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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 01-17-07, 01:52 PM   #1
Roody
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"Change Your Thoughts and You Can Change Your World"

They're putting up a sign on the library wall as I type this. I thought it's a good slogan for carfree people.

How about you? Did you change your thoughts in order to become carfree? What specific thoughts did you change? If you're not carfree, are you currently in the process of changing your thoughts?
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Old 01-17-07, 01:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
They're putting up a sign on the library wall as I type this. I thought it's a good slogan for carfree people.

How about you? Did you change your thoughts in order to become carfree? What specific thoughts did you change? If you're not carfree, are you currently in the process of changing your thoughts?
I'm still in the thinking stage but was inspired by an aquantance who rides 360+ days a year, the way she uses her bike reminds me of when I was a kid and my bike was freedom on two wheels. I could go anywhere and do all the things I needed to do from the seat of my old Raleigh. I keep thinking that any restrictions I place on returning to that ideal are ones I can choose to cater to or work on changing.
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Old 01-17-07, 02:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
They're putting up a sign on the library wall as I type this. I thought it's a good slogan for carfree people.

How about you? Did you change your thoughts in order to become carfree? What specific thoughts did you change? If you're not carfree, are you currently in the process of changing your thoughts?
I don't know about changing thoughts but the thought process sure has to change Instead of hopping in the car and driving the 2-3 miles to the grocery store to get a quart of ice cream and a bag of chips because you "have" to have them...with the bicycle I am more apt to decide I didn't really want those chips anyway
My current thought process every time I have to get in my truck and drive another 4-6 hours to start the work week is...Damn this is getting old...I am working on getting out of this job and into a local one just as fast as I can. In fact the local job will be managing a small business we own, it just needs to be a bit more profitable before it can afford me it is looking like another 2 years should do it! BTW anybody need a Tuxedo or a Wedding Dress I also am seriously considering opening up a small bicycle shop, not so much to make money but to take the edge of my own parts bill! If I make a bit that would be good too.

Aaron
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Old 01-17-07, 02:39 PM   #4
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"Change Your Thoughts and You Can Change Your World"

"Change Your Affirmations and You Can Change Your World"
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Old 02-02-07, 03:27 PM   #5
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While I agree as the bible says in the book to Phillipans chapter 4 verse
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
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Old 02-02-07, 06:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
How about you? Did you change your thoughts in order to become carfree? What specific thoughts did you change? If you're not carfree, are you currently in the process of changing your thoughts?
As you start out on a mission, like going carfree or winter biking or commuting, you'll hear a lot of opinions about its feasibility. Frequently, they are expressed by folks who have little or no knowledge of what they speak. Maybe that's when it's time to listen to your inner voice.
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Old 02-03-07, 12:47 PM   #7
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Visualize whirled peas.
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Old 02-03-07, 05:39 PM   #8
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Well, for me, being carfree came after my Dad said that it was time for me to get a place of my own. I already bicycled most of the time except when I could borrow his car. So no, not a big change in thoughts.

But making it through the first few months on minimum wage made me appreciate the bike more.


However, I have taken up daily meditating in trying to change my thoughts and change my world.
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Old 02-04-07, 03:51 PM   #9
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I've been riding more and more and driving less and less. When winter came, one thought that I changed was that riding in the rain or the snow will be unpleasant. Usually it isn't.

After riding all summer and rarely driving, when I got into a car to go somewhere I felt like royalty. The priviledge inherent in going somewhere without making any effort really hit me.
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Old 02-04-07, 05:05 PM   #10
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Visualize whirled peas.
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Old 02-04-07, 08:44 PM   #11
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Isn't this the problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio
After riding all summer and rarely driving, when I got into a car to go somewhere I felt like royalty. The priviledge inherent in going somewhere without making any effort really hit me.
An interesting thing to say, and isn't this the root of the "car problem"?

Isn't the idea of popularizing car-free/lite living a bit like convincing people that they really don't like to eat ice cream?

While some people will avoid ice cream because they want to avoid larding up, or that its not healthy, it's hard to convince someone that they shouldn't eat ice cream because they don't like the taste of it. That person's experience directly contradicts this.

As americans, its easy to forget that feeling of magic and power that effortless transport gives you.

I've been chanting "I don't like ice cream" for 20 years, but I still can't make it stick.
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Old 02-05-07, 01:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofer
An interesting thing to say, and isn't this the root of the "car problem"?

Isn't the idea of popularizing car-free/lite living a bit like convincing people that they really don't like to eat ice cream?

While some people will avoid ice cream because they want to avoid larding up, or that its not healthy, it's hard to convince someone that they shouldn't eat ice cream because they don't like the taste of it. That person's experience directly contradicts this.

As americans, its easy to forget that feeling of magic and power that effortless transport gives you.

I've been chanting "I don't like ice cream" for 20 years, but I still can't make it stick
.
Use your brain, don't listen to what "everybody" thinks. Decide for yourslf what is true and what is false. Accept true thoughts and reject false thoughts.

Some people might think, "I hate cars and I deny that they sometimes make transportation more convenient." This is a false statement and so it should be rejected.

Instead, I think, "I love the freedom and sense of self-reliance that not having a car gives me. I also love the money I save and the positive impacts on my health and the environment. When I consider all the factors, I very much prefer not to have a car, even if this is occasionally less convenient." This is certainly a true statement, and it should be accepted.
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Old 02-05-07, 08:37 PM   #13
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Amazing. I agree wholeheartedly with this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio
I've been riding more and more and driving less and less. When winter came, one thought that I changed was that riding in the rain or the snow will be unpleasant. Usually it isn't.
And wish more people knew it.

Yet I cannot connect with this at all:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio
After riding all summer and rarely driving, when I got into a car to go somewhere I felt like royalty. The priviledge inherent in going somewhere without making any effort really hit me.
When I am in a car these days, I feel trapped and deprived of the things that make me happy -- being outside and interacting with people. I also feel, looking out the windows, as if I must be brain dead to be participating in the bumper to bumper madness.

I'm not saying you are wrong, just that it's not an experience I share.
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Old 02-05-07, 09:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Instead, I think, "I love the freedom and sense of self-reliance that not having a car gives me. I also love the money I save and the positive impacts on my health and the environment. When I consider all the factors, I very much prefer not to have a car, even if this is occasionally less convenient." This is certainly a true statement, and it should be accepted.
Hmm, that's pretty good. I'll give it a go.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:00 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=Roody]They're putting up a sign on the library wall as I type this. I thought it's a good slogan for carfree people.

How about you? Did you change your thoughts in order to become carfree? What specific thoughts did you change? [QUOTE]

The main change was in getting rid of those thoughts that I needed a car for shopping, work and play. Once I stopped getting cable TV, it became impossible to watch hours of programming and the need to buy a car faded for good.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
They're putting up a sign on the library wall as I type this. I thought it's a good slogan for carfree people.

How about you? Did you change your thoughts in order to become carfree? What specific thoughts did you change? If you're not carfree, are you currently in the process of changing your thoughts?
I became carfree in order to change my thoughts.
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Old 02-06-07, 11:17 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofer
While some people will avoid ice cream because they want to avoid larding up, or that its not healthy, it's hard to convince someone that they shouldn't eat ice cream because they don't like the taste of it. That person's experience directly contradicts this.
I agree. Trying to get someone to believe something that is obviously false -- like "ice cream tastes bad" -- is not helpful.

Ice cream tastes great, but in the long run it's deeply unsatisfying to eat too much ice cream and become unhealthy. The initial satisfaction is small and short-lived in comparison to the consequences of eating large amounts of a high fat food like ice cream (i.e. Super Size Me).

In the same way, if you take a longer view, the sense of priveledge and the ease that comes from driving isn't enough to balance the costs of all the pavement and poison our millions of cars produce. Not to mention the damaged health and spirit that results from sitting around. This is the key argument, I think.

As I see it, I am usually better off riding my bike than driving (I own a truck). I'm better off because driving is immensely destructive to the earth. I'm better off riding my bike because I am quite fond of my over-the-hill body. I like having fun and riding my bike is more fun than driving. When I ride my bike, my relationship to others changes too. I notice that when I ride (especially when I take my dog) people smile at me. I very often stop to chat with people. When I'm driving, I'm much more irritable and I see that others are too.
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Old 02-06-07, 03:08 PM   #18
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Sorry, maybe I should have elaborated on that statement. I didn't mean to imply any kind of judgment with the royalty comment. I was only expressing something that startled me. How priviledged and effortless it seemed to drive. I completely agree with your comments about the joys of biking.
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Old 02-06-07, 04:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoofer
I've been chanting "I don't like ice cream" for 20 years, but I still can't make it stick.
My boyfriend said he did. After many many years of eating buckets and buckets of it which turned him into a big gob of lard. Fortunately for him he convinced himself he didn't like ice cream (that much) before I met him. He says he really doesn't like the taste of ice cream much any more. It makes sense: lots of things are "acquired taste" so there could be acquired distaste.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chennai
When I am in a car these days, I feel trapped and deprived of the things that make me happy -- being outside and interacting with people. I also feel, looking out the windows, as if I must be brain dead to be participating in the bumper to bumper madness.
I agree. There used to be a time when I really loved riding in cars (as a kid) and was completely delighted when I was allowed to drive one (you know, on those deadend roads that see a car or a ped once a day or so ). Ah, those were the days... The car trips in our family were extremely rare: somewhere between once a week and once every three months for different periods, and the roads were usually not congested, and we'd roll down the windows and enjoy the breeze... Driving felt special because it was so rare. And then we moved to North America. And it's amazing how fast I got sick of and annoyed by cars. There are just too friggin' many of them everywhere and everyone drives them all the time. And everything is ugly depressing concrete made for cars, huge parking lots, huge superhighways - they just make me cringe every time I see them. I don't think I could have a single positive thought about driving in these conditions. Perhaps if all people drove once a week and made it a special occasions of fun on open roads ('cause no one's driving ), I might enjoy it again. But not until then...
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Old 02-06-07, 06:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chephy
~snip~
There are just too friggin' many of them everywhere and everyone drives them all the time. And everything is ugly depressing concrete made for cars, huge parking lots, huge superhighways - they just make me cringe every time I see them. I don't think I could have a single positive thought about driving in these conditions. Perhaps if all people drove once a week and made it a special occasions of fun on open roads ('cause no one's driving ), I might enjoy it again. But not until then...
+1!


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Old 02-08-07, 08:41 AM   #21
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"Free your Wheel, and your Mind will Follow."

I gave that quote to the Xtracycle company, and they loved it, but had just printed a slew of new bumperstickers and couldn't use it. Still I think in a way it applies to the Carfree as well.
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