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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 06-23-05, 09:01 AM   #1
jamesdenver
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ever notice...

how odd some things seem after being car free a while?

i bike for almost everything but use my roomates car on occasion - i filled it up with gas for him and realized what a novelty the process was. paying, then selecting the grade and filling it up!! i laughed because it's been like two months since i've been to a gas station. when you rarely do something it's actually interesting

and this morning my co-workers radio playing a traffic report, i can't remember the last time i've actually listened to a traffic report to plan my route to work.
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Old 06-23-05, 09:07 AM   #2
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At the Gas Pump! Absolutely! Was there a couple weeks ago. Borrowed a truck to move some stuff. Being a good borrower, of course I'm returning it with a full tank (pricey these days, too). Must have taken me five minutes to pump the gas. Had to read all the instructions, go back into the cab for my bank card, etc. Luckily the place wasn't busy—somebody would have been checking my head for exit wounds.

I DO like to watch the morning traffic reports, though, and think 'Poor cagers, quite a lineup for the bridge—looks like another care-free commute for me, though.'
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Old 06-23-05, 10:29 AM   #3
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i find the morning traffic report very entertaining. but since i dont have to deal with that stuff i have the luxury of viewing it like a soap opera. hey konageezer, are from vancouver bc or vancouver, wa?
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Old 06-23-05, 10:34 AM   #4
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It's probably been over a year since I used a gas pump. It might have been much more than that though. I can't remember.

My contribution is hearing about people talking about looking for parking spots. Apparently, a big part of owning a car is finding a place to park it. People at work talk about how many blocks away they had to park, and how they come an hour early so they can be a couple of blocks closer to work.

Me? I park closer than any of them in the same spot every day.
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Old 06-23-05, 10:38 AM   #5
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Another odd thing I find. When you go to a mall with someone in their cars, they will spend up to 5 minutes driving around to find the closest parking spot to the door. Then when they don't find any spot close by, they have to park farther into the parking lot and walk it anyways...
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Old 06-23-05, 11:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by BenyBen
Another odd thing I find. When you go to a mall with someone in their cars, they will spend up to 5 minutes driving around to find the closest parking spot to the door. Then when they don't find any spot close by, they have to park farther into the parking lot and walk it anyways...
Not always true. I personally PARK defensively because I actually care about my cars. I try to find a "quiet" corner spot FAR away from the entrance of the mall. By doing this, I hope to minimize door dings & scratches.

But I have no idea how you guys do it car free......don't you guys go on vacation? Take short weekend trips? Take road trips? Hiking trips? Camping trips? I personally love driving and there is no way anyone can take my car away from me.

And don't even bother saying how much money a car cost.....I know. I bet I pay a higher insurance premium than 95% of people on this board. Don't think so? Try me.
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Old 06-23-05, 11:44 AM   #7
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aarrg!! you hit my biggest amusing pet peeve

when my four co-workers and myself go for lunch we always do this. there's a wide open sea of spaces on island over, yet every driver, rolls right up to the front 6-8 rows and circles

same in a parking garage. i make a bee line for the roof - or, go the opposite direction the way all cars are going.
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Old 06-23-05, 11:52 AM   #8
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i share a car with my partner. for a two person family, both adults it's great. benefit of a car when i need, yet i still bike to work. it's been a huge financial benefit. one insurance payment, gas for one car, oil change for one. and the miles aren't much more, as when i do use the car it's just for small errands, like to home depot.

once in a while i'll rent a car for the day if something conflicts, and it's $33 dollars at the local enterprise. not much more than a long cab ride.

for a single car free person wanting to go up to the mountains, or hiking, i think renting is the best! most car free people are in urban areas, and local (non-airport), locations are very affordable, and not very busy. every downtown has a budget or avis or whatever, plus you can select a truck, or car, depending on your need

even renting two weekends a month would be cheap than most peoples car payments and insurance.. of course it's a little more if under 25

i like road trips too - but on empty roads even driving into the mountains here in colorado is miserable some weekends because I-70 is so congested, and that's one of the most beautiful drives in the world.

does anyone else rely on rentals occasionaly?

<<But I have no idea how you guys do it car free......don't you guys go on vacation? Take short weekend trips? Take road trips? Hiking trips? Camping trips? I personally love driving and there is no way anyone can take my car away from me.>>
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Old 06-23-05, 11:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretSatellite
i find the morning traffic report very entertaining. but since i dont have to deal with that stuff i have the luxury of viewing it like a soap opera. hey konageezer, are from vancouver bc or vancouver, wa?
There's a vancouver wa? Seriously, I've been through there, going to Portland, of all places. Nice town. I enjoyed what I like to call "the historicalness" of the place.

I am from the other Vancouver. Not so much historicalness, but hey.
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Old 06-23-05, 12:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Cadd
But I have no idea how you guys do it car free......don't you guys go on vacation?
Yes. Bike, bus, train, or plane.

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Originally Posted by Cadd
Take short weekend trips?
Yes.

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Take road trips?
Yes. Road bicycling trips.

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Hiking trips?
No.

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Camping trips?
I've got one planned in a couple of weeks. I'm taking a bus.
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Old 06-23-05, 12:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Cadd
Not always true. I personally PARK defensively because I actually care about my cars. I try to find a "quiet" corner spot FAR away from the entrance of the mall. By doing this, I hope to minimize door dings & scratches.

But I have no idea how you guys do it car free......don't you guys go on vacation? Take short weekend trips? Take road trips? Hiking trips? Camping trips? I personally love driving and there is no way anyone can take my car away from me.

And don't even bother saying how much money a car cost.....I know. I bet I pay a higher insurance premium than 95% of people on this board. Don't think so? Try me.

I do take vacations, Greyhound can take you places too... If I had a license I could rent a car, but sometimes I just go with a friend who rents a car. I am actually going on a camping trip this weekend, except I'm biking there with my burley nomad trailer.

Nobody's trying to take your car away here. We are discussing a car free lifestyle. that doesn't mean NEVER driving a car (or being a passenger in one). Some chose to go that way, but that's their choice.
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Old 06-23-05, 07:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Cadd
Not always true. I personally PARK defensively because I actually care about my cars. I try to find a "quiet" corner spot FAR away from the entrance of the mall. By doing this, I hope to minimize door dings & scratches.

But I have no idea how you guys do it car free......don't you guys go on vacation? Take short weekend trips? Take road trips? Hiking trips? Camping trips? I personally love driving and there is no way anyone can take my car away from me.

And don't even bother saying how much money a car cost.....I know. I bet I pay a higher insurance premium than 95% of people on this board. Don't think so? Try me.
if you feel that way then why the hell are you posting here. take you car and drive away from this board troll
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Old 06-23-05, 08:29 PM   #13
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But I have no idea how you guys do it car free......don't you guys go on vacation? Take short weekend trips? Take road trips? Hiking trips? Camping trips? I personally love driving and there is no way anyone can take my car away from me.
For many of us, car free means free of car ownership, not use. I maintain a driver's license and rent a car if I really need one, but that is rare. Most of my longer vacations are to Europe, funded through the money I save not having a car payment, fuel, insurance, maintenance, etc. Sometimes I take my bike with me, sometimes I go really light and train everywhere. My weekend trips are hopping flights to visit places around the USA and Canada. I get to/from the airport by bus which lets me off right at the terminal door, meaning no parking fees at the airport lots. I love to travel, and contrary to what many people think, being car-free has allowed me to travel much more than I did when I owned a car.
Honestly, I'm not a skinflint. I simply choose to direct my limited disposable income elsewhere than a motor vehicle which I wouldn't use that much anyway. I haven't had a car in four years and for me, it has been a discovery of new found freedom. I'm sure others would have a great deal more difficulty living car-free. I happened to find a way to make it work for me.
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Old 06-23-05, 11:06 PM   #14
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If you feel that way than why the hell are you posting here. take your car and drive away from this board troll.
Amen, brother!
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Old 06-24-05, 06:50 AM   #15
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For many of us, car free means free of car ownership, not use.
Point very well taken. Speaking about living car-free, I can't think of another better City to do that than in NYC. I personally have 2 cars & 4 bikes (well, 3 now since I sold one).....I drive about 12,000 a year between two cars (I only drive on the weekends). Although I'm paying up the nose for insurance, I still can't justify not owning a car. The convenience of ownership is very important to me. This past month alone, I've driven my bikes up to MA for rides as well as driving Upstate to hike. In a few weeks, we are camping and I'm driving there with all my gear (including my my bike & my wife's bike).

The only way I can really enjoy biking is if I drive AWAY from the city into a nice part of the burbs to bike. And I will not give that up.




Again, thank you for articulating your point across in such a polite manner.

Same goes for most of the members who responded to me.

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Old 06-24-05, 06:59 AM   #16
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if you feel that way then why the hell are you posting here. take you car and drive away from this board troll
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Originally Posted by smurfy
Amen, brother!
Awww, did I pinch a nerve? I'm sorry, I didn't realize I was trolling when I simply replied BenyBen's post. I just wanted him to know that NOT ALL driver do that. I guess if you consider that trolling, then I guess I'm trolling.

Btw, I've been a member on this board since 2002 and I posted more than both of you. Don't normal "trolls" come and try to stir things up and leave?

Oh and the comment about "take you car and drive away from this board troll", why don't you try to be a little more mature and respectful of others in this community? I mean, you should be lucky that I'm a cyclist & a driver. At least I'm looking out for cyclists when I drive. I stop when I see someone getting a flat to ask if they need help. I also drive next to them and "PROTECT" them if I see that it's a dangerous stretch of road (this way cars behind me won't run him/her over). Of course I ask if he/she minds.....most of the time, they say "thank you" and ride along side me and sometimes they'll ask me if I mind if they draft off me (after they know I also ride) I usually give them the thumbs up and drive at a constant speed (slowly accelerating).

Is it wrong to love both cycling and driving? I spent thousands on bikes the past 3 years. I've also spent thousands on "racing school" (Skip Barber) to enhance my driving skills & to learn how to be a safer driver.

If that's wrong, please tell me why.

Last edited by Cadd; 06-24-05 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 06-24-05, 07:08 AM   #17
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Buying gas *is* weird, because I was car free for a long time then got a scooter, and I was always buying gas when the only use I had for gas stations before that was which ones had air for my bike tires lol.

The searching for a parking space thing is weird too.

To me it's weird that people don't ding each others' cars up MORE, and that something supposed to be functional like a car "has" to have a shiny paint job. That's just bizarre.

Eating in a car is bizarre and I won't do it (ok maybe if starving) and eating while driving is such a no-no with me, I've never done it. Maybe once or twice as a kid, as a passenger.

And I see no problem with renting a car if needed or wanted, or renting a truck or whatever.

I may be car-free very soon, yippeee! And this means I'll certainly be renting a truck if I move, and renting a car if I want to take a trip somewhere etc that's a long distance, stay awhile kind of thing. But around here, going around by bike rules!
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Old 06-24-05, 07:22 AM   #18
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To me it's weird that people don't ding each others' cars up MORE, and that something supposed to be functional like a car "has" to have a shiny paint job. That's just bizarre.
Same can be said about bikes. Some people have real beat up bikes and others have shiny, really well maintained bikes. It's sad to say, but I see more beat up bikes than shiny bikes (same goes for cars).

This is the same reason why I have two cars. One for utility & hauling the bikes around and the other for myself to enjoy. I don't eat in it & I wash it when it's dirty.

And for those who say "rent". Yes, that's a smart thing to do since you're not paying for insurance & maintenance for the time that you don't use it. However, if renting is you only interaction with cars, you have no idea what you're missing. Please don't judge "cars" from the crappy rentals you get......that's the same as someone who buys a Walmart bike and says that bikes are heavy & difficult to ride.

A person riding a Walmart bike probably has no idea what he's missing, same goes for someone who has only driven rentals. I was in BOTH these categories. I used to drive an old beat up car and had no idea what a "real" car is capable of. I used to ride "Huffy" and had no idea what a "real" bike is capable of.

Try driving a BMW or a Lexus or a sporty Vette. Take it on a nice mountain road and it'll be difficult for me to believe you didn't enjoy the ride (well, I guess it's possible if you're not a car person). Same goes for a bike. I challenge someone who is riding a Walmart bike to ride a higher end bike (Trek, Specialized, C'Dale, etc.) down a nice smooth curvy road and it'll be hard to believe if that person will not enjoy the ride.

But I guarentee you that rental cars vs. near luxury (or luxury cars) are day & night.......same as Huffy vs. Lightspeed.

Last edited by Cadd; 06-24-05 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 06-24-05, 07:42 AM   #19
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Wow Cadd if you're putting on 12000 miles a year just on weekends, you probably are coming out OK owning, as opposed to renting, you sound like you've done the math and know it well.

I put more like 7k a year on my car and almost all of it errends that can be done by bike. The tiny bit that's left, can be done by bike trailer or just a pull-wagon.
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Old 06-24-05, 07:43 AM   #20
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Oh, and a rental Neon with a V6 in it I drove once was pretty fun, read around on the bimmer.org forums and you'll find a few bimmer owners admitting they got dusted in autocross by those....
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Old 06-24-05, 07:44 AM   #21
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Your posts are off-topic. This forum and this thread especially is not intended to talk about how much we love cars and how we like to park them or how we use cars to bicycle. It was a rather troll-like response. If you have any questions, please PM me or any of the moderators. Thanks.

Let's keep the attitude and the spirit of this forum intact.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadd
Awww, did I pinch a nerve? I'm sorry, I didn't realize I was trolling when I simply replied BenyBen's post. I just wanted him to know that NOT ALL driver do that. I guess if you consider that trolling, then I guess I'm trolling.

Btw, I've been a member on this board since 2002 and I posted more than both of you. Don't normal "trolls" come and try to stir things up and leave?

Oh and the comment about "take you car and drive away from this board troll", why don't you try to be a little more mature and respectful of others in this community? I mean, you should be lucky that I'm a cyclist & a driver. At least I'm looking out for cyclists when I drive. I stop when I see someone getting a flat to ask if they need help. I also drive next to them and "PROTECT" them if I see that it's a dangerous stretch of road (this way cars behind me won't run him/her over). Of course I ask if he/she minds.....most of the time, they say "thank you" and ride along side me and sometimes they'll ask me if I mind if they draft off me (after they know I also ride) I usually give them the thumbs up and drive at a constant speed (slowly accelerating).

Is it wrong to love both cycling and driving? I spent thousands on bikes the past 3 years. I've also spent thousands on "racing school" (Skip Barber) to enhance my driving skills & to learn how to be a safer driver.

If that's wrong, please tell me why.
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Old 06-24-05, 08:17 AM   #22
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Your posts are off-topic. This forum and this thread especially is not intended to talk about how much we love cars and how we like to park them or how we use cars to bicycle. It was a rather troll-like response. If you have any questions, please PM me or any of the moderators. Thanks.

Let's keep the attitude and the spirit of this forum intact.
You got it dude. I don't think I disrespected anyone here. If I did, I do apologize.

One question....
Was this comment directed towards me?
Quote:
Originally Posted by lala
Let's keep the attitude and the spirit of this forum intact.
or was it directed towards the member who wrote posted the below?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretSatellite
if you feel that way then why the hell are you posting here. take you car and drive away from this board troll

JAMES,
I'm sorry that I took your thread OT. That wasn't my intention. Perhaps, I can start a thread about cars in another section of the forums and maybe a poll to see how many miles people drive annually.
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Old 06-24-05, 08:47 AM   #23
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Try driving a BMW or a Lexus or a sporty Vette. Take it on a nice mountain road and it'll be difficult for me to believe you didn't enjoy the ride (well, I guess it's possible if you're not a car person).
But I guarentee you that rental cars vs. near luxury (or luxury cars) are day & night.......same as Huffy vs. Lightspeed.
Okay, I'll bite. Haven't driven a BMW, Lexus or sporty vette on a mountain road, but I have owned a Volvo and Mercedes Benz and driven those on mountain roads. I haven't been into cars in a few years, but I imagine they are still considered luxury and rate above the typical rental car. For the amount of money and effort I shelled out keeping those babies running on the road, it just wasn't worth the occasional thrill from winding down mountain roads, especially considering those mountain roads were just as likely to have significant traffic from others looking for the thrill of winding down mountain roads. Now if you want to talk about a REAL thrill, forget the car and take a motorcycle on that mountain road. Having once used motorcycles as my primary means of transportation, I can tell you from experience that there is nooooo comparison.
Your analogy of a wal-mart bike versus a higher end bike is right on target. I am often explaining to wal-mart riders that part of their problems is not the cycling itself, but from what they are cycling on.
I think it is more important that people are not so much car-free, but less car dependent. Your posts indicated you do not drive during the week. I would say that pretty much means you have found a way to live less car dependent than others. As I have said in these forums before, I know many people that routinely bike 60+ miles for training, but it never occurs to them to bike one mile for a simple errand or go to a movie. There are many couples that maintain two motor vehicles when their needs could be perfectly served by only one, freeing up significant resources for other things which they think they can not afford due to the necessity of maintaining that extra car.
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Old 06-24-05, 08:48 AM   #24
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The most important part of the news for me is now the weather report! I spend more time analyzing the weather channel and its reports than I do watching the local news.

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Old 06-24-05, 08:58 AM   #25
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Quote:
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You got it dude. I don't think I disrespected anyone here. If I did, I do apologize.

One question....
Was this comment directed towards me?
or was it directed towards the member who wrote posted the below?
We want this forum to be about car-free living. We need to be civil to one another. This goes out to everyone, including you and others. Thanks.
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