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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 08-24-05, 07:21 PM   #1
Mtn Mike
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Before I met my new girlfriend, it's not that I didn't have a car, but I managed to drive it less than 50 miles a week. The problem now is that my GF lives 25 miles away! I can easily ride this distance on the bike, but this just doesn't work all the time. I'm a little depressed at the forced change in lifestyle that dating an out of towner brings......any suggestions on how to reduce my time in the car?
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Old 08-24-05, 07:57 PM   #2
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Have her drive to you?
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Old 08-24-05, 07:57 PM   #3
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Tough situation. The only suggestion I have is working on planning to meet at times you can won't be tempted to drive. The downside is that you'd probably see her less often, which is also an upside--though it may be hard to see it that way at present..

Good luck.
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Old 08-24-05, 08:24 PM   #4
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Public transportation.

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Old 08-25-05, 05:29 AM   #5
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You pay for the gas, she pays for dinner.
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Old 08-25-05, 05:45 AM   #6
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When you started riding it was an adjustment, use that. Ride to her place once a week until it's habit, then twice. Pretty soon you'll be doing it all the time.
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Old 08-25-05, 06:42 AM   #7
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How long have you guys been together? If compromise doesn't work and/or your gut tells you driving 50 miles round trip isn't worth it, then move on....

...hope that didn't come off as too abrasive.
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Old 08-25-05, 07:02 AM   #8
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sell your car and tell her it got stolen
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Old 08-25-05, 08:19 AM   #9
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have her move in. sell your car.
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Old 08-25-05, 06:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by thelung
sell your car and tell her it got stolen

Oh that sounds like a perfect plan! thanks....
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Old 08-25-05, 06:30 PM   #11
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Thanks for the good responses, which are on the whole, right in line with my thinking. I do ride up there on my bike quite a bit, and we do share rides. Well....We'll see how compromises we both can make, and how long this "car dependent" relationship lasts.
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Old 08-25-05, 06:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Public transportation.

Koffee
In some cities this would work well. Unfortunately in a small town where public transit takes you only as far as the city limits, it just isn't practical. My friends and I joke about the likelyhood of a light rail system being put in place in Spokane. LOL, not when the state is spending $300 million to expand the highway system north of town to allow more people up there the convenience of driving the Spokanite's prefered vehicle: the fullsize american pickup truck. Okay, okay, enough venting...but PT is out....

edit: it's interesting that although the City of Spokane proper is a very livable city without a car, much of the population (GF included) lives in a semi-rural and surburban sprawl outside the city limits. The PT system is just fine within city limits, as are bike accesable streets and routes.

Last edited by Mtn Mike; 08-25-05 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 08-25-05, 06:40 PM   #13
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Well, how many miles are shaved from using public transportation? If you can shave off 10 miles each way, you're golden, boyfriend!

She must be a special lady, dood. I hope it works out!

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Old 08-25-05, 07:10 PM   #14
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you both can ride and meet half way. the down side is riding all the way home by yourself.
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Old 08-25-05, 08:04 PM   #15
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If it's too soon for you two to shack up and neither of you can move closer to the other one, why don't you supplement bike riding in. For example, have you heard of the relationship 15? When anyone moves into a serious relationship, they gain 15 pounds. After they've gone through the "gotta look great all the time" phase, they move into the "comfortable" phase. At this point, there is more lounging around and eating of naughty foods. They'll gain 15 pounds easy. What you can do is when you notice you two have gotten to the comfortable phase, instead of lounging around, you can suggest that you two go on bike rides, either exploring the town, making a plan to go to a certain location for a date or just to go on a ride some where for fun. Make a point to call it a date and not an activity. It's more romantic for her.

This also adds to the "things you two have in common and like talking about" category. A good way to get her into it is to show enthusiasm and get really excited when you see her taking an interest in it. Men forget that women aren't omnipotent sometimes and we can't read your mind to know you like something.

You may say "But that doesn't reduce the time in the car." Patience, grasshopper. Once you get her into it, she may get as hooked as you are and want to be less dependant on the car, especially with how expensive gas is lately. I wasn't into biking at all until my boyfriend got me into it. Now, I've surpassed him on the love of the bike. I have gone totally car free. He only rides with me to work once or twice a week and drives the rest.

I hope she's a great match for you and you two can come to something that works for both of you and makes you happy.
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Old 08-27-05, 09:04 PM   #16
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Im pretty much in the same situation as you. I live in a town where everything is close together so I use my bike to get between work, college, and apartment. BUT of course my girlfriend lives 12 miles away down the highway. I figure since I dont use my car, ever, this isnt too bad. So I have a 24 mile round trip every couple of days or so no biggie. All Ive got to say is Id much rather see her face then not drive a car.
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Old 08-27-05, 09:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by thelung
sell your car and tell her it got stolen

Yeah, that's the way to go! I agree with koffee brown, public transportation will atleast shorten your ride.
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Old 08-27-05, 11:57 PM   #18
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Wow, that always happens. They get a new girlfriend, and they ditch the best friend.
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Old 08-28-05, 02:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Well, how many miles are shaved from using public transportation? If you can shave off 10 miles each way, you're golden, boyfriend!

She must be a special lady, dood. I hope it works out!

Koffee
uh oh, we're back to the shaving discussion!
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Old 08-28-05, 08:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Public transportation.

Koffee
Get a Bike Friday, fold the bike and take the bus to her house so as to not waste all your energy. Then bike home at night! ;-)

There are no easy answers for those living in the burbs. For those like myself who live in urban areas and date in the same town, the choice is fairly easy. They say that gas will reach 100 bucks a barrel in 2006 so I'll feel your pain.
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Old 08-28-05, 10:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KristenGilbert
If it's too soon for you two to shack up and neither of you can move closer to the other one, why don't you supplement bike riding in. For example, have you heard of the relationship 15? When anyone moves into a serious relationship, they gain 15 pounds. After they've gone through the "gotta look great all the time" phase, they move into the "comfortable" phase. At this point, there is more lounging around and eating of naughty foods. They'll gain 15 pounds easy. What you can do is when you notice you two have gotten to the comfortable phase, instead of lounging around, you can suggest that you two go on bike rides, either exploring the town, making a plan to go to a certain location for a date or just to go on a ride some where for fun. Make a point to call it a date and not an activity. It's more romantic for her.

This also adds to the "things you two have in common and like talking about" category. A good way to get her into it is to show enthusiasm and get really excited when you see her taking an interest in it. Men forget that women aren't omnipotent sometimes and we can't read your mind to know you like something.

You may say "But that doesn't reduce the time in the car." Patience, grasshopper. Once you get her into it, she may get as hooked as you are and want to be less dependant on the car, especially with how expensive gas is lately. I wasn't into biking at all until my boyfriend got me into it. Now, I've surpassed him on the love of the bike. I have gone totally car free. He only rides with me to work once or twice a week and drives the rest.

I hope she's a great match for you and you two can come to something that works for both of you and makes you happy.

Excellent words of wisdom.

I've actually moved past the "relationship 15" phase. Fortunately in my case it was only the relationship 5 lbs. In the last month or so we have reduced our tendency to "eat out" together, both to save money and calories. But you're right, eating is always a good activity to do with anybody that we want to spend time with. Maybe because eating meals is a function that we all do, and we might as well share that time during the day.

Also, in the last few weeks I've managed to actually increase my riding millage/time back to pre-relationship levels. I should add that my GF is a cyclist too, and although she hasn't been riding that much recently, she is very supportive of me riding my bike as much as possible.

This weekend was good. I drove my car only 8 miles, and that was to go shopping at Costco (please make fun of me for being a mass consumer ). I rode my bike a total of 130 miles, and 40 of those miles were back and forth to her house.

As fall and winter approaches I am optimistic, as I am every year, that I will continue my good habits into the cold and darkness. 30 mile commute from work in the dark??? I've never attempted this on a regular basis, but we'll see how it goes...

Last edited by Mtn Mike; 08-28-05 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 08-28-05, 10:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mehow
Yeah, that's the way to go! I agree with koffee brown, public transportation will atleast shorten your ride.
Again, public transit is not a viable option in this town. I could show you a map of where I'm going, and where PT goes, and you'd see how much it would help. Besides, getting to city limits is no problem at all on a bike. It's the hilly country roads outside of town (in the dark) that are the most formidable obsticle as fall and winter approach...
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Old 08-29-05, 10:17 AM   #23
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When I first graduated college, my girlfriend lived in NE Philly and I was southwest of Wilmington. It was a 55 mile drive to go see her. Ugh. She would sometimes take the train down which made it only about 25 miles of driving (she was dropped off by her parents and I picked her up) but still not the best. Then she moved into Center City and I moved to north Wilmington. Now, she can catch the train right from work (which she takes the trolley too, maybe someday a bike ) and then it's only an 8 mile round trip to pick her up (maybe some day she'll buy a folder too). What's my point? When change is able to be made, make the best of it and your life will be a lot simpler.
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Old 08-29-05, 10:27 AM   #24
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This is easy, dump the girlfriend. Problem solved.
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Old 08-29-05, 11:05 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
Excellent words of wisdom.

I've actually moved past the "relationship 15" phase. Fortunately in my case it was only the relationship 5 lbs. In the last month or so we have reduced our tendency to "eat out" together, both to save money and calories. But you're right, eating is always a good activity to do with anybody that we want to spend time with. Maybe because eating meals is a function that we all do, and we might as well share that time during the day.

Also, in the last few weeks I've managed to actually increase my riding millage/time back to pre-relationship levels. I should add that my GF is a cyclist too, and although she hasn't been riding that much recently, she is very supportive of me riding my bike as much as possible.

This weekend was good. I drove my car only 8 miles, and that was to go shopping at Costco (please make fun of me for being a mass consumer ). I rode my bike a total of 130 miles, and 40 of those miles were back and forth to her house.

As fall and winter approaches I am optimistic, as I am every year, that I will continue my good habits into the cold and darkness. 30 mile commute from work in the dark??? I've never attempted this on a regular basis, but we'll see how it goes...
Hooray! Ignore everyone else telling you to lie to her or dump her. They're not in love like we are with our significant others.
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