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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 09-08-17, 06:51 AM   #26
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As micro-transit options grow more accessible for short-distances, I'm hoping the larger buses will start serving longer routes with more distance between stops. Basically, I can see intercity bus service converging with local bus service as it gets easier to get to the bus stop near wherever you are.
Isn't that how the bus systems work now?
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Old 09-08-17, 07:51 AM   #27
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Isn't that how the bus systems work now?
No, they mostly serve local areas, with frequent stops. If smaller shuttle-buses or ride-sharing takes over the role of short-distance car-free trips, then the bigger buses could go longer distances with less frequent stops. You would have more flexible, multi-tiered transit over a broader area.
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Old 09-08-17, 08:10 AM   #28
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No, they mostly serve local areas, with frequent stops. If smaller shuttle-buses or ride-sharing takes over the role of short-distance car-free trips, then the bigger buses could go longer distances with less frequent stops. You would have more flexible, multi-tiered transit over a broader area.
So you're saying that the busses in your area don't work the way you describe?


The busses in my area, and in most areas where I've lived, work more or less along the lines of what you've described.
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Old 09-08-17, 10:11 AM   #29
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So you're saying that the busses in your area don't work the way you describe?


The busses in my area, and in most areas where I've lived, work more or less along the lines of what you've described.
Buses mostly run local routes and there are a few carriers that provide interlocal service, but the schedules and destinations are limited. It would be good if the local bus systems expanded their routes over longer distances with fewer stops, and if more options for short-distance local public transit emerged, such as bike-share and smaller ride-sharing/shuttle services.
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Old 09-12-17, 09:23 AM   #30
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Does anyone here live car free in a rural area? ...Just last week we went on vacation to Acadia national park, that was 300 miles one way... I guess what I'm asking is what do the people that are living a car free lifestyle do for recreation and do any actually live in a rural area? Am I missing something?
We live in a semi-rural area in southern Maine. When I was bike-commuting, it was a 38mi r/t commute, but I have since changed jobs and no longer do that. For a while, we got by just fine living car-lite -- one car between the two of us -- but car-free would certainly have been a bigger challenge, especially in Winter.

Car-free requires some commitment, and part of that might entail moving somewhere that it is actually a workable solution. In many areas and for various personal situations, it's not. For instance, I could do it where I live now, but it would require drastically downsizing my lifestyle (again) and finding a different job than the one I currently like, which is 40mi away. Or I could move closer to my job, but that means moving out of the area, selling a house, stuff, etc.

In the end, it's a personal judgement call. If you want it to be a priority in your life, you can make it happen. Otherwise, there are plenty of ways to minimize use of vehicles without becoming truly car-free.
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Old 09-12-17, 02:46 PM   #31
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We live in a semi-rural area in southern Maine. When I was bike-commuting, it was a 38mi r/t commute, but I have since changed jobs and no longer do that. For a while, we got by just fine living car-lite -- one car between the two of us -- but car-free would certainly have been a bigger challenge, especially in Winter.

Car-free requires some commitment, and part of that might entail moving somewhere that it is actually a workable solution. In many areas and for various personal situations, it's not. For instance, I could do it where I live now, but it would require drastically downsizing my lifestyle (again) and finding a different job than the one I currently like, which is 40mi away. Or I could move closer to my job, but that means moving out of the area, selling a house, stuff, etc.

In the end, it's a personal judgement call. If you want it to be a priority in your life, you can make it happen. Otherwise, there are plenty of ways to minimize use of vehicles without becoming truly car-free.
I don't think we will ever be car free, probably the best we could hope for is car light-er.
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Old 09-13-17, 01:14 AM   #32
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And there is nothing wrong with that. The chances are that into the future, the internal combustion engine will disappear (see what is happening in Europe) and will be replaced by electric vehicles. The issue then will be where the energy sources will be to recharge them, and how powerful the motors will need to be to tow trailers and such.
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Old 09-13-17, 08:44 AM   #33
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And there is nothing wrong with that. The chances are that into the future, the internal combustion engine will disappear (see what is happening in Europe) and will be replaced by electric vehicles. The issue then will be where the energy sources will be to recharge them, and how powerful the motors will need to be to tow trailers and such.
Nothing wrong with it at the individual level, but I hope you realize there's a compounding effect culturally, where the more people give in to driving, the more impetus there is for others to give in as well. It is quite hard to establish a cultural bifurcation where some people feel completely free to LCF while others feel completely free to drive. If that would emerge, and the proportions of population choosing to drive would stay in check as a relative minority of vehicles on the road, we could have much more efficient infrastructure, but there's this widespread cultural feeling that driving is superior and so most if not all people aspire to it, and many would feel cheated if they were expected to 'make the sacrifice' of LCF.

If the LCF lifestyle options were as satisfying as the driving-dependent lifestyles seemingly are, there would be as many people choosing LCF as there are people who choose driving; and there would be easy switching off between driving and LCF by people from one day to the next.
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Old 09-13-17, 09:25 AM   #34
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Nothing wrong with it at the individual level, but I hope you realize there's a compounding effect culturally, where the more people give in to driving, the more impetus there is for others to give in as well. It is quite hard to establish a cultural bifurcation where some people feel completely free to LCF while others feel completely free to drive. If that would emerge, and the proportions of population choosing to drive would stay in check as a relative minority of vehicles on the road, we could have much more efficient infrastructure, but there's this widespread cultural feeling that driving is superior and so most if not all people aspire to it, and many would feel cheated if they were expected to 'make the sacrifice' of LCF.

If the LCF lifestyle options were as satisfying as the driving-dependent lifestyles seemingly are, there would be as many people choosing LCF as there are people who choose driving; and there would be easy switching off between driving and LCF by people from one day to the next.
IMO there's a widespread belief that driving is superior because it IS, at least for most people. Most people are lazy and fat and would much rather bring home groceries and sit in front of the TV than hook up a bicycle trailer and go that route. They would rather pack up the family and drive a couple hundred miles to grandma's than other less convenient modes. Bicycles don't have what they're looking for. You seem to believe in mass hypnosis for decades. I follow the common sense belief that people make choices based on their actual desires.
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Old 09-13-17, 12:20 PM   #35
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IMO there's a widespread belief that driving is superior because it IS, at least for most people. Most people are lazy and fat and would much rather bring home groceries and sit in front of the TV than hook up a bicycle trailer and go that route. They would rather pack up the family and drive a couple hundred miles to grandma's than other less convenient modes. Bicycles don't have what they're looking for. You seem to believe in mass hypnosis for decades. I follow the common sense belief that people make choices based on their actual desires.
This seems to be a concept some just cannot grasp. But it is pretty much spot on.
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Old 09-13-17, 01:34 PM   #36
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IMO there's a widespread belief that driving is superior because it IS, at least for most people. Most people are lazy and fat and would much rather bring home groceries and sit in front of the TV than hook up a bicycle trailer and go that route. They would rather pack up the family and drive a couple hundred miles to grandma's than other less convenient modes. Bicycles don't have what they're looking for. You seem to believe in mass hypnosis for decades. I follow the common sense belief that people make choices based on their actual desires.
You don't understand relativism of taste. Tastes form relative to possibilities. If you have the possibility to fly anywhere on weekends, many people would probably prefer to fly to London or Paris than drive to a city 100 miles away. Likewise, if you get used to the opportunity range of bicycling, you don't think about going 100 miles away for the weekend, because it's as far beyond your range of normal options as flying to London or Paris for the weekend would be for most people.
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Old 09-13-17, 03:32 PM   #37
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You don't understand relativism of taste. Tastes form relative to possibilities. If you have the possibility to fly anywhere on weekends, many people would probably prefer to fly to London or Paris than drive to a city 100 miles away. Likewise, if you get used to the opportunity range of bicycling, you don't think about going 100 miles away for the weekend, because it's as far beyond your range of normal options as flying to London or Paris for the weekend would be for most people.
Millions of people drive cars and the possibilities for them are different because of it and they like that just fine and won't be happy when you tell them they need to bicycle instead. Or more accurately they will insist you leave them alone and seek assistance from the police because the crazy cyclist won't go away. Or maybe they'll just lock the doors and drive away.
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Old 09-13-17, 03:49 PM   #38
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Millions of people drive cars and the possibilities for them are different because of it and they like that just fine and won't be happy when you tell them they need to bicycle instead. Or more accurately they will insist you leave them alone and seek assistance from the police because the crazy cyclist won't go away. Or maybe they'll just lock the doors and drive away.
They are in denial of the negative environmental, social, and economic impacts of their preference/addiction.
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Old 09-13-17, 04:03 PM   #39
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They are in denial of the negative environmental, social, and economic impacts of their preference/addiction.
Whatever. People are not driving because it's popular. They're driving because of the many conveniences that cars offer. Your challenge convincing them otherwise is not a simple matter of shaking them out of this delusional state. You need to make them quit wanting all the benefits of their car. Good luck with that. fwiw I don't think it's working too good.
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Old 09-13-17, 04:07 PM   #40
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You don't understand relativism of taste. Tastes form relative to possibilities. If you have the possibility to fly anywhere on weekends, many people would probably prefer to fly to London or Paris than drive to a city 100 miles away. Likewise, if you get used to the opportunity range of bicycling, you don't think about going 100 miles away for the weekend, because it's as far beyond your range of normal options as flying to London or Paris for the weekend would be for most people.

I may be wasting my typing here but I will give it one last try. Far more cyclists in this country are also motorists I hope you know. I am more that sure than many of those cyclists are better at cycling and distance riding by bicycle than I suspect you are. Knowing that I have to question you contention that once people accept as an opportunity, whatever you mean by that, the range limitations of a bicycle they will forget about driving longer distances. That has not proven to be the case in our society and now in China's society. Horses supplanted walking as the movement west took place and wagons were added to assist in mass migration. Trains replaced wagons, cars replaced trains. Even planes have replaced trains except for freight. People choose what works best for their lifestyle and leave behind those that wish to stay in the lifestyle they had. That is how society works. It matters little that at one time people lived most of their life withing 35 miles of where they were born today many people live on the other side of the country or in other countries.

We do not live in a time where wishing simply makes something come true. There are many people in this forum that do more than a 100 miles a day. In the touring forum they are many more as there are in the road forum. It isn't the miles it is the desire to do what you want to do when you want to do it. I don't like to fly but to get to Africa I had little choice. It didn't matter that I couldn't ride my bike there. You are simply stuck in an ideology that works for you and very few others. Some people like living in an urban environment and some don't. Some like living in the suburbs or a rural area. Some like living in a mountain community. Your choice may not be the best of any of the others, and that is just how it is.
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Old 09-13-17, 05:41 PM   #41
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Whatever. People are not driving because it's popular. They're driving because of the many conveniences that cars offer. Your challenge convincing them otherwise is not a simple matter of shaking them out of this delusional state. You need to make them quit wanting all the benefits of their car. Good luck with that. fwiw I don't think it's working too good.
Your logic is just not sound. What you're implying is that people are legitimate in causing the environmental, social, and economic harm that widespread driving causes as long as they want the benefits. To imply this, you have to implictly deny that the negative effects are real, which I'm sure you do, but if they're not, then the shirking of responsibility is not justifiable by reference to "what they want." You have to have better reasons for causing harm then, "I had to do it to get what I wanted."
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Old 09-13-17, 05:54 PM   #42
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I may be wasting my typing here but I will give it one last try. Far more cyclists in this country are also motorists I hope you know. I am more that sure than many of those cyclists are better at cycling and distance riding by bicycle than I suspect you are.
Good for them, but that doesn't say much. I'm not very competitive athletically, though I am happily fitter and healthier than average, and I have a lot more patience and endurance for spending long periods biking or hiking than most people, I think.

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Knowing that I have to question you contention that once people accept as an opportunity, whatever you mean by that, the range limitations of a bicycle they will forget about driving longer distances. That has not proven to be the case in our society and now in China's society. Horses supplanted walking as the movement west took place and wagons were added to assist in mass migration. Trains replaced wagons, cars replaced trains. Even planes have replaced trains except for freight. People choose what works best for their lifestyle and leave behind those that wish to stay in the lifestyle they had.
How popular a form of transportation is makes all the difference. If 30% of people drove, and the roads were relatively empty, someone might choose to drive one day because it would offer a giant leap in speed/distance from biking, similar to choosing to take a plane instead of a train for, say, a 1000 mile journey. But when everyone drives all the time, there's nothing exceptional about the experience, time-saved, or distance achieved. It's just 'driving as usual.' So we waste the benefits of driving by making it a norm, and we waste the potential to create more local destinations and jobs to get to by bike and/or walking, because we don't expect that people will value a destination they can get to in 15 minutes by bike, when they can drive to it in 10 minutes or even 5 and drive somewhere in 15-20 minutes that would take 45 minutes to bike to.

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That is how society works. It matters little that at one time people lived most of their life withing 35 miles of where they were born today many people live on the other side of the country or in other countries.
The problem is that norms don't alter the negative effects of these industrial technologies. They cause the same harm whether or not people view them as societal norms or as part of an evil conspiracy to destroy the planet.

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We do not live in a time where wishing simply makes something come true. There are many people in this forum that do more than a 100 miles a day. In the touring forum they are many more as there are in the road forum. It isn't the miles it is the desire to do what you want to do when you want to do it. I don't like to fly but to get to Africa I had little choice. It didn't matter that I couldn't ride my bike there. You are simply stuck in an ideology that works for you and very few others. Some people like living in an urban environment and some don't. Some like living in the suburbs or a rural area. Some like living in a mountain community. Your choice may not be the best of any of the others, and that is just how it is.
My ideology isn't what works for me, except because I make it work for me. I once traveled the world as you do, but some people told me about CO2 around the time of the Kyoto treaty, and how flying produces a lot of CO2 even if you LCF when you're not flying, so I vowed to give up regular air-travel and work toward educating the public about the importance to evolve society/culture in the direction of more sustainable technologies, because I can only do so much by changing my own habits. To save the world, many other people are going to have to change theirs as well.
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Old 09-13-17, 06:20 PM   #43
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Good for them, but that doesn't say much. I'm not very competitive athletically, though I am happily fitter and healthier than average, and I have a lot more patience and endurance for spending long periods biking or hiking than most people, I think.


How popular a form of transportation is makes all the difference. If 30% of people drove, and the roads were relatively empty, someone might choose to drive one day because it would offer a giant leap in speed/distance from biking, similar to choosing to take a plane instead of a train for, say, a 1000 mile journey. But when everyone drives all the time, there's nothing exceptional about the experience, time-saved, or distance achieved. It's just 'driving as usual.' So we waste the benefits of driving by making it a norm, and we waste the potential to create more local destinations and jobs to get to by bike and/or walking, because we don't expect that people will value a destination they can get to in 15 minutes by bike, when they can drive to it in 10 minutes or even 5 and drive somewhere in 15-20 minutes that would take 45 minutes to bike to.


The problem is that norms don't alter the negative effects of these industrial technologies. They cause the same harm whether or not people view them as societal norms or as part of an evil conspiracy to destroy the planet.


My ideology isn't what works for me, except because I make it work for me. I once traveled the world as you do, but some people told me about CO2 around the time of the Kyoto treaty, and how flying produces a lot of CO2 even if you LCF when you're not flying, so I vowed to give up regular air-travel and work toward educating the public about the importance to evolve society/culture in the direction of more sustainable technologies, because I can only do so much by changing my own habits. To save the world, many other people are going to have to change theirs as well.

You simply choose your idea of doing all you can but that doesn't mean you are right. You deny doing all you can would include having fewer children even if the same people that told you about the problems with flying tell you about the birth rate. I will ask you one more time, is Population growth a greater or lesser problem than someone driving a car? At least if we targeted ICE we could get to a zero emissions vehicle and improve our transportation footprint. 9 billion people by 2050 could lead to starvation and dying of thirst. SO your solution seems somewhat short sighted.

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Old 09-13-17, 07:25 PM   #44
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You simply choose your idea of doing all you can but that doesn't mean you are right. You deny doing all you can would include having fewer children even if the same people that told you about the problems with flying tell you about the birth rate. I will ask you one more time, is Population growth a greater or lesser problem than someone driving a car? At least if we targeted ICE we could get to a zero emissions vehicle and improve our transportation footprint. 9 billion people by 2050 could lead to starvation and dying of thirst. SO your solution seems somewhat short sighted.
Human life has innate value. Population is a separate issue from driving and other forms of industrial waste. When I was told during the time of the Kyoto treaty how much CO2 is generated by flying, it wouldn't have helped to note that I reproduce less than some other people because there would still be more I could do to reduce CO2 emissions. Nowadays, I view CO2 as only half the problem because deforestation/detreeing of ground/soil for the sake of paving and development is something that isn't solved with electric cars and renewable energy. If humans, like other animals, live in symbiosis with other biomass growth, CO2 uptake is robust and in balance with emissions. If emissions exceed uptake capacity, that creates a deficit.

Then, as long as there is growth in developing and paving land, there is progressive loss of trees/forests to re-absorb the CO2 emissions. That is the problem, regardless of whether or not population growth is also problematic in other ways. Even if population growth is a problem, what you're trying to do is to diminish the significance of the automotive/industrialism problem by changing the topic. One problem doesn't go away by shifting focus to a different one. Anyway, this is turning into a P&R discussion, so if you want to hash it out on these old topics yet again, we should do it in P&R.
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Old 09-13-17, 07:58 PM   #45
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Human life has innate value. Population is a separate issue from driving and other forms of industrial waste. When I was told during the time of the Kyoto treaty how much CO2 is generated by flying, it wouldn't have helped to note that I reproduce less than some other people because there would still be more I could do to reduce CO2 emissions. Nowadays, I view CO2 as only half the problem because deforestation/detreeing of ground/soil for the sake of paving and development is something that isn't solved with electric cars and renewable energy. If humans, like other animals, live in symbiosis with other biomass growth, CO2 uptake is robust and in balance with emissions. If emissions exceed uptake capacity, that creates a deficit.

Then, as long as there is growth in developing and paving land, there is progressive loss of trees/forests to re-absorb the CO2 emissions. That is the problem, regardless of whether or not population growth is also problematic in other ways. Even if population growth is a problem, what you're trying to do is to diminish the significance of the automotive/industrialism problem by changing the topic. One problem doesn't go away by shifting focus to a different one. Anyway, this is turning into a P&R discussion, so if you want to hash it out on these old topics yet again, we should do it in P&R.
You moved it that way as you always do. It still comes down to personal choice, where we live and how we get around. It doesn't have to be political, social or environmental. If people would rather live better today and let tomorrow take care of itself that is what they will do. Always have and always will . Because you simply think about what others should do, in your opinion, it only changes what you do. It has zero effect on the millions that would have an easier life now. That is how reality works.
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Old 09-13-17, 08:11 PM   #46
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You moved it that way as you always do. It still comes down to personal choice, where we live and how we get around. It doesn't have to be political, social or environmental.
That's reality, whether or not you want to pay attention to that side of it.

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If people would rather live better today and let tomorrow take care of itself that is what they will do. Always have and always will . Because you simply think about what others should do, in your opinion, it only changes what you do. It has zero effect on the millions that would have an easier life now. That is how reality works.
You always assume that people have the freedom to choose whatever path they please without having to suffer the consequences of the path they choose. Yes, people have power over their choices, especially when you consider the effects and submission to collective cultural patterns; but they cannot prevent the effects of their actions from coming to fruition. Every action has effects that it causes, and they all add up in ways that are too complex to control. Often you can't see exactly where it is all leading, but then it leads to something unexpected and everyone is shocked, even though anyone could realize that we had it coming.
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Old 09-13-17, 08:21 PM   #47
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Nothing wrong with it at the individual level, but I hope you realize there's a compounding effect culturally, where the more people give in to driving, the more impetus there is for others to give in as well. It is quite hard to establish a cultural bifurcation where some people feel completely free to LCF while others feel completely free to drive. If that would emerge, and the proportions of population choosing to drive would stay in check as a relative minority of vehicles on the road, we could have much more efficient infrastructure, but there's this widespread cultural feeling that driving is superior and so most if not all people aspire to it, and many would feel cheated if they were expected to 'make the sacrifice' of LCF.

If the LCF lifestyle options were as satisfying as the driving-dependent lifestyles seemingly are, there would be as many people choosing LCF as there are people who choose driving; and there would be easy switching off between driving and LCF by people from one day to the next.

No one but tandempower can turn a nice discussion about the practicalities of being car free or car light in a rural environment into some socio-economic discussion.

Do you think you might ever be able to discuss practicalities with us?
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Old 09-13-17, 08:25 PM   #48
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Good for them, but that doesn't say much. I'm not very competitive athletically, though I am happily fitter and healthier than average, and I have a lot more patience and endurance for spending long periods biking or hiking than most people, I think.
Let's get practical. Prove it.

Do a ride with one of your local randonneuring clubs and tell us all about it:

Central Florida Randonneurs | Long-distance cycling in the Sunshine State

http://gainesvillecyclingclub.org/

South Florida Randonneuring
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Old 09-14-17, 01:46 AM   #49
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My ideology isn't what works for me, except because I make it work for me. I once traveled the world as you do, but some people told me about CO2 around the time of the Kyoto treaty, and how flying produces a lot of CO2 even if you LCF when you're not flying, so I vowed to give up regular air-travel and work toward educating the public about the importance to evolve society/culture in the direction of more sustainable technologies, because I can only do so much by changing my own habits. To save the world, many other people are going to have to change theirs as well.
Must have been a happy coincidence. I thought the reason you stopped travelling was because you overstayed your visa entitlements and you have been banned from entering at least one country, if not a bunch in a zone, since.

What other work, apart from LCF here, are you doing to "educate the public" on your ethos?
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Old 09-14-17, 03:46 AM   #50
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Your logic is just not sound. What you're implying is that people are legitimate in causing the environmental, social, and economic harm that widespread driving causes as long as they want the benefits. To imply this, you have to implictly deny that the negative effects are real, which I'm sure you do, but if they're not, then the shirking of responsibility is not justifiable by reference to "what they want." You have to have better reasons for causing harm then, "I had to do it to get what I wanted."
Wrong. I imply nothing of the sort. I didn't judge driving as good or bad. You're the king when it comes to what people should do.

Last edited by Walter S; 09-14-17 at 04:34 AM.
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