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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 10-03-05, 02:44 PM   #1
missfigger
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i want to give up my car.

i hate that thing. its nothing but trouble... but i dont have a bike yet. im looking at an austro daimler 10 speed... i need something i can commute with. any advice for someone starting out?

thanks. jen.
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Old 10-03-05, 04:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missfigger
i hate that thing. its nothing but trouble... but i dont have a bike yet. im looking at an austro daimler 10 speed... i need something i can commute with. any advice for someone starting out?

thanks. jen.
Try posting in the Commuting section, i'm sure you'll get a ton of replies there

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Old 10-03-05, 09:08 PM   #3
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It's a lifestyle change to go car free. Suggest you make a list of all the things you with your car now and figure out what you will do without it. How will you carry groceries? In a messenger bag? Backpack? Rack? etc. You get the picture.

In my own experience, my planning continues to improve. Using my bike for errands has made me keenly aware of what route I need to travel for effeciency and what I need to take ... I really don't want to forget something because running back isn't a 5 minute deal.

If you only need to commute back and forth from work, then the commuting FAQ will probably answer all your questions.
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Old 10-03-05, 10:04 PM   #4
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You should be able to go to your local Trek or Specialized dealer and find a nice 'city bike' or "commuter bike" for $400 or less, stay away from the wal-mart bikes. Make sure you get a bike that fits you, esp. not one too big. Check out Craigslist.org since you can find bikes used there, or look around at the local college campus, etc for used bikes, thrift stores, if you're really-really strapped for cash. Start out doing local trips like to the library, to the bank, to the post office, etc on your bike, and get used to how easy it is, and gradually work up.
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Old 10-04-05, 02:06 AM   #5
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thanks for the replies. i really only need to get to and from work, which is pretty far so id be using the trolley as well... everything else i do is much closer to home. ill check out the other sections too... thanks again.
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Old 10-05-05, 09:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by missfigger
thanks for the replies. i really only need to get to and from work, which is pretty far so id be using the trolley as well... everything else i do is much closer to home. ill check out the other sections too... thanks again.
If you want to commute mixing public transportation and bicycle, I can suggest no better bike than a Brompton. It's the best all-round folder, not cheap but definitely worth the investment, if only to never have to worry about going anywhere far and not having a bike where you go.
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Old 10-05-05, 10:04 AM   #7
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No need to spend tons of cash. Basic bike with multiple speeds will do the job.
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Old 10-05-05, 03:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missfigger
i hate that thing. its nothing but trouble... but i dont have a bike yet. im looking at an austro daimler 10 speed... i need something i can commute with. any advice for someone starting out?

thanks. jen.

Hello Jen. This is my first visit to the "Living Car Free" forum.

I bought a folding bike this spring - a KHS - ostensibly to get in shape with. It's been on the bus with me several times now and adds one more dimension to my transportation - multimode!

I see someone mentioning a Brompton. Nice bike, popular in London England. Where are you located?
EDIT: just noticed you're in San Diego.

I suggest visiting the "Folding Bike" forum. Having a bike you can bring on a bus and then put under your desk at work means it won't ever get stolen and you can get around quickly. I usually skip the connector busses which saves me 1/2 hour of waiting on every trip. (it's only 5 or 10 minutes from where the main feeder busses drop me off to my final destinations)

My car just failed emissions and I'm thinking of ditching it. I know what you mean about trouble. I keep it well maintained but it costs $1,000/year just to sit in the driveway and not go anywhere...
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Old 10-08-05, 09:51 AM   #9
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hey jen--

check out the book "divorce your car" by Katie Alvord.

being car free is great, and it sounds like you are well prepared for it. But I'd advise you to hang onto the car and get a bike, and get accustomed to riding it. You'll see what it is you need the car for, and gradually figure out how to replace these trips with bikes/walking/transit.

The key, it seems to me, is to move one step at a time. Otherwise you may ditch the car, buy a bike, realize you're not ready to go completely car-free, and have to go find another car.

the other thing I'd make sure to do is get a professional bike fitting. Then you can spend a lot less on a used bike, when you know what your sizing needs are.

and finally i'd encourage you to learn how to do basic maintenance yourself, it'll make bike ownership much more gratifying and affordable!

good luck and let us know how it goes.

regards
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Old 10-08-05, 10:01 AM   #10
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I sold my last car back in 2001. Haven't missed it even once. I save so much money not owning a car that if I really need to ride in a car I can even hire a taxi.
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Old 10-08-05, 10:41 AM   #11
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...and if you are lucky enough to live somewhere where there is car-sharing, the "what do i do when i need a car" question has a simple answer: just go get one and use it! that's been a great help to us, especially now while we're getting ready to move and need to buy boxes, etc.
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Old 10-08-05, 10:46 AM   #12
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Yeah, we have City CarShare here in SF, but I haven't signed up. I can't afford the $300 deposit, and simply don't have a need for a car often enough to justify the expense of their service.

I can see it would be extremely useful for some folks, just not for me.
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Old 10-10-05, 07:38 PM   #13
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wow! thanks for all the advice guys! yep, i plan to get a bike and ride around closer to home a while before i totally ditch the car. and thanks, weed eater for the book recommendation. im gonna see if my library has it tomorrow maybe ill ride there. i found an old bike with a flat tire in my moms garage today. im gonna see what i can do with it.
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Old 10-27-05, 07:29 PM   #14
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I lived in San Diego for a number of years, even commuting from Kensington to just north of Miramar. Make sure you have some really low gears. SD is so bizarre with its canyon and mesa terrain. You want to be sure you can ascend streets like Texas Canyon off of Mission Valley comfortably.
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