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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 08-18-06, 08:30 PM   #1
carless
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Lurkers: You people are crazy...

Post your thoughts.
Are you afraid?
Did you get here by Google or Yahoo! and found out that other people;
-Don't think cupholder placement (and numbers) are important
-Realize you can slide by traffic... full time
-Wear regular clothes and work next to you
-Save $400 a month
-Like going to work or the store
-Men: swap love handles for happy trails
-Women: think thighmaster and dancing
Hey we are eccentric but, uhm, fairly happy and mostly flame-free
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Old 08-18-06, 08:39 PM   #2
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I would think that like me, most people still do own cars
despite thier best efforts not to drive them. I wish I was
car-free and make every effort I can to not have to drive
mine, but still I find myself in it for about 3,000 miles a year.
Mostly put on in huge chunks from interstate road trips though.
In otherwards, people who still own cars might think it is inappropriate
to post in a car-free forum.
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Old 08-18-06, 09:20 PM   #3
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On my ride today I rode by an intersection where traffic coming out of the side road was coming from a ferry crossing... lots of commuter traffic as it was around 5pm... I decided for fun to count the number of cars with multiple passengers vs. the number of cars with just the driver... needless to say I became quite discouraged very quickly... the solo driver outnumbered the multi-passenger autos 20 to 1... of the multi-passenger autos I saw, I'm quite sure most were tourists... all those people heading the same way... what a shame
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Old 08-18-06, 09:46 PM   #4
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If you keep your car parked for months at a time, you can have your insurance " freeze " your coverage.. ie:

Your car is covered while it is parked at your house.
You will get the entire monthly payment credited back to you at the end of your contract for each month the car was " on hold " ...

I found out about this from Allstate......

=)

Good luck !!!!!!
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Old 08-18-06, 10:39 PM   #5
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I don't think it's inappropriate to post here...car or not. All in all, I would rather be riding my bike. It's just not completely possible right now.
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Old 08-19-06, 12:08 AM   #6
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When I get a couple more peices to my commuter gear like lights and reflective vest I will not be using a car much anymore. When I need to go to get groceries at night I either ride to my parents to pick up a car or I get a ride to the store I have a trailer and I am not to fond of but it works and my lights barely pierce the country night
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Old 08-19-06, 08:10 AM   #7
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Yes I'm a lurker I'm a bit crazy to (Well thatís what the locals tell me). I find that it helps when riding with the local traffic.

I got rid of the Pontiac a year and half ago. I do use a taxi$$$ or rural local bus during big snowstorms, the bus only runs twice a day which sucks. So far I'm at 453 days with out sitting a car. I'm on a roll if this winter goes by with little snow. I'll be heading for 2 years of being truly carfree.


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Old 08-19-06, 12:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dauphin
I don't think it's inappropriate to post here...car or not. All in all, I would rather be riding my bike. It's just not completely possible right now.
What is it that makes it impossible for you to be carfree right now?

If you want to be carfree, but something is stopping you, maybe you could start a thread herre to get information and encouragement. For example, if you find it impossible to be carfree because you are concerned about riding at night, you could start a thread called, "I need help with night riding" or somethng to that effect.

We live in a world that is set up for cars, and most people on this forum realize that not everybody can be carfree at this time. But we're also aware that many problems that seem insurmountable can actualy be solved with a little know-how and planning.
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Old 08-19-06, 12:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ryanparrish
When I get a couple more peices to my commuter gear like lights and reflective vest I will not be using a car much anymore. When I need to go to get groceries at night I either ride to my parents to pick up a car or I get a ride to the store I have a trailer and I am not to fond of but it works and my lights barely pierce the country night
The Commuter subforum is the ultimate source of knowledge on bicycle lighting. They have a couple stickies that deal with this, and many many threads.
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Old 08-20-06, 08:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Roody
What is it that makes it impossible for you to be carfree right now?

If you want to be carfree, but something is stopping you, maybe you could start a thread herre to get information and encouragement. For example, if you find it impossible to be carfree because you are concerned about riding at night, you could start a thread called, "I need help with night riding" or somethng to that effect.

We live in a world that is set up for cars, and most people on this forum realize that not everybody can be carfree at this time. But we're also aware that many problems that seem insurmountable can actualy be solved with a little know-how and planning.
That's a good point, Roody.

Not to shock the forum but we are currently a two car family. We used to have 3 but progress is being made. Granted we don't often drive our cars; This week I drove my car twice. Once because I needed something (ironically for my bike) in the neighboring town and again to take my son on some errands that we typically would have ridden our bikes for but we had a 75 mile ride the next day and I didn't want to wear us out. My son, by the way, is 10 and he did 45 of those 75 miles. I am so proud!!

I would love to go down to one car but I am going to really work to talk my husband into it. In time perhaps. Wish me luck

But my point to all this running of the mouth is that my attitude is one of being carfree. I more often than not opt for my bike and leave the car for when I think I really need it.
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Old 08-20-06, 08:55 AM   #11
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ellenDSD, I think the emphasis should be on not using your car needlessly, rather than not having one. If you live in a place where you don't need it like NYC, or the parking, insurance, payments etc make it unwise, then that is a good reason to go carfree.

If you live in a more rural area, with no intercity transport, and not too many local services, or have children, or have a hobby that you need better transport than a bike, by all means have a car.

It is the inter city trips that need to be discouraged. I have seen someone drive across a parking lot because the coffee shop they came into was full, and the other one on the other side was all of 100 feet away. If all or most of the commuting traffic, shopping traffic etc was done by bike and cars were used for transporting larger items or travelling further, then there would be less traffic congestion.

Cya
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Old 08-20-06, 11:46 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Caspar_s
ellenDSD, I think the emphasis should be on not using your car needlessly, rather than not having one. If you live in a place where you don't need it like NYC, or the parking, insurance, payments etc make it unwise, then that is a good reason to go carfree.

If you live in a more rural area, with no intercity transport, and not too many local services, or have children, or have a hobby that you need better transport than a bike, by all means have a car.

It is the inter city trips that need to be discouraged. I have seen someone drive across a parking lot because the coffee shop they came into was full, and the other one on the other side was all of 100 feet away. If all or most of the commuting traffic, shopping traffic etc was done by bike and cars were used for transporting larger items or travelling further, then there would be less traffic congestion.

Cya
I agree with much of what you say, but I have to disagree strongly with the first paragraph. The city I live in couldn't be much different from NYC, but I find it to be an excellent location for carfree living. Successful carfree people on this forum live in large cities, medium and small ones, suburbs and rural areas too. Even a couple in Alaska!

Each location presents its own challenges and opportunities. For example, a medium city, like the one I live in, has most destinations located within 5 or 10 miles of a central location, and traffic is lighter. On the down side, public transit is less convenient (although still quite good) and you can feel pretty lonely as a carfree person and as a utility cyclist.
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Old 08-20-06, 03:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
What is it that makes it impossible for you to be carfree right now?
Like quite a few posters here, I have a car in the driveway. One neat thing about this forum (and the Commuter forum as well..) is that I get lots of encouragement to go for long periods of time without starting it up. A while back, I would have thought this impossible. Nowadays, I'm beginning to see that it is, indeed, possible.

One thing that really concerns me is that if the climatologists are correct [and I suspect they are..], we absolutely have to find a way to make it possible. It's all fine for us to sit around and wait for the government or industry to come up with whiz-bang solutions to reduce global warming, but when it comes down to it, we as individuals need to make this "car free" possible.
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Old 08-20-06, 03:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by -=£em in Pa=-
I would think that like me, most people still do own cars
despite thier best efforts not to drive them. I wish I was
car-free and make every effort I can to not have to drive
mine, but still I find myself in it for about 3,000 miles a year.
Mostly put on in huge chunks from interstate road trips though.
In otherwards, people who still own cars might think it is inappropriate
to post in a car-free forum.
Like you, I do own a car, unlike most North Americans, I share a single car with my wife, we do drive more then I would like, we have been car free in the past, the longest period was almost a year. Biking works for me, but my wife isn't a bike person right now, anyone has any hints on how to turn a non biking spouse into a cyclist, let me know! I can commute by bike, but my bike isn't set up for it, at the moment, needs a rack, fenders and road tires, that will happen in the off season this year.

For people who are car free though, they can offer hints and advice to those who are not there yet
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Old 08-20-06, 05:46 PM   #15
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For people who are car free though, they can offer hints and advice to those who are not there yet
The most consistant advice from those posters who actually are car free appears to be: have no dependents and don't venture any further than you can go by bicycle or public transportation. A willingnesss to use other's access to vehicles is a plus.
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Old 08-20-06, 06:17 PM   #16
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What's ironic is I once got a warning from a mod for directing a negative comment at I-L-T-B.
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Old 08-20-06, 08:00 PM   #17
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What's ironic is I once got a warning from a mod for directing a negative comment at I-L-T-B.
Nothing ironic at all. You were being a ---- and were called on it. If you find anything incorrect or negative about my previous comment, state what it is instead of sly innuendo that you may think is clever but is just so much hot air.

I've read the postings of those who claim to be car-free on this forum and with only one or two exceptions, my description of their status (no current dependents requiring daily reliable transportation) is accurate. It also is the key, along with location, and associated access to reliable public transportation, to the practicality of living car free in most of the US.
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Old 08-20-06, 08:19 PM   #18
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One of the biggest steps to becoming car free is to stop being lazy.

lol

In many cases, my car was my "lazyness enabler". Hopefully now that I am selling my car to my friend, things will change and I will be forced to use the bike more often.....
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Old 08-20-06, 11:11 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
...I've read the postings of those who claim to be car-free on this forum and with only one or two exceptions, my description of their status (no current dependents requiring daily reliable transportation) is accurate. It also is the key, along with location, and associated access to reliable public transportation, to the practicality of living car free in most of the US.
I'd say that's an accurate summary. There are many people who enjoy that combination of favorable circumstances.
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Old 08-21-06, 01:33 AM   #20
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Nothing ironic at all. You were being a ---- and were called on it. If you find anything incorrect or negative about my previous comment, state what it is instead of sly innuendo that you may think is clever but is just so much hot air.

I've read the postings of those who claim to be car-free on this forum and with only one or two exceptions, my description of their status (no current dependents requiring daily reliable transportation) is accurate. It also is the key, along with location, and associated access to reliable public transportation, to the practicality of living car free in most of the US.
This was a thread about people who don't post, but realize they have an option to driving. Some people thought they were "disqualified" by using a car to post. The truth is if you don't use a car in an auto-based society it's hard. It does get easier, and it's rewarding. But use our experience and learn about other riders success.
There are no rules for being car-free, and certaintly the conditions you mention make it less challenging. But you have grouped riders together and pronouced a result: you need these things to do it. That might be the case in your town, at this moment. Offer a helpful suggestion, find an interesting web link, or start a thread about your views concerning people who ride instead of drive.
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Old 08-21-06, 09:06 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by carless
This was a thread about people who don't post, but realize they have an option to driving.
Thanks for the clarification of the OP. To tell the truth I couldn't figure out what the intent was of the OP, or what point you were trying to make.
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Old 08-21-06, 09:44 PM   #22
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I can dish it out, but I cry to the mods when I'm on the recieving end.
Gotcha.
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Old 08-22-06, 07:02 AM   #23
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I'd say that's an accurate summary. There are many people who enjoy that combination of favorable circumstances.
Isnt hard to seek out and put oneself in a postion to enjoy those circumstances either.
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Old 08-22-06, 08:57 AM   #24
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Back on topic... I'm a lurker; my husband and I each own a car. We recently moved closer to our jobs, close enough to bike! An eventual goal is to get us down to a one-car family; primarily for use on weekends.
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Old 08-22-06, 10:28 AM   #25
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I just graduated and my first (entry level) job is 45 miles a way. I was hoping to be practically car-free, but rent is just outragious near my work, and even though I could afford a place (or room), I decided I'd rather live at home, save some money and eventually buy something, or find a job outside the area in some place less expensive (anywhere but NJ, NYC, and CA).

My car gets 35mpg and I usually do all the maintence and repairs, so right now driving a car and living at home are the only sure way to save a substantial amount of money.
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