is nothing cultish or abnormal about it, nobody is forcing anybody to drive...Is wearing jeans or using internet or a smartphone cultish behaviour ??
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Old 06-11-17, 08:00 AM   #7
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For me, the norms of the automotive lifestyle seem extravagant and almost 'hyperreal,' to use Jean Baudrillard's term. It's like in the movie, the Matrix, where people are running around jumping buildings and dodging bullets. It's so strange that a normative culture has evolved around the combustion power, to the point where getting around by bike on smooth pavement, an incredibly fast and efficient mode of transportation by pre-automotive standards, is construed as falling short of expectations. It's so strange that people have lived their entire lives taking automotive culture for granted to the point they don't even have a car-free baseline to frame reality. It's like living in a Star Trek realitywhere people are so used to beaming around instead of walking that they forget what actual geographical distance is and means.
Enuff said.
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Old 06-11-17, 08:37 AM   #8
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Driving culture can feel like a cult that's impossible to escape

This book should help you or anybody to escape their cultish mentality.





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you just do it and start living car-free.

You mean, escape the cult of automotivism and join the cult of LCFism ??
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Old 06-11-17, 12:52 PM   #9
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I don't view cars, or ownership thereof, to be a cult. No more than LCF can be a cult. To each their own. I am car lite. It started out as a need to become a 1 vehicle family due to finances (or lack thereof!!). Now my oldest teenagers have cars. I still ride to work most days, run some errands by bike, etc.

Its more of a routine than anything. My decision. No cults involved.
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Old 06-11-17, 01:46 PM   #10
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If you want's to compare driving a car as belonging in a "cult", I think you's got's things backwards... Driving a car would be like the main "religion", and riding a bike would be like a "cult"...
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Old 06-11-17, 08:40 PM   #11
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It's so strange that a normative culture has evolved around the combustion power, to the point where getting around by bike on smooth pavement, an incredibly fast and efficient mode of transportation by pre-automotive standards, is construed as falling short of expectations.
Smooth pavement in most rural areas wouldn't exist without the personal car; for that matter, a lot of the county roads around here didn't get paved until 20-30 years ago, and many still aren't. Before the car, of course, pretty much every train had a few passenger cars, but if you weren't near a stop, you could easily be looking at a couple hours on horseback, fording streams as needed, to get to one. Before the train, the city was at least a two day trip each way unless you were willing to risk laming multiple horses.

Even back in the day, most people weren't going to be able to ride 60-75 miles a day no matter how smooth the roads were, and certainly wouldn't have been able to haul furniture or other large purchases back, so there wasn't enough demand for a paved road, much less the current ones that cut through some of the largest ridges rather than having a ten mile detour or a mile of >6% climb. The bicycle's one real advantage in that situation was that it was even easier to take on the train than a horse, (no need to feed and water it, and it prefers being strapped tightly to the wall) so you didn't have to worry about finding transport at whatever whistle stop you might want to check out along the way. Still, in more remote places, you might be waiting 2-3 days for a train out and the same for one coming back, so the trip would mean having to pay for extra lodging at the far end.
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Old 06-12-17, 12:33 AM   #12
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If you want's to compare driving a car as belonging in a "cult", I think you's got's things backwards... Driving a car would be like the main "religion", and riding a bike would be like a "cult"...
But part of the operation of the cult is to make it seem to be the normal thing. Cult members always perceive their lifestyle to be not only normal but superior. And they aim to marginalize and ridicule people who do not accept the cult's rules and worldview. You have to step away from a cult to understand the extent to which it has taken over your core values and beliefs. Motorists can't see the extent to which cars have shaped their external world as well as their central beliefs, but carfree people can see it quite readily.
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Old 06-12-17, 03:29 AM   #13
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Cult members always perceive their lifestyle to be not only normal but superior. And they aim to marginalize and ridicule people who do not accept the cult's rules and worldview.

That's a perfect description of OP and his anti-car and anti-fossil fuel comrades on this list.
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Old 06-12-17, 11:05 AM   #14
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If you want's to compare driving a car as belonging in a "cult", I think you's got's things backwards... Driving a car would be like the main "religion", and riding a bike would be like a "cult"...
Eh, main difference between a cult and a religion is the size of the group.
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Old 06-12-17, 11:19 AM   #15
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Hi!

What's this thread about? Oh wait ... never mind ... business as usual.
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Old 06-12-17, 05:36 PM   #16
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And they aim to marginalize and ridicule people who do not accept the cult's rules and worldview.
Perhaps the term "demonize" would fit here??
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Old 06-12-17, 06:39 PM   #17
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Eh, main difference between a cult and a religion is the size of the group.
Exactly, and that was my point... The establishment, isn't the one that is called a "cult" it's the norm... Even tho, in this case they ARE the ones that are brainwashed/propagandized to believe in the present system to be the BEST, for, everybody...
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Old 06-12-17, 07:28 PM   #18
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No one talks about the cult of telephony. For ages, people communicated through written letters. But then the telegraph came along and your message could get through over smooth wires. An incredibly fast and efficient means of communication by pre telephonic standards. But after a few generations, this cult brainwashed everyone into leaving the telegraph behind. And now they've deepened their hold through internet communication. The cult has now successfully destroyed the telegraph. And if you choose not to communicate by telephone, people regard you as being downright weird. And people using laptops to send messages believe their lifestyle is not only normal but superior.

Is this cult of telephony large enough to be considered religion?

Or maybe, it's just a society. Changing and adapting with time and technology.
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Old 06-12-17, 08:39 PM   #19
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Or maybe, it's just a society. Changing and adapting with time and technology.
Then again there some who can't adjust or adapt to the current times or technology and that society should/must accommodate them by reverting to the dreamy fantasy land of a favorite SF screenplay.
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Old 06-12-17, 09:24 PM   #20
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No one talks about the cult of telephony. For ages, people communicated through written letters. But then the telegraph came along and your message could get through over smooth wires. An incredibly fast and efficient means of communication by pre telephonic standards. But after a few generations, this cult brainwashed everyone into leaving the telegraph behind. And now they've deepened their hold through internet communication. The cult has now successfully destroyed the telegraph. And if you choose not to communicate by telephone, people regard you as being downright weird. And people using laptops to send messages believe their lifestyle is not only normal but superior.

Is this cult of telephony large enough to be considered religion?

Or maybe, it's just a society. Changing and adapting with time and technology.
I tend to agree with this point of view. When I was in college and taking anthropology they alluded to a relationship between technology and societies ability to compete in an ever shrinking world. You can see it in weapon development, transportation, farming, ranching and yes communication. If we look at cars like we look at telecommunication we see that it is more than becoming mainstream it becomes the benchmark. While ICE has expanded our range telecommunication has shortened our response time as well as expanded our range. It doesn’t have to convince non users that it is superior or normal the results for the group as a whole speak for themselves. It becomes main stream through social technological evolution. And no it doesn’t always make the old benchmark or technology happy. It does not follow that technology is a cult but rather it becomes normal because it works better for the most people. The group that reacts quicker with an expanded range has more opportunities. At least in all of the business seminars that I have ever attended.
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Old 06-12-17, 09:27 PM   #21
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Old 06-13-17, 12:08 AM   #22
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If you want's to compare driving a car as belonging in a "cult", I think you's got's things backwards... Driving a car would be like the main "religion", and riding a bike would be like a "cult"...
+1

And ... if LCF is a cult, shouldn't it be in the P&R forum?
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Old 06-13-17, 07:03 AM   #23
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+1

And ... if LCF is a cult, shouldn't it be in the P&R forum?
At least the posts whose subjects are the OT (in reference to living car free) unhinged P&R dreams, thoughts and ideology of a sect of obsessed ascetic(s) that have latched on to this Forum list for broadcasting irrational cult-like messages.

Including the term "LCF" somewhere in the verbiage of a P&R message/rant doesn't change the intent or the nature of the contents.
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Old 06-13-17, 08:53 AM   #24
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Smooth pavement in most rural areas wouldn't exist without the personal car.
The trend to paving country roads started with bikes. https://www.theguardian.com/environm...-way-for-roads
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Old 06-13-17, 09:06 AM   #25
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Little late to the party here and must say that this is a bizarre thread. How can you compare owning a car to a cult?
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