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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 01-31-06, 12:25 AM   #1
limmiwinks23
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about to relocate, and hopefully go carfree!!

well, ive always wanted to be carfree, but i went to school and had a job and lived 10 miles from each(40 miles a day!!), im done with school now and i am moving a massive 5 miles from work, and will try to give up my 150$/month insurance, and 160$ a month gas habit(old carburated chevy truck, the american dream, eh?), hopefully i can do it, i go into work between 3-4am, so its dark but i see about 2 cars the whole trip, and i get off about noon. Im worried because the shortest route is through the ghetto/projects, i dont know if i should be going through there.
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Old 01-31-06, 01:04 AM   #2
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Which city are you in?
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Old 01-31-06, 01:22 AM   #3
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pensacola, Florida. i know we dont a very high crime rate, but you never know
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Old 01-31-06, 02:05 AM   #4
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Your biggest problem will be grannies behind the wheel.
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Old 01-31-06, 02:20 AM   #5
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the elderly sitting 2 inches from the wheel that they cant see over and wearing the big sunglasses is a problem, but 21.4% of auto fatalities in florida are in escambia county, that gives you the quality of drivers here.... it scares me
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Old 01-31-06, 08:03 AM   #6
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Really, good luck with that- but be careful. Get the mirrors for both sides of your light and be sure to be alert at all times.

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Old 01-31-06, 10:32 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by limmiwinks23
Im worried because the shortest route is through the ghetto/projects, i dont know if i should be going through there.
What are you worried about? Do you know who you see on the streets at 3-4am? Can you distinguish between business people selling product or services and people who want to rob you to obtain those products and people like yourself and cops?

We need a better description of what you are worried about. I regularly ride after dark through a few streets that suburbanites won't drive down with their doors locked. I avoid other streets that I feel are even worse although suburbanites would recognize no difference. When I lived in Florida, the "ghetto/projects" were remnants of segregation laws and somewhat different from the same description of a neighborhood in DC.
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Old 01-31-06, 01:47 PM   #8
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I understand your concerns but what are you going to do? I ride home from work at 11:30 PM from a "bad" neighborhood (where I work) to another "bad" neighborhood (where I live), through the downtown area.

Your safety probably depends on street smarts, how "bad" the neighborhood really is, and luck.

For street smarts, you either have it or you'll learn it.

For how "bad" your area is, check with the police. My PD has a map on their website showing crimes by location. Studying this was actually reassuring to me. For example, I discovered there were few armed robberies or muggings reported in either area, although assaults are fairly common. But many assaults are mutual fights or drug related, and many are domestic. Those don't concern me, so I didn't get too worried about it.

Also, as gwd implied, 3 or 4 AM is not the most dangerous time to be on the streets. Most street crimes, according to my PD, occur between sunset and midnight. At 3:00 in most cities, there are so few people out that it seems relatively easy to check them out before they are in a position to harm you.
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Old 01-31-06, 04:27 PM   #9
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gwd and roody, you are right, i dont know why i was worried at all,but i just know there are people that wont drive through there, ill ride through there, i dont think it will be a problem
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Old 01-31-06, 06:35 PM   #10
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pensacola, Florida. i know we dont a very high crime rate, but you never know
Let me tell you about Florida.
It's the worst state in the union for cycling. The locals are intolerant, the infrastructure is not bike friendly and the weather is god awful. I have had good rides there, but only because I was able to look past the incredibly intolerant motorists. I had a guy in a truck(toyota with mudflaps and a lift kit) cross over into his oncomming lane to play 'chicken' with me while riding south of Pensacola. While riding near Coco(sp?) Beach
I had inumerable honks with rude gestures. I'm not trolling here, I honestly think we would be better off if Florida would sink into the ocean.
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Old 01-31-06, 08:05 PM   #11
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I honestly think we would be better off if Florida would sink into the ocean.
It is! And if we all burn an extra gallon or two of gas tonight and melt another glacier the next high tide just might wash over it.
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Old 02-01-06, 12:58 PM   #12
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It is! And if we all burn an extra gallon or two of gas tonight and melt another glacier the next high tide just might wash over it.
I'll eat some beans and get right to work on that!
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Old 02-01-06, 03:15 PM   #13
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gwd and roody, you are right, i dont know why i was worried at all,but i just know there are people that wont drive through there, ill ride through there, i dont think it will be a problem
I didn't mean to imply you had nothing to worry about, just to be more specific so we can discuss your worries. I've only dealt with a subset of the possible problems that a biker can face in the "ghetto/projects" world. But maybe the things I deal with match your worries?
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Old 02-01-06, 03:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by nateted4
Let me tell you about Florida.
It's the worst state in the union for cycling. The locals are intolerant, the infrastructure is not bike friendly and the weather is god awful. I have had good rides there, but only because I was able to look past the incredibly intolerant motorists. I had a guy in a truck(toyota with mudflaps and a lift kit) cross over into his oncomming lane to play 'chicken' with me while riding south of Pensacola. While riding near Coco(sp?) Beach
I had inumerable honks with rude gestures. I'm not trolling here, I honestly think we would be better off if Florida would sink into the ocean.
I can't let this go. I've biked many miles in Florida. The car people are horrible. Remember that bicyclist who got hit in Orlando where the cars just kept running over him until there was nothing left but a stain on the pavement? A trucker reported a hand caught in his bumper when he stopped for gas in another city. The police said that the first 10 or so cars that ran over him must have known they were hitting a person but the trucker who ended up with the hand was the first to report anything.

However, the terrain is flat, the roads are smooth with fairly wide shoulder lanes. I spent many years in the Cocoa Beach area, and visit my parents there. It isn't that bad. You get used to the high humidity and high temperature. Besides, you have the beach to cool you off. So I'm saying the weather takes some getting used to and I see more bike lanes now than when I lived there.

I even disagree about the car people, they are worse than intolerant. Their smart aleck antics cross the line into unacceptably dangerous and even assault. When I lived there a favorite trick is to throw a half full beer bottle or can at you from a speeding car. Oranges and grapefruit got thrown in season. But, I've not had that kind of thing happen in Cocoa Beach in years. They have several bike rental places and some locals seem to get around by bike. I borrow my dads old three speed to bike around, even on AIA.
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