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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.

View Poll Results: I live car-free and...
I am single, non-parent, unemployed, not a student. 4 4.35%
I am single, non-parent, unemployed student. 10 10.87%
I am single, non-parent, part-or-full-time employed student. 17 18.48%
I am single, non-parent, employed, non-student. 39 42.39%
I am a single parent with one child. 1 1.09%
I am a single parent with more than one child. 0 0%
I am married with no children. 5 5.43%
I am married with one child. 4 4.35%
I am married with more than one child. 2 2.17%
None of the above are close enough to me (please specify) 10 10.87%
Voters: 92. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-06-06, 01:24 PM   #1
Helmet Head
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I'm just curious about the basic demographics of car-free folks.

Please respond to this poll only if you live car-free.

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Old 01-06-06, 02:06 PM   #2
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One of your choice should be "poor". There are lots of poor people who cycle because they have to due to their financial situation. I guess if they're poor, they won't have internet access and can't post on BF.....errrrr, I guess you can ignore my post. I'm car-free 20 - 25 days out of the month, so does that count?

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Old 01-06-06, 02:24 PM   #3
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define "poor"-------pretty relative isnt it?
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Old 01-06-06, 02:34 PM   #4
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To me poor = living on foodstamps. If you have a job, you're not poor.
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Old 01-06-06, 02:46 PM   #5
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What I assume "living car free" means that you don't own a car and don't use one for day-to-day life. If you rent one for vacations or during business trips, that's different. But for your own day-to-day life, if you ever use a car to get to work, take your kids to school, go out, visit (local) friends, get to class, go shopping, etc., you're not living "car free" as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 01-06-06, 03:19 PM   #6
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HH,

I think I'm now car-free. Yes, we DO own a car, but it got totalled last spring and is sitting our garage wrecked and is not currently registered, but can still be driven. Right rear wheel is at an angle (it got hit broadside) so I don't want to drive it like that anyway unless an emergency comes up. I think I'm in car "purgatory"!
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Old 01-06-06, 03:29 PM   #7
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no offense to anyone, but how can anyone consider themselves "car free" if they own a car? i agree there are varying degrees of car usuage, and i applaud anyone who strives to drive less, but if you own one then you own one.
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Old 01-06-06, 03:41 PM   #8
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Don't own a car, widower, 1 adult son living with me, semiretired (no job, occasional consulting), not a student.
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Old 01-06-06, 04:06 PM   #9
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My partner and I are car free since '03. No kids (yet), but, as I tell my parents...we're working on it. We moved to Portland in October because it seemed like a place where living car free and raising kids would be not just feasible but pleasant. There are numerous car-free families here (we've even met some of them! hi todd!) and, well, actually, Portland rules.

We both work at home, which helps a lot, and which is by design.

I realized yesterday that I have been angling to live car-free for pretty much my entire adult life. More consciously and successfully in the past several years, but there's always been an aspect of my decision-making that has kept me close to my work, and in urban areas where I can do most/all things with bikes or transit. So, in other words, it took about 16 years of planning for me to finally make the break. Would have happened faster if I'd had a partner who was into it, earlier on. But I think about all that time, and all that gradual planning, in contrast to so many of the stories I read in the press about people who impulsively try to quit driving, even though they live 20 miles from a grocery store and have never ridden a bike for anything but recreation. Anyone reading this who is trying to make the change, just remember, it takes a lot of time and adjustment, and the more gradually you do it, the better prepared and happier you will be.

We went to rent a giant dehumidifier this morning with our bike trailer. I get an immense amount of pleasure from hauling this stuff around on my own power. It's probably similar to what people get from snowboarding, and rock climbing, and stuff. It's a challenge, it's exciting, and you have to be careful and engage your skill and intellect. Seems like we get enough action for our daily lives that we don't have a desire to go "out into the wilderness" very much. Also, there's all that driving involved.
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Old 01-06-06, 05:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadd
One of your choice should be "poor". There are lots of poor people who cycle because they have to due to their financial situation. I guess if they're poor, they won't have internet access and can't post on BF.....errrrr, I guess you can ignore my post. I'm car-free 20 - 25 days out of the month, so does that count?
A lot of people who don't own computers access the internet for free at the library. I do the same, even though I am by no means "poor."
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Old 01-06-06, 05:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
What I assume "living car free" means that you don't own a car and don't use one for day-to-day life. If you rent one for vacations or during business trips, that's different. But for your own day-to-day life, if you ever use a car to get to work, take your kids to school, go out, visit (local) friends, get to class, go shopping, etc., you're not living "car free" as far as I'm concerned.
I trust you HH, so I gladly answered the poll, but I'm curious. What's your purpose here?
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Old 01-07-06, 01:02 AM   #12
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Roody, I hope I didn't offend you. My post certainly wasn't meant to offend anyone. I didn't mean that no internet access = poor automatically. I was trying to say that a lot of people cannot afford an automobile, and their only form of transportation is by bike (or public transportation if available).
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Old 01-07-06, 01:17 AM   #13
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A lot of people in my area are car-free because they're poor. Some ride bikes, some walk, and some ride the bus. What’s the difference? Given that this is bikeforums.net, and given the demographic typical on this forum, I am guessing that most people reading this forum are interested in being car free for reasons other than simply being too poor to own a car. Almost definitely, those people DO NOT CARE about this forum. I am guessing the top two reasons people here are car-free are 1)because they like to bike, and 2)because they like being car free (not because they have to be). I could be wrong, but this whole discussion about poor people seems beyond the point.

edit...also, I find the results of the poll interesting because it almost proves my point above. In my experience, most people who are too poor to own cars are usually single parents with too many kids, or the unemployed (or unemployable). Being car-free makes more sense for single working people (like myself), and students, but not as many of us practice this in the real world outside of bikeforums.net .

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Old 01-07-06, 03:51 AM   #14
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Interesting poll. I'm eager to see the results. I hope a large number of people participate.
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Old 01-07-06, 04:29 AM   #15
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Car free and always have been. I've never wanted a car, and wouldn't take it if it was given to me. I'm frugal like Scrooge, and work like a dog. I'm sick of bad air. Corperate greed, oil gluttony, and terrorism piss me off royally - and yes, the three are linked; the gas junkies have no idea of the true cost of their addiction.

I urge all lurkers to make the change. Kick the gas habit, break the chains of car slavery, and don't buy the terrorists any more ammo. It's not as hard as you think.

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Old 01-07-06, 01:56 PM   #16
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I didn't vote in the poll because I do own a car but I am interested in the demographics of the ones that are car free.

I agree there should be a choice for "too poor to afford a car" and that there are many who are car free that don't have a computer or take part in bikeforums.net.

I try to do as many errands on the bike as possible, but outside of my commuting, I only do about 1 bike errand a week. I attribute this to having a family. It isn't suprising to me that the large majority of car free people don't have families. Just about every errand I do in my car, I do with a family member, and many of the car trips I make involve a long distance or heavy load that would make it undesirable to do on a bike.

At least I've managed to reduce my driving by 25% due to bike commuting, and I almost never am in a single occupant vehicle.

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Old 01-07-06, 05:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadd
To me poor = living on foodstamps. If you have a job, you're not poor.
100% wrong. many families have 4-5 jobs between parents and are barely hovering above the poverty line with no savings and a thread away from financial ruin

yes some of this is caused by poor life choices, but often situations arise from health problems, (lack of insurance), layoffs, and once your treading water, especially with kids, it's extremely hard to keep your head above.

read Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and Dimed" or "The Working Poor"

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/037...lance&n=283155
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Old 01-07-06, 05:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by closetbiker
It isn't suprising to me that the large majority of car free people don't have families.
I mark it down to the "40-yr-old virgin" syndrome. You can be rolling in cash, crap diamonds, and have gold chains hanging on you like Mr. T, and all the ladies see is a loser on the bike. Between biolegy and consumerist brainwashing, they just don't get it. My exs never did. Oh well, their loss.
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Old 01-07-06, 06:08 PM   #19
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I had a car once...that didn't go too well...Then I bought a moped off line, that got 700 some miles to it and died...it is time for a bike I thought...yes, a bike...like a good horse for his master!

I am 21 in 4 days, a student, who will ride a bike everywhere I go...hopefully I can get a new, good one..a road bike. I am planning a x-country trip across the states one way, and fly the other.
Anyone want to buy my moped?
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Old 01-07-06, 06:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2wheeledsoul
I mark it down to the "40-yr-old virgin" syndrome. You can be rolling in cash, crap diamonds, and have gold chains hanging on you like Mr. T, and all the ladies see is a loser on the bike. Between biolegy and consumerist brainwashing, they just don't get it. My exs never did. Oh well, their loss.
Ahhm, I don't think being car free will make any of us "40 year old virgins" I think you have the logic in reverse...It's just easier to be car free without a family. Family people generally have more responsibilities as far as travel goes....i.e, hauling the kids to school, buying daipers, emergency Dr.s apts for kids,...
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Old 01-07-06, 07:05 PM   #21
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..It's just easier to be car free without a family. Family people generally have more responsibilities as far as travel goes....i.e, hauling the kids to school, buying daipers, emergency Dr.s apts for kids,...
That's the way I see it. As a matter of fact, a big part my motivation to ride my bike to work over 20 years ago was that my new born daughter was very sick and my wife needed the car to be at the hospital with her (along with my 3 year old son). I took the bike to work because it was better for everybody. Bike commuting was the silver lining in the cloud. We have never needed a second car.
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Old 01-08-06, 11:25 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by jamesdenver
100% wrong.[/url]
You're 100% wrong! Read my post again.....the key word is "To me". To me, Strawberry icecream is disgusting. To me, green is ulgy. To me, 150lbs is fat. To me, going 12mph is fast. Remember the key word is "to me". It's my opinion. Opinions can't be wrong.

Btw, I read The Working Poor. But thanks for the recommendation. After reading that, I immediately read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", "Who moved my cheese" & other various financial advice books to inspire me.
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Old 01-08-06, 12:03 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
A lot of people in my area are car-free because they're poor. Some ride bikes, some walk, and some ride the bus. What’s the difference? Given that this is bikeforums.net, and given the demographic typical on this forum, I am guessing that most people reading this forum are interested in being car free for reasons other than simply being too poor to own a car. Almost definitely, those people DO NOT CARE about this forum. I am guessing the top two reasons people here are car-free are 1)because they like to bike, and 2)because they like being car free (not because they have to be). I could be wrong, but this whole discussion about poor people seems beyond the point.

edit...also, I find the results of the poll interesting because it almost proves my point above. In my experience, most people who are too poor to own cars are usually single parents with too many kids, or the unemployed (or unemployable). Being car-free makes more sense for single working people (like myself), and students, but not as many of us practice this in the real world outside of bikeforums.net .
I don't think you can draw that sharp a line between people who are car-free because they're poor and people who are car-free because they like cycling or for ideological reasons. I think it's more complicated than that.

Personally, I can't afford a car, and that's kind of a drag. It means I haven't been to my church in a couple months--it has only evening services, and with two broken bones this year, I'm nervous to ride in the dark. There's only one movie theater in a five-mile radius, so I usually take the bus for two hours if there's a movie I really want to see. I am really, really weak, so I don't have the range of movement that stronger car-free people have; three or four miles is just about my limit for daily travel. So I don't get to go to the mall as often as I like, or to a good bookstore, and forget about it if I need to buy a microwave or a vacuum cleaner. And I hate walking to the laundromat. I look like a very poor dork, carrying my clothes across the highway.
But, at the same time, I like being car-free in that I can't imagine that those inconveniences above are justification for me to spend 5 or 6 thousand dollars a year in buying and maintaining a car. For that kind of money, I could get a piano or a decent bike or a new bookcase or a new computer. And I agree with a lot of car-free people ideologically; cars are unpleasant, and I hate that urban design in a lot of places makes it hard to live car-free. I probably will stay car-free if I can manage it even if my financial situation does improve--but I'm likely to move to someplace where I can go to the megaplex or Borders on a Saturday or Sunday, or the temptation to buy a car will be too strong.
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Old 01-08-06, 12:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
Family people generally have more responsibilities as far as travel goes....i.e, hauling the kids to school, buying daipers, emergency Dr.s apts for kids,...
When you put it that way, I can almost agree with you. However...
- WTF is wrong with kids taking the bus? Most schools run a bus service.
- What, you can't stuff a pack of huggies or two in the panniers?
- Dial 911. The doctors come to you! Ahh, the magic of modern communications.

Parenting is only overly complicated when you make it so. Use the grey stuff under your helmet, and you can make just about anything work.

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Old 01-08-06, 03:43 PM   #25
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I voted "none of the above" since I am not married, but I have been living with the lady of my life for 8 years now, and in about 2 months I will be a father.

Up until now my initial choice of being car free stands, and because I have been carless forever, I am allready making choices and decisions based on that fact. I think that being carfree with kids is undesirable only if you create situations that make it so. Of course I could be wrong and I'll know in a couple of years no doubt. But, as a kid my family was car-free, and no problems couldn't be solved without a little ingenuity...

A lot of it has to do with attitude. Things that look like chores to other people end up becoming a fun part of your day to those used to it.
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