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  1. #1
    Senior Member sethw's Avatar
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    Renting Cars, Taking a Bus... pfft... we're riding

    My wife and I, in NYC, have family back in PA (the poconos, actually). Since our car died in December '04 we've entered the world of renting cars and taking busses. Renting cars in the city is expensive and stressful (try returning those cars on time while putting up with NYC traffic! ack!!!), and the catching a bus sucks cuz of the stress of being on THEIR schedule. Like, on saturdays the last bus that goes back to NYC leaves at 7:30 or so... blah... believe me, we've done this a few times now. Running for busses, taking the subway to car rental places... blah...

    Soooo...

    I got on the SueandPaul pedometer thing and mapped out a rought draft of a route. It's about 110 miles or so. We can take the train up to near the George Washington Bridge and cut about 18 miles from the trip. Soo... it's around 80 miles at least... certainly do-able with some more saddle time and more weekend rides.

    Plus we can just ship clothing, gifts (for the holidays), toiletries, etc. to our destination, so we won't need to carry them on the bikes. So we carry plenty of water, food, and some bike repair stuff, and that's it.

    I think this might work for some weekend trips. We can borrow my parents car to drive to my inlaws (another 30 miles away) or whereever else we might need to get to. Heck, renting a car in PA is cheaper.

    So yea... car free commuting.... anyone else do it, or planning on it?

  2. #2
    is as Gurgus does. Gurgus's Avatar
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    That pedometer thing is pretty neat, no? I was using it today looking at my (car, sadly) commute. By the odometer in my car, my commute is 75kms one way. By the pedometer it show 66 kms. I might just bike commute once a week or so. The entire ride almost is along Lake Ontario bike trails, so I'll giver a go.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sethw's Avatar
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    Yea, im not entirely trusting of the pedometer thing.... though it did well for my normal morning bike commute - the pedometer said 8 miles and my bike computer said 7.9, so yea.

  4. #4
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    What is "the pedometer thing"?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Interface to Google Maps. Allows you to record point-to-point distances and save the resulting map as a URL that anyone can access.

    http://www.sueandpaul.com/gmapPedometer/

    Here is my commute ...
    http://tinyurl.com/d6eq7

  6. #6
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    I know a guy who lives in New York City and rents cars in south Jersey for about half what he would pay in Manhattan. He goes to Penn station and takes the NJ Transit Coast line to south Jersey and rents a car there.

    I don't like taking buses which is why I'm a bike/train commuter. Even during the weekends, you'll see me on trains with my bicycle because I refuse to take buses. The combination of bicycle and train allow me to explore places that would cost 10-20 dollars in gasoline and tolls alone not including wear and tear on the vehicle. My transportation fare is subsidized by the state when taking trains so it ends up costing a fraction of what the motorist is paying. Traveling by car is expensive any way you look at it and you need a vehicle that's reliable. Since I was always driving a beater, the car couldn't be driven 150 miles or I might not return home! The trains changed all that. Since I discovered commuter lines (NJ Trainsit, Metro North, LIRR and Amtrak) my weekend traveling has increased tremendously. I can live with a train schedule and plan my day according to one because it's a small inconvience compared to supporting the cost of a motorcar.

    Alot of people think trains are limiting because they don't stop at their doorstep which means having to take a cab, bus or call for a ride. This is a non-issue if you have a bicycle on board. With the bicycle, I'm not dependant on anyone and can instantly travel to distant locations without having to pay an extra fare upon arriving at the station. It would surprise you how few people take advantage of this and to be honest, I hope they don't find out because there's not a lot of bicycle parking inside a train. Yes.. I know. I'm selfish! ;-)

    Bottom line. The trains with my bicycle gave me the freedom I once had with my car.

  7. #7
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Steve--You are really lucky. Most of us in the US don't have trains available. One thing I love about Europe is the ease of going on day trips and weekend trips on the trains.

  8. #8
    Senior Member sethw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    The trains with my bicycle gave me the freedom I once had with my car.
    Hey, wow - great idea. I think we never thought of the train since it doesnt go right to Stroudsburg (The Poconos), but it DOES goes to Hackettstown, NJ. Hmmm... now you got me thinking

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    The train to Hackettstown is pretty infrequent, sethw. I live in Brooklyn too and take NJT all the time for work. Have you considered taking the train to Port Jervis, NY? That's on the PA border and 40 miles northeast of Stroudsburg. It's a very scenic area and the Port Jervis train runs very frequently.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    wait, hackettstown is much closer. never mind!

  11. #11
    Senior Member AlanK's Avatar
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    Yeah, trains/light rail is the way to go. Here in Seattle, we have a very good bus system, but bussing is still unpleasant compared to taking rail. Fortunately, I live within about 5 miles of everything I need on a regular basis (groceries, theaters, etc.), so most of the time it's faster for me to just bike everywhere rather than bus.

    Portland, our sister city, has a great light rail system that allows people to bring their bikes - it's pleasant, and efficient.

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