Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-23-05, 12:54 PM   #1
RWTD
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 1,092
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Vacation/Weekend Getaways

A poster on another thread asks how we do these things w/o a car and while I feel no need to defend myself this was a topic I was thinking of starting anyway, so here goes.

How does everyone else handle vacations/getaways car-free?Personally, I was never one for long vacations staying in hotels, spending vast quantities of cash etc. ,as the tourism industry would have everyone do ,even when I had a car.These days, for me ,taking an extended bike ride is a vacation and as a result I have bike toured and camped all over Florida in recent years. Again ,I actually prefer frequent shorter "long weekend" getaways to extended vacations and like to camp,hike and backpack as well as bike, so this winter/spring I have been combining all into my trips.For example, I biked 80 miles each way ,with my backpack attached to the rear rack of my bike, to backpack 30+miles at Big Cyprus Natl. Preserve over a long weekend.On another trip it was more like 40 miles each way to backpack at a Wildlife Mngt. Area in the northern Everglades.

I guess the fact that I live in a state known for tourism and am w/i walking distance,for me anyway,of the beach and Everglades and w/i long weekend biking distance of the Keys makes this all doable ,but I admit many sacrifices and challenges are involved in making this lifestyle happen .I personally find it kind of ironic that most of the backpackers on a certain other forum seem to travel by car/plane an average at least a thousand miles for every 5 miles backpacked.This does not make sense to me, I start and end all my trips/travels at my front door and go self propelled.This makes even a trip to the grocery a hike and the return a backpack. Finally, I have no need to go anywhere I can't get to by bike(or on foot) ,it is all about choices and that is my choice.
RWTD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-05, 01:50 PM   #2
Guest
Guest
 
Bikes:
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
I fly.

The vacations I take are out of the country, but once I get to that country, I ride my bike throughout, or else I jump a train and/or ferry if I need to get someplace really far away.

Koffee
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-05, 02:06 PM   #3
noisebeam
Al
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
Posts: 14,109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
I very often on weekends drive to very remote Wilderness areas, this often requires long stretchs on freeways, backroads and finally (only established & legal) dirt and 4WD roads which are often rough. At the Wilderness boundaries I may car camp the first night I arrive and backpack for 1-2 remaining nights. I explore, document, measure, survey and look for threats and take many photographs which I have used in slideshows, newsletters and displays for advocacy and education.

I don't know how I could possibly do this without a motorized vehicle.

Al
noisebeam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-05, 02:33 PM   #4
BenyBen
winter is comming
 
BenyBen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lachine, Quebec, Canada
Bikes: Mikado kensington 2003, "commuterized" 8yr old Mongoose hilltopper SX, Baycrest Hurricane 10 speed
Posts: 531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Noisebeam, Ne need to get defensive... The question was:
"How does everyone else handle vacations/getaways car-free?"

Not

"Come explain why you need to drive to your vacations"

I'm sure your reasons for using a motorized vehicle are valid, and I don't call you evil for it. Can we simply have a discussion on how the car-free (or would-be car free) can discuss about helpfull things on dealing with vacation?
BenyBen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-05, 03:00 PM   #5
SpokesInMyPoop
Ha Ha! Boss.
 
SpokesInMyPoop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: pdx, or
Bikes: Univega custom 14sp mixte + Sears 3sp groceryhoggg
Posts: 879
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I like to get drunk on the amtrak

edit: and they let you take bikes on board! Even on the bus! ('s like $5)
SpokesInMyPoop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-05, 04:31 PM   #6
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Bikes:
Posts: 23,521
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 119 Post(s)
I have not taken an annual "vacation" in about 3 years, due to family illness. Instead, I have arranged my work schedule so that I have 5 or 6 days off in a row every month. I go up north to visit my dad and sister, who live in a beautiful resort town about 200 miles away. (Traverse City, MI). I get a ride (or take a city bus) to the Greyhound station in Lansing, and I get picked up by my sister or a friend at the bus station in Traverse City. While there, I do drive my dad's car (he cannot drive) and do a lot of his errands and shopping. Normally, this is the only time I ever drive anymore. Just last week, my sister bought a new bike, so I now have a bike, her old one, that I can ride while I am up there. This used to be my "bike-free" vacation, but from now on I will ride even more than usual while I am up there.
Roody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-05, 05:12 PM   #7
Platy
Dare to be weird!
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Austin TX
Bikes: Hybridized 1970s Coppi road bike; Townie city cruiser
Posts: 1,991
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just got back from a two week vacation in East Texas. My original plan was to rent a compact car and take my folding bike. The car rental place was running short on small cars so they offered me a free upgrade to larger car. So I was able to take my full size bike.

One reason I did it that way was because I hadn't driven at all for over two years and I was starting to feel that I needed to practice driving a little.

It was pretty expensive though. In hindsight it would have been perfectly feasible to take the folding bike (in a bag) on Greyhound to the nearest town with a bus stop and ride to my destination two towns over (about 30 miles). I didn't do it that way because I hadn't been to that area before, and I didn't know the exact traffic and road conditions. (Both of which would have been just fine, but I didn't know that until I got there.)

Another concept I've had is to just show up in a city on Greyhound with nothing but an air pump and a bag of bike tools. The thing about bus stations is they are usually really close to a pawn shop where you can pick up a beater bike. Repair as needed, ride it around all you want, then either ditch it or re-pawn it for $5 on your way back. At least that's the concept.
Platy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-05, 07:30 PM   #8
SecretSatellite
MY BICYCLE IS MY CAR!
 
SecretSatellite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes:
Posts: 251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
theres so much to do in my area i dont really take vacations. any place i want to get to i can ride or take the bus or train or a combination. i'm going hosteling this summer and i'll be using greyhound. i dont like that to appear affluent you have to take a vacation, like a vacation is anything other than a luxury.
SecretSatellite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-05, 08:34 PM   #9
Simplebiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes: 2002 Specialized Sirrus A1, 2000 Raleigh R500
Posts: 173
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I haven't taken many vacations yet, but it looks like all the major cities in the Northeast have fairly good public transit and Amtrak goes there. However, I will rent a car to go places where there isn't good public transit. If I can fly there, I'll get a car there, and if flying isn't easy, I'll rent a car and drive there. One day, I'll probably rent a car and drive all the way to California over three days or so. Probably stop to see the grand canyon for the second time, (first time when I was 10), and meteor crater, the desert. Maybe circle back up to Yosemite National Park. Maybe a 2-3 week road trip with stops. Of course, some people make the cross country trip by bike. I might do that some day, but that would be even further into the future.
Simplebiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-05, 08:48 AM   #10
noisebeam
Al
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
Posts: 14,109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenyBen
Noisebeam, Ne need to get defensive... The question was:
"How does everyone else handle vacations/getaways car-free?"

Not

"Come explain why you need to drive to your vacations"

I'm sure your reasons for using a motorized vehicle are valid, and I don't call you evil for it. Can we simply have a discussion on how the car-free (or would-be car free) can discuss about helpfull things on dealing with vacation?
I guess I wasn't trying to be defensive to y'all, maybe more to myself - thinking out loud about how it would be nice to be carless (i.e. get rid of my SUV I only use on weekends), but the trade offs it would entail. Also there is the conflict I have about needing to drive, pollute, use roads, to both enjoy but also promote wilderness.

Al
noisebeam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-05, 09:09 AM   #11
PurpleK
Velocipedic Practitioner
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: North Carolina
Bikes: Specialized Sirrus, Bianchi Volpe, Trek 5000, Santana Arriva tandem, Pashley Sovereign, among others
Posts: 488
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My longer vacations are generally overseas, so I take the bus to the airport and back. Relieves me of all the parking headaches, timing, etc. Once in Europe, public transport is THE way to go (if not by bike). Most camping weekend trips I do right out my front door on my bike, such as visiting a state park, lake or other location not more than 150 miles round trip, usually much shorter. However, I really love to travel, so I will google a good airfare, select a city in the USA or Canada I've never been to before, and take a long weekend using the same method I use for my European trips. Once, I wanted to see something in the open areas of Montana (I live in North Carolina), so I took an early evening flight to Billings on a Friday night, where I spent two nights. I rented a car Saturday morning to visit the site then turned the car in when I got back and spent the rest of the day and night exploring Billings. Flew back home on Sunday morning.
PurpleK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-05, 10:29 PM   #12
lilHinault
.
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: .
Bikes: .
Posts: 3,094
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just got back from a "weekend getaway" (in actuality a biz trip that just happened to be in wine country, hic!) and took my Awesome SUV (tm) which I just calculated did 25MPH (it has a bitty engine) and I had to carry stuff, but if I were going just for fun, I think I'd want to take my bike and go by train, if a train runs up there.

I may be looking into buying land or a house or something up there, and for that, yes, I'll probably rent a car (I plan to not have the SUV much longer) because that's just how things are structured right now. A car really is useful for getting around in a lot of cases. But, I'd still like to take a bike, if I'd had my bike with me on this last trip I'd have been able to really explore the town of Middletown which is a really cool place. As it is I walked around a bit, but even a 20" BMX bike would have been a blast to have along.
lilHinault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-05, 10:54 PM   #13
Platy
Dare to be weird!
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Austin TX
Bikes: Hybridized 1970s Coppi road bike; Townie city cruiser
Posts: 1,991
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For carfree people who live near the Mexican border, Guanajuato is just about as good a vacation getaway as it gets. It's inexpensive, very walkable, and a lot of the downtown car traffic has been routed through old underground mine shafts, leaving the downtown area a sizeable carfree zone (yay!!).

I got there by taking Greyhound to Laredo TX, then buying a ticket on a Mexican bus line to Guanajuato. (Transportes del Norte, I think). The Mexican bus was cleaner than Greyhound.
The ride was 15 hours from the border to the interior, but the cost was only about $80. You can also fly to Leon and take a long taxi ride to Guanajuato, but that's waaay more expensive.
Platy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-05, 07:41 AM   #14
Robert Raburn
Tenacious Advocate
 
Robert Raburn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Oakland, CA
Bikes: All bikes except vintage Bianchi road frame equipped with generator hubs. Trailers: BOB Coz; Bykaboose; Bikes at Work 32" (favorite); Bikes at Work 96"
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For quick get-aways from Oakland I use local bike-friendly transit or Amtrak California (unboxed bikes allowed aboard all Capitol, San Joaquin, Pacific Surfliner trains AND connecting buses). Seasonal transit schedules are worth watching as service expands to many popular destinations like Yosemite, Angel Island, Monterey/Carmel, Black Rock City in the summer and ski areas in the winter.

On occasion Greyhound has been a last resort for a return leg with a boxed bike. However, I note that their recent service cuts makes many past adventures impossible. See: http://www.strayhound.com/scorecard/. I hope that Green Tortoise Adventure Travel (note: Burning Man-Black Rock City service) and other carriers take advantage of this rural public transit disaster. Bulletin boards at local hostels and colleges often highlight vacation transit service.

Getting to many wilderness trailheads by public transit, however, seems to be growing more difficult. Access to the Eastern Sierra Nevada range is particularly problematic. For example, when the road from Mammoth to Devil's Postpile National Monument was paved, car travel replaced local buses that served numerous trailheads. Let your congressional rep know that the NPS could be a leader in encouraging public transit to National Parks, rather than paving more parking lots and view turnouts.
Robert Raburn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-05, 09:20 AM   #15
oboeguy
34x25 FTW!
 
oboeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NYC
Bikes: Kona Jake, Scott CR1, Dahon SpeedPro
Posts: 6,013
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Does backpacking around Europe for a month count? No bikes, but we caught a couple of Tour stages on the way. Didn't drive a mile though we did get a ride to / from one airport. The rest was mass transit. Europe is nice that way.

Question about packing a folder on a Greyhound: how?? I have only my soft Dahon bag. There's no way I'd put my bike under the bus with the rest of the luggage in that.
oboeguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-05, 10:12 AM   #16
Robert Raburn
Tenacious Advocate
 
Robert Raburn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Oakland, CA
Bikes: All bikes except vintage Bianchi road frame equipped with generator hubs. Trailers: BOB Coz; Bykaboose; Bikes at Work 32" (favorite); Bikes at Work 96"
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hey Oboe:
With due respect, my precious folder would be worthless if it couldn't be stashed in a bus luggage bay. The known record for unboxed full-sized bikes in a single Amtrak California bus luggage bay is eight. This occured on the popular San Jose-Santa Cruz service. If scratches are a concern, you can wrap a piece of carpet remnant around vulnerable parts. Even though I take good care of my bikes, I don't bother (some friends accuse me of "licking my bikes clean"). Why? To put it in a cost perspective, I can powder-coat a frame each year for less than most people pay for car insurance, an airline ticket, a few tanks of gas, or ...?
Robert Raburn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-05, 07:59 AM   #17
Dahon.Steve
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: New Jersey
Bikes:
Posts: 6,837
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Platy
Another concept I've had is to just show up in a city on Greyhound with nothing but an air pump and a bag of bike tools. The thing about bus stations is they are usually really close to a pawn shop where you can pick up a beater bike. Repair as needed, ride it around all you want, then either ditch it or re-pawn it for $5 on your way back. At least that's the concept.
I always take my bike on trains when touring. Lately, I'm thinking of going taking the folder on Greyhound because it goes to different locations. This will certainly be an option once I get tired of using trains which is still a far way from now.
Dahon.Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-05, 08:14 AM   #18
Dahon.Steve
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: New Jersey
Bikes:
Posts: 6,837
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by oboeguy
Question about packing a folder on a Greyhound: how?? I have only my soft Dahon bag. There's no way I'd put my bike under the bus with the rest of the luggage in that.
http://www.dahon.com/luggage.htm
Dahon.Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:00 AM.