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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 07-05-05, 03:48 AM   #1
Chris L
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Perhaps stranger things have happened, but I can't remember when. Last week the Gold Coast copped one helluva downpour. Half a metre of rain fell inside 24 hours (actually it was more like 12) creating some much needed flooding, and in the middle of the dry season no less! Of course, being the spanky soul that I am, I cycled to work in it (not that I had much choice with none of the public transport here running at all), and thoroughly enjoyed every second of it.

However, what really surprised me at work was just how many of the car commuters wussed out. The attendance at my office was well under 50%. I can only assume it was because of some fear of the rain, ironically, the same fear of rain that often prevents people from going car-free in the first place. I guess the moral of the story is this: rain is never as scary or daunting as it's made out to be. I estimate it took around 30 seconds of my commute to be totally satured by the rain, and after that it became incredibly liberating, so much so that I was disappointed that my commute had to end at all.

I've heard any number of drivers tell me they feel sorry for me riding in the rain over the years. I wonder if any of them realise the feeling is more than mutual.
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Old 07-05-05, 10:06 AM   #2
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Maybe you can organize a rain ride! Then you can call it the "No wuss rain ride", and you can teach them riding skills for riding in the rain. Get some more folks riding and being car free, and get a higher attendance overall at work on days like that. Heck, you might even get a promotion for increasing attendance!

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Old 07-05-05, 04:27 PM   #3
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It's pretty much the same story here, Chris, except the issue is snow rather than rain. I always show up, even when the cars are stuck and the busses aren't running. On the very rare occasion when it's too snowy for even me to ride, I walk in and prove all those who "can't make it" are big wusses.
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Old 07-05-05, 04:34 PM   #4
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50cm of rain in 12 hours- that's a mighty tall tale, Chris. Good work riding in the rain, maybe your boss can present you a medal at the next company banquet.
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Old 07-07-05, 12:07 AM   #5
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I have mixed feelings about rain.

On the one hand it is, as you say, liberating, and can be quite enjoyable.

OTOH, visibility is significantly reduced, and drivers around here don't change their driving to suit the conditions at all. I always feel much more vulnerable when riding in the rain. The one time I've been hit since starting to commute regularly was during a rainstorm.

-Trevor
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Old 07-07-05, 12:16 AM   #6
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Danger goes up when it rains. Mostly due to stupid drivers.
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Old 07-07-05, 03:29 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by operator
Danger goes up when it rains. Mostly due to stupid drivers.
Not in rain like this. In rain like this, there are no drivers on the streets at all.
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Old 07-08-05, 01:25 AM   #8
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That's the kind of rain to have! I apparently got nailed by a car while coming home in the rain, I remember starting out, and I remember waking up in the hospital. Apparently I wasn't knocked out cold, I was just channeling Bugs Bunny, and it was while sassing off at the doctor for apparently the umpteenth time that my mind cleared and I got all nice and rational and reasonable and a lot nicer to that poor doctor. That's one rainy day I should have accepted the ride home I was offered. My theory is I got old #7 in the "how not to get hit by cars" thing, where I veered away from the curb to avoid a large puddle and got rear-ended. All in all it was still pretty light damage compared to what rainy day car-car accidents end up being, the drivers in that area speed up when it rains so they can get home faster. They think.
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Old 08-01-05, 12:39 AM   #9
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my only real beef with rain riding is the massive amount of relubing i have to do afterwards.
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Old 08-02-05, 08:18 PM   #10
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What worries me about rain is getting sick. For some reason, unless I'm covered from head to toe in hot waterproof gear, I'll get sick real fast riding in the rain. The humidity also makes for some unplesant sweat and you tend to get sticky real fast. Of course, you can also not wear any rain gear but I would rather ride sticky and sweaty than spend the next two weeks sick as a dog.

Accident are also another factor. Whenever it rains, there's always loads of accidents on the radio.
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Old 08-07-05, 11:16 AM   #11
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I love it when people show up to class/work all late and frustrated, while I've had time to lock up, change, and get to work, all while they're sitting in traffic. People in Hawaii tend to use heavy rain as an excuse. Like "oh, gosh, it's raining. I didn't know it would rain."
It's true: people get stupid in the rain. Speed decreases, braking slows and all that. Too bad.
And yeah, I always feel like a bad person when I don't lube my hubs and clean my drive train after a heavy rain.
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Old 11-21-05, 04:52 PM   #12
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I remember that , my father lives at Tweed Heads , and he had friends from 3 km away come and visit in a canoe, the water on the road was just deep enough for it , I just wish he took some pictures .
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Old 11-21-05, 07:45 PM   #13
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During the gas crisis of the '70s, in LA, I was the only one in my college classes who was car free. I was also the only one from out of district. In fact, I lived two community college districts away. (I registered through my grandmother's address) I was also the only one who had perfect attendance.

Car dependency makes wusses of us all.
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Old 11-21-05, 07:50 PM   #14
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i don't LIKE rain, but i lived in portland for a while and, well...i just sort of stopped caring.
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