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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 06-30-05, 09:57 AM   #26
PaulH
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No water bottle, no bike computer, no pump, no tools, no bag, no quick releases.
Built-in lighting.
Nothing easily removable.

U-lock to parking meter, railing, or other object.

If no object, then just lock wheel for short stop. Theft would require truck or large van, since wheels do not readily detach.

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Old 06-30-05, 10:01 AM   #27
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Sniping is so annoying and it drives people way due to others' egos. It really bugs me.
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Old 06-30-05, 11:06 AM   #28
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Sniping is so annoying and it drives people way due to others' egos. It really bugs me.
Goes with the territory. It's like being chased by dogs. Just stay calm and keep pedaling.
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Old 06-30-05, 11:11 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by PaulH
No quick releases...Nothing easily removable.

U-lock to parking meter, railing, or other object.

If no object, then just lock wheel for short stop. Theft would require truck or large van, since wheels do not readily detach.
Or an adjustable wrench/pliers.
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Old 06-30-05, 11:14 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by lala
Sniping is so annoying and it drives people way due to others' egos. It really bugs me.
Sort of how I feel about self described "serious cyclists" preaching to the "incompetents" about cycling/moral virtue. It really bugs me.
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Old 06-30-05, 11:45 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Platy
chocula, you made a good point about the logistics of commuting being largely about arriving at work on time. With errand running one is often more concerned about accomplishing several different kinds of tasks in a day with good efficiency. My personal experience is that combining trips cleverly is very important for people who rely on non-car transportation modes.
I don't really see the difference, but I also don't try to get to work just in time. I usually arrive 30min before I need to, to beat the worst of traffic and to settle in gently.
For errands I am often in a mad rush, to get to the store before closing after work (ever notice how big box places one likes to avoid close late 9pm or so, but independent stores I want to supprt close at 6pm), to rush to get the milk, ice cream and raw chicken packed in ice home in 110deg temps (store that is open late doesn't sell organic), etc. I often do several trips on bike on different days as there is not time to make 3 stops on one trip, nor is there room in 3000cu'in bag to get groceries, books from library, and materials from hardware store on one trip, so while multitasking works when driving a car, on a bike I find it difficult given the extra mileage, low carry capacity and rush I am often in.

Of course weekend trips to coffee shop, restaurant, bookstore to browse and relax are really not errands, but recreation. Errands I run during the week in a mad rush on bike to so I have freetime on weekends to go hiking, etc.

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Old 06-30-05, 03:33 PM   #32
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I-Like: Only someone with a very delicate ego would assume someone saying "serious cyclists" is automatically saying a bunch of others are incompetent etc., I'm guessing you're further assuming, perhaps not consciously, that I'm calling you incompetent. If the shoe fits, Cinderella! But, I don't look at things that way or mean them that way on any level.

To me a non-serious cyclist would be the folks who get 2 bikes at wal-mart, take 'em in the SUV to ride on the local bike trail on a sunny weekend, have a great time then go home and put the bikes in the garage. Next day they notice their butts hurt and they got sunburned. The bikes never leave the garage again. There are a lot of riders like that, you know. $5 gas will bring 'em out to ride with us though!
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Old 06-30-05, 03:59 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by lilHinault
$5 gas will bring 'em out to ride with us though!
$5/gal gas will reduce recreational (non-essential trip)/vacation driving and may encourage folks to perform multiple tasks on one trip, but it won't stop folks paying the $5 it costs for the 20mi RT drive the entire family to the mall vs. biking with the family thru dangerous high volume high speed streets in 100deg+ only to find no place to lock their bikes. There is no one I know and I would never suggest that anyone take their younger (say sub-15) kids on any of the streets round here needed to get to most any shopping area except that rare place in their immediate neighborhood.

Sure some thoughtful folks will ride a bike instead of driving, but the vast majority will just travel less, order more delivered goods, etc.

Where I live the two biggest challenges to commuting and utility biking are the hot summer temps and the (reality and perception of) dangerous streets.

$20/gal may do it though

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Old 06-30-05, 04:07 PM   #34
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I doubt that $5 gas will make any significant difference. Gas lines would, however.

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Old 06-30-05, 05:12 PM   #35
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It's getting a little bumpy here. And I thought we were all a bunch of tree-hugging, pacifistic, socialistic, elitist HIPPIES! At least that's what ILTB told me! I guess he was wrong about that too.
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Old 06-30-05, 05:26 PM   #36
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It's getting a little bumpy here. And I thought we were all a bunch of tree-hugging, pacifistic, socialistic, elitist HIPPIES! At least that's what ILTB told me! I guess he was wrong about that too.
Was I?

You forgot urban, physically healthy, and single or dependent free (with a few temporary exceptions for those with toddlers).


Though counter culture dreamers would be a term I think more appropriate than "hippies" which I think is more closely related to the free loading, drug dazed, "ain't I freaky?" crowd.
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Old 06-30-05, 05:49 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by noisebeam

$20/gal may do it though

Al
hmm... then class divisions will be seen on the roads, as those who'll be driving will be seen as having lots o' money.

Man... road trips would suck for people at that point... then *hopefully* they'll look @ bike touring
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Old 06-30-05, 07:12 PM   #38
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An interesting demographic to consider is the enormous wave of retired Baby Boomers that is just now starting. It's possible for all the ingredients favorable to a carfree lifestyle to suddenly reappear in people's lives.

Many of us have hippie roots and we rode bikes a long time ago. We've had sufficiently long productive careers. Our kids are growing up and leaving home. People over 50, especially, can easily become single overnight. Big houses in the suburbs suddenly make less sense so one can also become an urban dweller again. Incomes often drop dramatically. More than almost anything else we long for restored vitality and good health. How common will this be? I don't know, but I've always considered myself right in the middle of Boomer demographics and that's exactly what happened to me.
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Old 07-01-05, 01:09 AM   #39
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I don't think the old political lines apply anymore, I'm probably an anarcho-syndicalisst or something.

I am a big fat ol' tree-hugger though, I'm a real eco-freakie.

Oh yes, and I meant it about being an uber-posinger, too. I'm a posinger bigtime.
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Old 07-01-05, 06:47 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Platy
An interesting demographic to consider is the enormous wave of retired Baby Boomers that is just now starting. It's possible for all the ingredients favorable to a carfree lifestyle to suddenly reappear in people's lives.

Many of us have hippie roots and we rode bikes a long time ago. We've had sufficiently long productive careers. Our kids are growing up and leaving home. People over 50, especially, can easily become single overnight. Big houses in the suburbs suddenly make less sense so one can also become an urban dweller again. Incomes often drop dramatically. More than almost anything else we long for restored vitality and good health. How common will this be? I don't know, but I've always considered myself right in the middle of Boomer demographics and that's exactly what happened to me.
The demographic you describe fits in perfectly- dependent-free urban dweller and presumably still physically healthy. No school districts to consider, no children's social activities to attend anymore, and presumably no desire to travel beyond the limits of available public transportation. Also presumably aged parents (relatives and friends also) are deceased, in a nursing home, or within bicycling/public transportation range. Or they have cars and take care of their needs with no help from their car-free baby boomer children/friends
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Old 07-01-05, 07:41 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
Sure some thoughtful folks will ride a bike instead of driving, but the vast majority will just travel less, order more delivered goods, etc.
Al
Well, at least this is still a good thing. I also don't think $5 gasoline will convert many people to cycle more. It may, however, help create conversions to more fuel efficient vehicles. I also suspect people will continue to drive regardless of the price of gas.
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Old 07-01-05, 02:50 PM   #42
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I doubt we will soon, if ever, see $5 gas, let alone $20 gas. The government will just increase subsidies in an increasingly foolhardy effort to keep the economy chugging along. Taxes will rise (or defecits will), but people will still be slow to see the connections between government spending and cheap energy.
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Old 07-01-05, 03:00 PM   #43
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Well, at least this is still a good thing. I also don't think $5 gasoline will convert many people to cycle more. It may, however, help create conversions to more fuel efficient vehicles. I also suspect people will continue to drive regardless of the price of gas.
It is a very good thing. I very much support societal car use reduction and reduced non renewable fuel use - but for me this does not mean car free or primarily bike transport.
Some folks will use more public transport
Some will get rid of their car
Some will combine trips
Some will eliminate 'extravagant' trips
Some will ride their bike
Some will use more fuel efficient vehicles
Some will do some combination of the above
Some will do items I have not listed
Some will do none of the above

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Old 07-01-05, 04:18 PM   #44
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I'm late to this thread as usual, so this post has to do with the earlier subject of utility/commuter cycling.

I work at home, so no commute to speak of, but I use my bikes for everything, including transport to business meetings. it's kind of tricky, especially when the meeting is sensitive/important enough that I want to be wearing nice clothes and, once or twice, even felt like I should carry something other than a backpack, i.e. a briefcase-type thing just like a grownup. (I need one of those Carradice "bike bureaus" for things like that)

when I used to commute to a straight job, i would keep clothes at work to change into, and have a little room I could change in, and hang up my sweaty shorts and my rain pants. Obviously I can't do any of that if I am going to a client's office for a meeting. Instead my strategy, such as it is, involves a few tricks

--wearing 'miracle fiber' clothing, which you can get in passable office-wear styles nowadays. even if i get sweaty I cool off fast upon arrival, and it works as emergency rain gear in a pinch...
--showing up at least 15 min early, and finding a cafe or somewhere to sit and cool off, and let my heart rate return to normal.
--drinking plenty of water before, during and after the meeting

of course there are lots of inbetweens--the other day I had a daylong meeting at a clients office where I felt comfortable enough to ask the director if I could stash my panniers in her office, and then I had a meeting later on with a different director in the same office, first time we'd met, so it was a handy mix of accessibility and sensitivity. I did, for instance, wear my bike shoes and change into work shoes before I entered the building. Usually after I get to know someone they're so impressed that I get along without a car that there's no stigma, but it's nice to look like a "normal person" for a first impression. It'd be great if that werent true, but it is, and my job is what it is, and therein lies my challenge as a bicycling freelancer.

I should qualify all this by saying that I live and work in the SF Bay Area, so the weather is rarely an issue (save the very occasional rainy day) and the dress standards are lax enough that at least I don't need to show up in a jacket and tie. Rain changes everything--it's weird to show up at a meeting and have to strip out of your rain gear and stash it somewhere before you even enter the building, particularly when it's raining! And it's been years since I've lived where there was real winter, so I tip my helmet to anyone who works within those confines.

I think Pedex may have finally convinced me to someday find a nice huge messenger bag to know and love. I have used panniers, a trailer and a backpack in various combinations for the past 10 years, but I find myself wanting more and more just to haul all the stuff separate from the bike. Trailers and racks are fine for 1 or 2-stop trips to the store(s), but when I'm on a multi-stop errand run, my backpack gets very very full.

Oh--and more relevant to the original posting, when I'm running around town on lots of errands, I usually wear some army-surplus cargo pants with big side pockets. my lights, sunglasses, and bike gloves drop into the side pockets without getting in the way of anything while I walk around the store or wherever.
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Old 07-01-05, 07:29 PM   #45
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I took a clue from Pedex, Paul H, noisebeam, weed eater and others. I stripped off all the gadgets before I went out errand running today. That hugely improved efficiency and enjoyment. Obviously I'm still learning some basic things. Thanks, everyone.
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Old 07-01-05, 07:48 PM   #46
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I took a clue from Pedex, Paul H, noisebeam, weed eater and others. I stripped off all the gadgets before I went out errand running today. That hugely improved efficiency and enjoyment. Obviously I'm still learning some basic things. Thanks, everyone.
Glad to be of service

I think a large portion of rec riders have a real difficult time reconciling alot of the issues of doing errands and such by bike, I get the distinct impression that here in the US anyway, its very culturally ingrained too.For such an amazingly simple thing as doing errands via bike some folks sure make a mountain out of a mole hill so to speak.

Seems the most common issues are:
weather
locking up
equipment
carrying stuff on your back
cell phones
helmets
how you look(as if it matters)

From my point of view, the only real tough issues I can see being car free causing real diffculties are having a sizable family and living far from basic services like grocery shopping, other than that, its really not that tough.
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Old 07-01-05, 10:09 PM   #47
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Seems like most people have a fairly secure place to leave their bike at work if loosely attached accessories are not much of a concern for commuting. I'm fortunate enough to have a bike locker, so I leave my lights attached to my commuter and my commuter is a better bike than the bike I use for errands though I don't do many errands. I have carried an extra pannier and left it on the bike in the past. When I parked my bike outside, I would remove at least the battery and take it in with me. My commute is longer than any errand I do on my bike. 8.5 miles one way to work. Most places I go to shop are within 3 miles.
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Old 07-01-05, 10:31 PM   #48
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Sometimes I wish the price of gas would get to $5/gal. but the only problem with that is it would make the price of everything else much higher. Would it be feasable to have $5/gal. gas and, say, $1/gal. for diesel for commercial trucks? That I would really like to see happen.
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Old 07-01-05, 10:36 PM   #49
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Transportation isnt gonna be what does us in, the price of food is because of its dependence on cheap energy.Wait till a 5lb bag of rice that costs $1.79 now is like $20, people will notice that LOL, Ive already noticed my food bill increasing pretty quickly lately.4000 calories per day is getting damn expensive.
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Old 07-01-05, 10:49 PM   #50
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Transportation isnt gonna be what does us in, the price of food is because of its dependence on cheap energy.Wait till a 5lb bag of rice that costs $1.79 now is like $20, people will notice that LOL, Ive already noticed my food bill increasing pretty quickly lately.4000 calories per day is getting damn expensive.
Well, gosh darn it, we're just going to have to grow our OWN food. Victory gardens like during WWII!
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