Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 40
  1. #1
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    My Bikes
    Bessie.
    Posts
    1,735
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Car-Free Challenges and Solutions

    I can't say that I have too many challenges being car-free, since I've been so for the 34 years I've been on this planet (no comments on previous planets!). I do want to contribute something ON TOPIC to this forum, so here is a thread calling for car-free folk to discuss specific challenges of being car-free, and the solutions they found for those challenges. And if you are still looking for a solution to a challenge, someone else may have a solution for you.


    Challenge #1: Pets and the vet. How do you get your pets to a vet without a car? Possible solutions available to me (and hopefully some of these are to you as well):

    1- Call your cab company, they may allow small animals in carriers. We can take cats in our cabs.
    2- Call animal hospitals, some offer a home visit service. The extra cost may be worthwhile compared to travel costs.
    3- See if you can bring multiple pets in at the same time for annual exams, saving travel hassle. As a bonus, our vet gives a discount for group visits.
    4- Look for a pet taxi service in your city.
    5- A 30 minute walk is basic daily exercise for your dog - next time you move, look for a place within a 30 minute walk of an animal hospital.
    6- Consider only getting pets light enough to carry for a long distance. You can walk around with a Chihuahua in a chest carrier for hours... but don't try that with a St. Bernard!
    7- Train your dog to be comfortable in a carrier towed in a bike trailer, or get a dog-specific trailer.


    Anyone else want to contribute solutions to the challenges of being car-free?

  2. #2
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Spokane WA
    My Bikes
    2008 Lapierre X-Lite, 2006 Serotta Coeur d’Acier, 2005 Independent Fabrication Steel Delux, 2003 Surly 1x1, 2003 Surly Cross Check, 1986 Schwin Worldsport SS commuter, 1980's Mongoose Supergoose
    Posts
    1,183
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Challenge #1: Cats to Vet: Easy; I live a mile from the vet and can easily walk or bus it if I need to.

    Challenge #2: Getting to the ski slopes (with skis)

    I don't know the best way to deal with this one:

    1. could mooch ride with friend if he is willing to go at the same time I am.
    2. could rent a car
    3. not go skiing

    Neither 1 or 2 are good options because they don't allow me to be "spur of the moment" with my planning, or let me go very often. Skiing is a sport that I enjoy, but don't really consider a necesity, or part of my liftstyle. However, it might be nice to go sometime again.

    So far this issue of getting out of town to do outdoorsy type things is the only major sacrafice I can see with not having a car.

  3. #3
    est'd 1966 tfahrner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    portland, oregon
    Posts
    273
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by patc
    Challenge #1: Pets and the vet. How do you get your pets to a vet without a car?
    with an xtracycle:




    i've also carried both large cats and small dogs in the touring pannier of my brompton folding bicycle. (http://www.foldingbikes.co.uk/brompton_bags.htm)

  4. #4
    Senior Member trailwarrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Bikes
    2014 Muru Mungo, 2014 Surly ECR, 2006 HP Velotechnik Scorpion,2001 ICE Trice Micro,1995 Specialized Globe 7,1979 Schwinn LeTour IV Sport
    Posts
    69
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Challenge #3: Getting your bike to LBS when it isn't ridable.

    1. When my bike wasn't ridable and I needed major repairs from LBS, I called a local courier service and they delivered the bike within a couple hours for under $10. I also called the LBS ahead of time and let them know the bike was coming and what I wanted done. After the bike was repaired, I took the bus to the LBS and rode the bike home.

    2. Now days the buses here all have bike racks, so I could haul the bike to the LBS for $1.50. This won't work for trikes or some of the recumbents, but the courier is still an option.

  5. #5
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Frankfurt, Germany
    My Bikes
    Raleigh Aspen touring/off-road hybrid, and a Bob Yak trailer. Yak very useful for us car-free types that like to buy lots of beer.
    Posts
    2,012
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Put your pet in the animal carrier and load them up in your Bob yak trailer. Or any other trailer. Having a trailer (or an extracycle) solves 99% of problems arising from not having a car. IMHO

  6. #6
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    My Bikes
    Bessie.
    Posts
    1,735
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
    So far this issue of getting out of town to do outdoorsy type things is the only major sacrafice I can see with not having a car.
    Good one, and a problem I am sure many share. Any solutions, folks?

  7. #7
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,492
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Challenge #3: Getting your bike to the lbs. The bus works if you have one. You can "ghost ride" it if it still rolls. I have walked my bike in, about 2.5 miles to my lbs. Also, learn how to do more repairs yourself. then you only have to take it in in for major repairs.

    Challenge # 4: Emergency late night runs. I don't mean beer or pizza runs, but what if you have to go to the ER, you're too sick to ride but not sick enough to call an ambulance? I have called a cab, but realistically, sometimes I don't have the $10 cash on hand that I'd need for a cab. That leaves calling a friend, but you hate to do that late night.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  8. #8
    winter is comming BenyBen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lachine, Quebec, Canada
    My Bikes
    Mikado kensington 2003, "commuterized" 8yr old Mongoose hilltopper SX, Baycrest Hurricane 10 speed
    Posts
    531
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Challenge #3: I've had that problem a couple times... Which is why I decided to get equiped with tools and do repairs myself. So far I only find myself needing parts, which can be gotten most of the time with another bike (any beater will do) and a trailer, if need be. Before that I've Mooched rides off, or rode the bike in for a tune up every now and then, and fixing potential problems ahead of times. Challenge #3 is also much less of a problem if you have a secondary bike.

    Challenge #4: Emergency late night runs. I've thought about this many times, and I think perhaps what needs to be done is to put 10 (or more)$ aside somewhere in the house that you never touch unless you need a cab for an emergency. I know it can be tempting to grab that 10$ on certain days when you need it, but you only have to remind yourself it's for emergencies.

  9. #9
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Spokane WA
    My Bikes
    2008 Lapierre X-Lite, 2006 Serotta Coeur d’Acier, 2005 Independent Fabrication Steel Delux, 2003 Surly 1x1, 2003 Surly Cross Check, 1986 Schwin Worldsport SS commuter, 1980's Mongoose Supergoose
    Posts
    1,183
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BenyBen
    Challenge #3:
    Challenge #3:

    - option #1: A friend of mine has a bike rack built into his bike utility trailer, and can actually tow 2
    bikes at a time
    with his other bike, which would presumably still work.

    - option #2: Make friends with the employees at your LBS, especially the ones that live nearest to you

  10. #10
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Spokane WA
    My Bikes
    2008 Lapierre X-Lite, 2006 Serotta Coeur d’Acier, 2005 Independent Fabrication Steel Delux, 2003 Surly 1x1, 2003 Surly Cross Check, 1986 Schwin Worldsport SS commuter, 1980's Mongoose Supergoose
    Posts
    1,183
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Challenge # 4: Emergency late night runs. I don't mean beer or pizza runs, but what if you have to go to the ER, you're too sick to ride but not sick enough to call an ambulance? I have called a cab, but realistically, sometimes I don't have the $10 cash on hand that I'd need for a cab. That leaves calling a friend, but you hate to do that late night.
    Challenge # 4: It's hard for me to imagine that limbo zone when I would be too sick to ride, yet not need an ambulance, but I suppose it could happen. Come to think of it, it might be a real issue in the snow. The solution, in my case, would be to hop on a city bus and be at an ER w/in 10-20 minutes. Or I'd call a friend.

  11. #11
    jim anchower jamesdenver's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,118
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    for pets? i think cab is the best way for small-medium size pets. i wouldn't even ask in advance, most cab drivers are independent (rent the cab from company), so if you're polite and your pet is well behaved shouldn't be a problem

    skies: hmm, living in colorado i ski often, and usually rely on a car. but i'm planning to take the ski train this winter sometime http://www.skitrain.com/winter.html

    on a side note the traffic from denver to ski resorts 60-80 miles away is horrific on weekend mornings and evenings, to the point where when i ski i usually just take a weekday sick day. less crowds, less traffic. we've discussed many alternatives like banning semis during peak hours (faster movement of cars up and down the hills), a monorail, which at 100 miles long would be the longest of it's kind, cost bijillions, and have to run at altitudes of over 10,000 feet in the winter. no one wants to widen the road due to environmental impact - I 70 is tiered up in some portions and goes through narrow canyons, so not much room.

    oh and late night ER runs? nothing wrong with cab. i admit i hate paying $10-15 for a cab if i come home late from a bar, or $2.75 for an express bus here, but in the big picture $50-75 a month on one car rental here, cab there and some bus fares during bad weather is still much cheaper than owning car, and i rarely even spend that much, i go all summer without stepping on the bus, in the winter i do use it in crappy slushy weather.

  12. #12
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    My Bikes
    Bessie.
    Posts
    1,735
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Challenge # 4: Emergency late night runs. I don't mean beer or pizza runs, but what if you have to go to the ER, you're too sick to ride but not sick enough to call an ambulance? I have called a cab, but realistically, sometimes I don't have the $10 cash on hand that I'd need for a cab. That leaves calling a friend, but you hate to do that late night.
    Cabs take credit cards if it comes to that, and will respond faster if you tell dispatch its a medical situation.

  13. #13
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    My Bikes
    Bessie.
    Posts
    1,735
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdenver
    for pets? i think cab is the best way for small-medium size pets. i wouldn't even ask in advance, most cab drivers are independent (rent the cab from company), so if you're polite and your pet is well behaved shouldn't be a problem
    I would HIGHLY recommend telling dispatch if you plan to take a pet into a cab. Many companies (including ours, I found out the hard way) have a policy that drivers are only required to pick up people and small parcels - pets or anything large enough to go in the trunk are at the cab driver's discretion. I had one a-hole who wanted be to put my cat in the trunk!

  14. #14
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Spokane WA
    My Bikes
    2008 Lapierre X-Lite, 2006 Serotta Coeur d’Acier, 2005 Independent Fabrication Steel Delux, 2003 Surly 1x1, 2003 Surly Cross Check, 1986 Schwin Worldsport SS commuter, 1980's Mongoose Supergoose
    Posts
    1,183
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdenver
    ....

    skies: hmm, living in colorado i ski often, and usually rely on a car. but i'm planning to take the ski train this winter sometime http://www.skitrain.com/winter.html

    on a side note the traffic from denver to ski resorts 60-80 miles away is horrific on weekend mornings and evenings, to the point where when i ski i usually just take a weekday sick day. less crowds, less traffic. we've discussed many alternatives like banning semis during peak hours (faster movement of cars up and down the hills), a monorail, which at 100 miles long would be the longest of it's kind, cost bijillions, and have to run at altitudes of over 10,000 feet in the winter. no one wants to widen the road due to environmental impact - I 70 is tiered up in some portions and goes through narrow canyons, so not much

    This might work fine if you live in a major metro area and are going to a nearby "destination" type ski resort. I suppose if I were going to spend all that money to take a week vacation in Vail or Steamboat Springs, the price of a rental car would be pretty reasonable in comparison. I was talking about a different situation. Around here we don't ski at tourist traps, preferring either the back country, or one of the many smaller ski slopes around. Basically drive out of town in a northerly direction, and see where you can find some hills. Unfortunately, around here a passenger rail train that runs anywhere is a novel concept, but to run a train into the wilderness would be preposterous. This may bring up another issue for the car-free crowd, and in fact I ponder this question myself; Do we (as humans) have the right to drive our cars, four wheelers, motor cycles, or snow mobiles into any wilderness area and make it our own remote habitat? I sure do enjoy being in he wilderness, but I also hate seeing it destroyed by our species. Perhaps a discussion for another thread.

  15. #15
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,492
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Challenge # 5. Bad weather. Biking can be a ***** in bad weather. I like winter snow and ice, but sometimes rain makes me want to call in sick and go to bed.

    Possible solution? I guess having the right gear helps a lot. One reason I like cold weather is that I know how to dress so that I'm always comfortable.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  16. #16
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
    Posts
    9,622
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
    So far this issue of getting out of town to do outdoorsy type things is the only major sacrafice I can see with not having a car.
    How far out of town do you need to go? Is it possible to load up the camping gear on the bike and do a weekend tour? I've done that a few times. Other times I've just made a cut lunch at home, loaded it in a pannier, road the 40-50km to a National Park, done a 20km hike in the mountains, then just ridden home. Of course, having a lock for your bike is essential in these situations (as well as somewhere to lock it, but those aren't difficult to find). If you're worried about exposing it to the elements, grab yourself a cheap, lightweight tarpoulin cover for about $2.50 and use a couple of tent pegs to hold it in place.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  17. #17
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
    Posts
    9,622
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    Challenge # 5. Bad weather. Biking can be a ***** in bad weather. I like winter snow and ice, but sometimes rain makes me want to call in sick and go to bed.

    Possible solution? I guess having the right gear helps a lot. One reason I like cold weather is that I know how to dress so that I'm always comfortable.
    The other solution is to just get on the bike and "go" without giving it too much thought. I've ridden through some huge tropical downpours that most people wouldn't even drive in, yet what I've found is that once I'm out there among the elements, virtually all of the things I've feared either don't happen, or don't seem to be as bad as I'd thought.

    If you stop and think about it, you'll come up with all sorts of reasons not to ride. On the other hand, if you just go, you'll wonder why you hesitated in the first place.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  18. #18
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Frankfurt, Germany
    My Bikes
    Raleigh Aspen touring/off-road hybrid, and a Bob Yak trailer. Yak very useful for us car-free types that like to buy lots of beer.
    Posts
    2,012
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pets fit in child trailers just as well as children do. They are designed for animals, after all!!! =)

  19. #19
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    2,353
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
    .

    Challenge #2: Getting to the ski slopes (with skis)

    I don't know the best way to deal with this one:

    1. could mooch ride with friend if he is willing to go at the same time I am.
    2. could rent a car
    3. not go skiing

    1. Rent your skis at the mountain.

    2.Some ski resorts offer a shuttle bus.
    Sick BubbleGum

  20. #20
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Spokane WA
    My Bikes
    2008 Lapierre X-Lite, 2006 Serotta Coeur d’Acier, 2005 Independent Fabrication Steel Delux, 2003 Surly 1x1, 2003 Surly Cross Check, 1986 Schwin Worldsport SS commuter, 1980's Mongoose Supergoose
    Posts
    1,183
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Gojohnnygo.
    1. Rent your skis at the mountain.

    2.Some ski resorts offer a shuttle bus.
    Well again, the issue isn't really getting to a "destination" type resort, with amenities like rentals, ski lifts, and shuttle buses.

  21. #21
    Year-round cyclist
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Montréal (Québec)
    Posts
    3,023
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by becnal
    Pets fit in child trailers just as well as children do. They are designed for animals, after all!

    Dogs and cats have nails, however. One good way to solve that problem is to use a sheet of Coroplast (an old electoral sign) to line the floor of the trailer.

    Trivia. Around here, signs of the Conservative Party and the Bloc québécois would make great trailer linings. The two other parties (Libéral and NDP) have signs that are too small for that purpose.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  22. #22
    jim anchower jamesdenver's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,118
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    if you're back country skiing, or going to a small resort, car (or snowmobile which i hate). IS the only way to go. (or hike it)

    and here in colorado the destination resorts ALSO are the places locals go for quiet peaceful empty skiing. the tourists tend to stay in the front mountains, while experienced locals and skilled boarders and skiiers head as high up and as far back as possible (most big resorts encompass 2-4 mountains).

    when i head to vail or keystone i pack my lunch in a backpack, stick to the back sides, and never return to the front (tourist and slow zone) til it's time to go home.

  23. #23
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,492
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris L
    The other solution is to just get on the bike and "go" without giving it too much thought. I've ridden through some huge tropical downpours that most people wouldn't even drive in, yet what I've found is that once I'm out there among the elements, virtually all of the things I've feared either don't happen, or don't seem to be as bad as I'd thought.

    If you stop and think about it, you'll come up with all sorts of reasons not to ride. On the other hand, if you just go, you'll wonder why you hesitated in the first place
    .
    Well here we don't get tropical downpours but we do get cold steady rains that can last for days or even weeks. I don't like it, never will, and when it happens I cut my time on the bike by half and just make the required trips. Another possible solution is fenders on the bike--at least your bottom half doesn't get quite as wet.

    I like your point about not thinking, just saddle up and go. Sometimes the ride you were dreading turns out to be an all-time favorite.

    BTW Chris, it's nice to see your gorilla face and red writing on this subforum.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  24. #24
    Member jackohug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Leicester or Nottingham, England
    My Bikes
    Raliegh Europa D
    Posts
    25
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
    So far this issue of getting out of town to do outdoorsy type things is the only major sacrafice I can see with not having a car.

    I did a camping trip with a friend a couple of years ago, both on bikes. We carried a tent and change of clothes. Biked the 40ish miles there, set up the tent and then did a lap around the lake (abt 20miles) went to the shop and bought a disposable barbeque and some stuff to cook on it!

    Best camping trip I've made so far!

  25. #25
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    southeast pennsylvania
    My Bikes
    a mountain bike with a cargo box on the back and aero bars on the front. an old well-worn dahon folding bike
    Posts
    3,149
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Challenge #3: Getting your bike to LBS when it isn't ridable
    My solution: never let the LBS touch my bike. If anything needs fixing, I trust myself to do it right more than I trust them. I'll buy parts there but I install them myself. I can ride to the LBS with my other bike. I also buy parts at Nashbar from time to time. Another thing I've done if i need to move bikes about (no long distances for these methods) is

    a)ride with left hand on my bike bars, right hand pulling/steering a second bike. Ride 10 mph or less for safety, and use sidewalks if there are no pedestrians. i guess I've gone up to 9 miles this way.

    b)use the backpack I have which has straps on the back strong enough to carry a bike.
    Last edited by cerewa; 01-22-06 at 12:19 PM.
    Some awesome folks who are working to give Haitians the ability to manage their safety and their lives:
    Haiti Partners

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •