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Thread: am I car-free?

  1. #1
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    Dear bike forum gods,

    I've never owned a car. I've only driven a car outside of driver's ed. a handful of times. I don't even have a full driver's license.

    BUT -- I do use mass transit. I do hitch rides from my girlfriend sometimes. If I were to move, I'd probably have her help me move my stuff, or at least use the bus system.

    I had never heard of this concept of living car-free until about a month ago, after having moved up here to Portland in November. (And yes, I used an airplane for that, not a bike.)

    I feel guilty for using the bus and hitching rides from people. I mean, my body weight (not that I'm fat) creates extra strain on the engines, and causes them to burn more gas/diesel. And what am I supposed to tell my girlfriend (who drives 98% of the time) when we go out together? "You stay here and wait, so I can get a head start," or "Ok, you go ahead, but I'll be a little late."?

    Signed,
    Spoke in the Heart

    Oh, and PS: Do motorcycle riders count as car-free? Not that I own or drive one, just wondering how literal this term is used.

  2. #2
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    absolutism is extremely important . SUV drivers are car-free, because SUVs are not cars. Same for trucks. Oh yeah, and because, for the purposes of skipping out on environmental regulations, Daimler-Chrysler had their PT cruiser classified as a truck, you can buy one of those and still be car free. (Despite the fact that it's marketed as a car.)

    By the way, riding in your girlfriend's car is not okay. Like you said, it causes the engine to do extra work, and thus may decrease gas mileage by as much as one mile per gallon.

    Airplanes are okay. An average passenger jet with an average load gets about as many miles-per-gallon-per-person as a small car with two people (60 MPG per person or so) but it's not a car, so it's all good.

    I count as car free, because I usually don't use a car and when I do, I really need it. But everybody else who rides in a car is not car free, because they could figure out some way to avoid car-use if they really wanted to.
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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I hope you're both kidding. If not, you're thinking about it way too much!


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    Senior Member mrkott3r's Avatar
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    to me car free is when you dont own a car. pretty simple for me

    (and no this is not trolling it is my opinion)

  5. #5
    beginner budster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrkott3r
    to me car free is when you dont own a car. pretty simple for me

    (and no this is not trolling it is my opinion)
    That's a good, simple definition.

    But (you knew it was coming) -- is the truly important consideration whether or not one owns a motor vehicle? To me, the important consideration is how much I use motorized transport, whether my own, or someone else's (city/spouse/friend/et cet).

    Which gets to the OP's point.

    Each of us has to decide for ourselves how far to take car-free living, and to balance the desire to minimize car use with the desire to live a meaningful, productive, fulfilling life. It's practically (if not completely) impossible to be 100% independent of motor vehicles and still live in a modern, industrialized society. Everything -- the food we eat, the clothes we wear, our housing (even our bikes) -- are made possible by motorized transit.

    Personally, I try to limit my use of cars/trucks(/et cet) by consuming only what I need, by organizing my life to require as little motor transit as possible and by getting around via bike or foot as much as possible. The more I practice, the easier it gets, but I still depend on motorized transit.

    Each of us has to decide what we want, how best to achieve it, and how much motor vehicle use (our own motor vehicle or someone else's) we are willing to cause. That's a personal choice which everyone in a free society should be free to make and I don't fault anyone for their honest, considered choices.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member iBarna's Avatar
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    I think public transit and freight shipping (both preferably on rails) are good ideas. Being a car free advocate doesn't mean to be dead against engines. And I certainly don't feel guilty when I hitch rides from my friends!

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iBarna
    I think public transit and freight shipping (both preferably on rails) are good ideas. Being a car free advocate doesn't mean to be dead against engines. And I certainly don't feel guilty when I hitch rides from my friends!
    Maybe you can borrow some money from them too. Hey, what are friends for, eh?

  8. #8
    Tour de World SteveFox's Avatar
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    Hi my name is steve
    All: Hi steve
    I am car free
    All: *clapping* hurrah, good job, well done, super
    i have not stepped into a car since january 1st...i have been car free for 1 month
    All: woohoo

    but being in my teens, 1 month not being in a car...not too bad in my opinion.
    i just use my bike. no car, no mass transit, nothing like that to get me from point a to point b. however, one could argue that if you use anything short of carrier pigeons for mail, you have probably used a vehicle, thsu you are not car free...and if you buy food at a market, your not car free, even if you got in on your bike, because some one had to drive that food there, and chances are they didnt do it by bike. its all about specifics..lol

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  9. #9
    Science Fanboy KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    Maybe you can borrow some money from them too. Hey, what are friends for, eh?
    Don't mind ILTB, he was apparently molested at a young age by someone without a car and has an axe to grind.
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Hitchens
    What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mrkott3r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFox
    Hi my name is steve
    All: Hi steve
    I am car free
    All: *clapping* hurrah, good job, well done, super
    i have not stepped into a car since january 1st...i have been car free for 1 month
    All: woohoo

    Hi my name alex
    All: Hi Alex
    I was car free
    All: Moan
    I stepped into a car yesterday, and Im not proud
    All: Kill him!

    lol
    i think someone should start a thread. Car-free-Anonymous

  11. #11
    Science Fanboy KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    Don't mind ILTB, he was apparently molested at a young age by someone without a car and has an axe to grind.
    ....and quit the abusive PMs, old timer, if you think all car-free people are wingnut extremists with no ambition, we have a nice publc forum to discuss it. I know it gets cold in Iowa and cabin fever is a pain, but trolling internet forums with your name calling and mindless generalizations is pretty pathetic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Hitchens
    What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

  12. #12
    Old Noob oldguy52's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tehpunisher
    Dear bike forum gods,

    I've never owned a car. I've only driven a car outside of driver's ed. a handful of times. I don't even have a full driver's license.

    BUT -- I do use mass transit. I do hitch rides from my girlfriend sometimes. If I were to move, I'd probably have her help me move my stuff, or at least use the bus system.

    I had never heard of this concept of living car-free until about a month ago, after having moved up here to Portland in November. (And yes, I used an airplane for that, not a bike.)

    I feel guilty for using the bus and hitching rides from people. I mean, my body weight (not that I'm fat) creates extra strain on the engines, and causes them to burn more gas/diesel. And what am I supposed to tell my girlfriend (who drives 98% of the time) when we go out together? "You stay here and wait, so I can get a head start," or "Ok, you go ahead, but I'll be a little late."?

    Signed,
    Spoke in the Heart

    Oh, and PS: Do motorcycle riders count as car-free? Not that I own or drive one, just wondering how literal this term is used.
    Don't worry ........ Be Happy. NOT owning a car will save YOU a TON of money.

    As for being totally free of fossil fueled transportation ..... Well, that just ain't gonna' happen. Even your bike came to you an a truck somehow ....... and so did about everything else you will ever buy.
    Downtube VIII FS folder - his .... 2 - Strida3 folders - his n' hers .... HP Velotechnik Grasshopper - his .... Burley Hep Cat - hers .... Whiz Wheels TT Cruiser W/velo kit - his
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    Ayn Rand was a prophet ..... it isn't my fault
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  13. #13
    Tour de World SteveFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldguy52
    As for being totally free of fossil fueled transportation ..... Well, that just ain't gonna' happen. Even your bike came to you an a truck somehow ....... and so did about everything else you will ever buy.
    well, what it...you were to make the bike from wood, and you got the nails from sharpening flint rocks, and you cut the trees with a herring, and your brake cables are not metal, but braided grass, with tires made of moss. riddle me that...lol

    steve
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  14. #14
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krispistoferson
    ....and quit the abusive PMs, old timer, if you think all car-free people are wingnut extremists with no ambition, we have a nice publc forum to discuss it.
    What's wrong with this one? Isn't it nice and public?

    Abusive? Huh? If I didn't have something at least semi-accurate to say I wouldn't post it on a public forum. How 'bout you? Who posted the opinion/stereotype that all car-free people are wingnut extremists with no ambition? Is that really YOUR opinion or is someone performing electronic ventriloquism or voodoo on your keyboard and monitor.

  15. #15
    Old Noob oldguy52's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFox
    well, what it...you were to make the bike from wood, and you got the nails from sharpening flint rocks, and you cut the trees with a herring, and your brake cables are not metal, but braided grass, with tires made of moss. riddle me that...lol

    steve
    Hey, if you can git-r-done ..... more power to ya'
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    .

  16. #16
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    I haven't driven a car since yesterday

    I had to do some furniture-moving. I think I have a long no-driving stretch coming up... if I don't buy a couch.
    Some awesome folks who are working to give Haitians the ability to manage their safety and their lives:
    Haiti Partners

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