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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 12-17-06, 01:51 PM   #1
Roody
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What's your Plan B? Plan C?

I know that bikes are Transportation Plan A for almost everybody here. But you have to have backup plans to cover unusual times and situations when the bike won't work.

The other day, my knee hurt bad. I knew it needed rest, so riding was out. Plan B is to walk, but I couldn't do that either. So I took a sick day at work and took the city bus--Plan C--to run a couple errands that I couldn't defer. The next day, I was able to do some light riding, and today I can ride a little more. I hope to be back to normal by tomorrow.

It seems to me that failing to plan for different contingencies will often cause failure at being carfree. What backup plans have worked for you? What would you reccommend for people who are considering going carfree?
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Old 12-17-06, 03:32 PM   #2
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Plan B - public transit (we're relatively lucky in Toronto). Plan C - taxi to where there is no convenient public transit (used quite rarely, a handful times a year).
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Old 12-17-06, 05:46 PM   #3
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Plan B - walk
Plan C - Call up my coworker who lives 2 blocks from me and get a ride
Plan D - Take a bus. (A two hour bus ride and a 15 minute walk to cover what is a 1 hour walk)
Plan E - Call a Cab.
Plan F - Take a sick day
Plan G - Call the company owner who lives 6 blocks away from me and get a ride

But in almost 2 years, I've never been beyond plan B.

It's always a good idea to have the numbers of one or two co-workers who live close to you and can give you a ride just in case. You can pay them back by giving them extra good service at work.
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Old 12-17-06, 07:02 PM   #4
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Plan B - Ride Metro, the local bus system, which is very good.

Plan C - Curl up in the fetal position and make whimpering noises.
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Old 12-17-06, 07:15 PM   #5
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Plan B - Metro. A Metro station is only 2 blocks from where I live. With the subsidized farecards that I get through work a RT only costs me something like $1.25.

Plan C - Taxi. Had to go into work at 4:30 this morning. Metro and buses are not running at that hour. Taxi costs $14 with tip for a one-way trip. I sometimes think about riding the bike in but have held back due to my concern that a frightening high percentage of cars on the road during this time are being driven by drunk drivers. Also some of the neighborhoods I'd have to go through look a little sketchy. Plenty of people just standing on corners "watching".
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Old 12-17-06, 07:23 PM   #6
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Plans B-E: Take a different bike.
Plan F: Drive the car.
Plan G: Have the wife drive the car to drop me off and pick me up.
Plan H: Call in sick.

Walking could be a plan, but I'd call in sick and go fishing before I'd walk.
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Old 12-17-06, 07:35 PM   #7
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plan b- have my parents drive me to school =]
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Old 12-17-06, 07:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow Train
I sometimes think about riding the bike in but have held back due to my concern that a frightening high percentage of cars on the road during this time are being driven by drunk drivers.
Really? I thought most of the drunks were asleep by that point. And there are so few cars on the road at that hour anyway that you can watch every single one of them and know exactly where it is and what's going on.

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Also some of the neighborhoods I'd have to go through look a little sketchy. Plenty of people just standing on corners "watching".
Yeah, that sounds kinda scary. Although I'd feel safer riding through such a neighbourhood than, say, walking. I'd tend to stay further away from the curb than I usually do just to keep more space between the creepy people on the sidewalk and me.
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Old 12-17-06, 08:06 PM   #9
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I haven't been car free/lite in quite a while, but I am heading that way just as fast as I can go. I can't call in sick...I am married to the boss so I will either walk, or she can captain and I will go as luggage on the Xtra cycle we will be buying The town we have set up shop in is very small so getting to and from work shouldn't be hard, at worst case scenario the house will be 8-10 blocks from the shop at best 2-3. dunno if there is a taxi service or not, we will have a company van that will normally stay at the shop, so I guess she could ride/walk to work and then come pick my sorry butt up.

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Old 12-17-06, 08:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chephy
Really? I thought most of the drunks were asleep by that point. And there are so few cars on the road at that hour anyway that you can watch every single one of them and know exactly where it is and what's going on.
I'm no pub crawler but I think DC bars close at 3 am on Friday & Saturday nights. Since I sometimes have to be _at_ work by 4am Sunday morning that probably has me sharing the road with them

Quote:
Originally Posted by chephy
Yeah, that sounds kinda scary. Although I'd feel safer riding through such a neighbourhood than, say, walking. I'd tend to stay further away from the curb than I usually do just to keep more space between the creepy people on the sidewalk and me.
Fortunately I only have to do this for a single day every 6 weeks or so. So while taking the taxi does offend a certain sense of frugality in me it's no real burden.
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Old 12-17-06, 09:18 PM   #11
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I can use the bus, but it's not very reliable here. The train is an option if I need to go to Brisbane, but goes nowhere else. Failing all of the above, one or two taxi fares a year isn't going to break the bank.

That said, occasions on which I can't ride are very rare. There is no traffic or weather situation I consider unrideable.
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Old 12-18-06, 04:01 PM   #12
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Plan B: bus (Once I get off BART I have the option to jump on my bike or get on the bus) I have a BART locker because they don't allow bikes on BART during commute hours....grrrr.

Plan C: This has never happened... I'd probably call in sick.
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Old 12-18-06, 04:56 PM   #13
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-- Bus
-- Train
-- Taxi
-- Friend
-- Car Share
-- Rental
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Old 12-18-06, 05:16 PM   #14
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b: the bad-weather bike
c: Bus
d: Work at home
e: f$%^ it... I don't feel like working.
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Old 12-20-06, 12:54 AM   #15
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plans b-...lots: take one of my other bikes, or one of my roommates'
plan X: run (it's only 5 miles)
plan Y: walk
plan Z: beg a ride off one of my 3 roomies
plan AA: Call the girlfriend for a ride
plan BB: call random friends
plan CC: knock on the neighbor's door - he's a biker and would probably have pity on me.
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Old 12-20-06, 01:17 PM   #16
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Well I discovered my Plan Z yesterday. My leg started hurting BAD about 3 miles from home. So Plan Z is limping home while leaning on the bike like a walker. I sat on the bike and coasted down the hills, but I couldn't pedal at all.
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Old 12-20-06, 01:23 PM   #17
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there is no plan B in my life
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Old 12-20-06, 01:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow Train
Also some of the neighborhoods I'd have to go through look a little sketchy. Plenty of people just standing on corners "watching".
sounds like my old neighborhood. anytime of day or night there would be guys just hanging out on the street. they weren't bums, they just didn't have anything to do.
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Old 12-20-06, 01:32 PM   #19
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thankfully NYC makes alternative plans quite easy.

plan B is almost always taking the subway or walking
plan C is a cab
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Old 12-20-06, 01:47 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by timmhaan
sounds like my old neighborhood. anytime of day or night there would be guys just hanging out on the street. they weren't bums, they just didn't have anything to do.
In some sketchy neighborhoods in DC if you make eye contact with the guys hanging out on the street very late at night they'll make some funny hand motions. If you stop close they'll say something like "Whatcha need?" I don't worry about them, its their customers who might be desperate for money that I worry about. The customers don't stay put on the street.
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Old 12-20-06, 02:00 PM   #21
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there is no plan B in my life
My whole life has been Plan B.
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Old 12-20-06, 04:19 PM   #22
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My whole life has been Plan B.
I know what you mean, I quit fighting it and just decided to go with it and consider it as plan A
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Old 12-21-06, 03:14 AM   #23
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If i was too 'injured' to cycle then i wouldn't be able to manage the walk to and from the bus stop either so i guess a cab would be Plan B in a *REAL* emergency. Groceries would be bought online for delivery.

I'm fairly young (28) and fit so i've been fortunate enough not to have found myself unable to ride in although a couple of times i have been sent home for looking too ill to be at work!
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Old 12-21-06, 07:58 AM   #24
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Plan B: hitch ride from coworker and neighbor
Plan C: drive
If the first 3 are not an option then I am staying home.
There is the option of Rail/Bus but since I live in one suburb and work in a different suburb my public transportation commute would involve several transfers and much more time than other options.
Craig
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Old 12-21-06, 11:21 AM   #25
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Like most people, I use the feet/pavement method. Then public transit, when necessary.

But I also signed up with a car-sharing company, which works great. I commit to about 24 hours of drive-time every month (at $7 per hour), and can "check out" a vehicle whenever I need one. I use a pick-up truck for carrying big stuff my bike or arms can't. It also serves as sort of a safety net of sorts. Picking someone up at the airport, emergencies, whatever.
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