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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 07-02-05, 09:27 PM   #1
lilHinault
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Ding dong the SUV's gone!

Well, I sold it back to the dealer, I decided I'd better do it not next month, not next week, NOW if possible. I got book plus am getting a buncha money back for the unused part of the service contract, enough to get a go-fast roadie bike maybe.

I can't believe how cheaply they're selling new SUVs at Saturn, which means GM in general. They really seem to be trying to blow out all the "units" they can, GM's going to tank maybe?

All it takes is one oil panic, or something, to make anything full-sized highly undesirable.

This done with, I was going to grab a rental car to go someplace tomorrow, which is not bikeable to this non-RAAM rider, but I found out, on a holiday weekend like this better plan ahead if you're carless and need a rental. All the rental places closed. I suppose I could hop the train to the airport, then rent a car there, but the trip's not life-or-death, I can find other things to do.

Now I have significantly less money going out each month, car-free people often note that not owning a car has allowed them to buy a house, save for college, etc that they'd not be able to otherwise. Yay!

I guess tomorrow I'll walk up to the Sportmart, and take another look at golf bag carriers for perhaps adapting into a carrier to take boxes up to the post office, which is a couple of blocks away from me. Those look dandy, they're light, can carry a fair amount of weight, and meant to handle some bumps and grass, etc.

whoo-hoo what a day!
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Old 07-02-05, 09:42 PM   #2
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Congratulations!

GM's stock was reduced to junk bond status several weeks ago. It is stuck paying a lot of money in pensions and health care to retired and retiring employees, and until recently its sales were woefully bad. (Unlike Ford, GM has stubbornly insisted it will continue to focus on its bread and butter: giant SUVs. Ford has announced it will drop many of its larger vehicles.)

GM had a great June, though, because of a marketing scheme in which it extended its so-called "employee discount" to everyone. Daimler-Chrysler has been considering a similar promotion to keep pace.

Frankly, though, one month does not make a company successful. Eventually the company will have to raise prices again--or sacrifice profits, something it cannot afford to do.

Anyway, enough about cars--what bikes are you considering?
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Old 07-02-05, 09:43 PM   #3
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Hey, congrats!
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Old 07-02-05, 11:00 PM   #4
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Welcome to the ranks of the carless, lilHinault! Not every aspect of this experimental lifestyle has been debugged. I'm looking forward to reading your insights as you adapt.
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Old 07-03-05, 12:48 AM   #5
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Hey thanks folks, with the great people on here I'm sure it'd going to be fine. And I've been bike-only before too.

The commercials for the GM employee discount have been playing endlessly on the radio, and the folks at the dealer's said they had a record weekend, wait until GM's cut-their-own-throat pricing can't sell cars because look around on the road, everyone's driving a new car and in hock already these days. I doubt I'd be able to sell this thing so easily a month from now. I'm glad I got in there and got it done.

And it's only an experimental lifestyle in 'murrica where everyone's supposed to drive. Overseas it's routine.
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Old 07-03-05, 01:09 AM   #6
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Congrat's on making the move. The GM thing sounds about as bad as what Mitsu. did a couple of years back. 0 down, 0% for 5 years. Lots of those loans defaulted and they decided it wasn't such a good idea so they killed the program. Problem was that even though they cut production, they had tons of cars on the lot and in the pipe. They lost money on both the bad financing and on all the excess inventory that wouldn't move without the special financing.
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Old 07-03-05, 01:16 AM   #7
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On a side note, WOO HOO!, that was the first message to successfully post on any board anywhere from my PDA since I bought the wi-fi card for it. If anyone reads this, it'll make the second. (ok, so I'm easily amused)
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Old 07-03-05, 02:01 AM   #8
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Congrats! Not feasible for me to be bike-only yet, but I couldn't resist this thread thanks to the title--very catchy!. As for the saps at GM, earlier this year(April maybe) they were losing about $2500/vehicle after expenses(wages, insurance, parts, etc.). I seriously doubt they can keep up their current pace for much longer.
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Old 07-03-05, 02:15 AM   #9
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Congrats! I agree with you that you did this at the perfect time.

In your area, check out Fox Car Rental if you haven't already. They got super cheap deals for car rental. Last one I rented two months ago was a PT Cruiser for $14/day (fun, but not a good design so I traded in for a Nissan for $12/day). Check out to make sure your credit card covers the insurance for car rental. And get a portable bike rack so you can take your bike when you rent a car. I'm sure you know all this already

Cheers
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Old 07-03-05, 02:16 AM   #10
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congrats, hope evryone else is ready to make massive changes in their lives soon too, I have a sneaking suspicion 2006 and onwards is going be very very ugly

this probably belongs in the political forum but I thought it might be ok here too


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Old 07-03-05, 02:21 PM   #11
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Congratulations lil'eno. You are again a pilgrim in the paved wasteland called America. (Stand back Bono )
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Old 07-03-05, 03:37 PM   #12
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I've actually thought about picking up a little BMX bike because those are really easy to throw into any car, when I did a recent trip up to Napa valley and that area, I was thinking, Gee, if I had a BMX bike I'd have been able to carry it (didn't have room for the Langster) and I'd have been able to ride around the town and really explore. I'm not that big a person, so bike fit would be at least OK, and besides my wheelie skills need work.
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Old 07-03-05, 03:51 PM   #13
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hey li'l hinault, consider a folding bike too, you can usually find them used on craigslist and they are amazingly versatile for this kinda thing. you can spend anywhere from $200 to $3000 on a new one depending on your needs...

congratulations!

our last car, 2 yrs ago, was a van, a big one, and it was such a relief to get rid of the thing...and then call the insurance company and cancel the insurance...and the guy said "but what about insuring your next car" and I said, "we're not getting another car." Ah. Sweet freedom.

Isnt there a Flexcar in sunnyvale?
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Old 07-03-05, 05:06 PM   #14
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Yeah, another advantage of being carfree is that you have so much more money to spend on bike stuff!

I like my little KHS Cappuccino folder with 18 inch wheels. It's the bike I prefer for running quick errands in the neighborhood. It's half the size of my Townie . It's just more enjoyable to deal with a smaller piece of equipment. The only real downside is that the folder has less metal so it doesn't trigger the sensor for the exit gate at my apartment complex. On the other hand it goes through some rough narrow shortcuts better than the Townie. Theoretically it should be easier to take for trips on Greyhound but I haven't done that yet.
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Old 07-03-05, 11:53 PM   #15
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Hm, a folder, there's an idea for traveling, by car or train or something .....
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Old 07-04-05, 12:17 AM   #16
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yeah, folders serve us well for bart trips, and for getting/returning a rental car, and even for going somewhere where you know you'll be getting a car ride on the way back (or on the way somewhere else) and you can just stick the bike in the trunk.

also, it's the easiest bike to carry on our bike trailer, so it's the trick for getting a bike to the shop for repairs, or going to meet someone at the train and bringing a bike for them to ride. And, it's a handy guest bike since it's adjustable to fit most adults.
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Old 07-04-05, 09:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weed eater
yeah, folders serve us well for bart trips, and for getting/returning a rental car, and even for going somewhere where you know you'll be getting a car ride on the way back (or on the way somewhere else) and you can just stick the bike in the trunk.

also, it's the easiest bike to carry on our bike trailer, so it's the trick for getting a bike to the shop for repairs, or going to meet someone at the train and bringing a bike for them to ride. And, it's a handy guest bike since it's adjustable to fit most adults.

these are some great points...i've always laughed at those funny looking folding bikes, geared of course but i have recently seen a couple of ss bikes that i scratched my head going hmmmn
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Old 07-04-05, 09:41 AM   #18
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i'm currently converting our dahon to single speed...it was a 7spd but it only really worked in 1 or 2 gears anyway. my dream is a flipflop fixed/free folding bike for traveling. bike friday makes a (geared) folder that packs into its own suitcase which then converts to a trailer to tow behind the bike. !!
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Old 07-04-05, 11:33 AM   #19
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I'm also in the market for a trailer, did some research last night and I've decided to get a Burley Nomad, which means I will likely be at the swapmeet this coming saturday, buying and selling, in a seller space with my "cargo" bike and the Nomad. I'll bring stuff to sell, spread it on out there and sell (Mad LilHinault's Dollar Each Sale!) and I guenerally always give away or trade off what's left at the end of the day, and bring back home all the goodies I buy. When I sell it's my trimmings and leftovers and just a way to bring in an extra $100 or so, down at the TRW swapmeet there were always a couple of um, "special" guys, one who I think was living out of his van, and I've give 'em my end of the day leftovers, I felt good giving 'em a break because I don't think everyone else was very nice to 'em.
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Old 07-04-05, 11:38 AM   #20
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what you sold it before you tried the spray on mud???
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Old 07-04-05, 11:43 AM   #21
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the nomad seems like a great choice.

what swap meet?
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Old 07-04-05, 11:50 AM   #22
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Geeky electronics one. The kind of crowd that makes hardcore bikers who wear their helmets everywhere look suave.
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