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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 03-04-07, 12:56 PM   #1
brevig
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Another Individual Going Car-Free

This past Wednesday I, finally, for the first time stopped driving my car and headed out for the gym at 6:30 am. The commute is about 16 miles roundtrip. I feel pretty proud of myself and just wanted to share.

The only consideration now is what to do with my car. I think I'm going to keep it for a month "just to make sure everything goes well". But after that, I'm going to sell it. My roommate was really humored when he participated in my figuring out how I was going to go grocery shopping today.

I kind of need the money from the sell of it...but in a way I don't like putting it back out to be used by someone else.
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Old 03-04-07, 01:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brevig
This past Wednesday I, finally, for the first time stopped driving my car and headed out for the gym at 6:30 am. The commute is about 16 miles roundtrip. I feel pretty proud of myself and just wanted to share.

The only consideration now is what to do with my car. I think I'm going to keep it for a month "just to make sure everything goes well". But after that, I'm going to sell it. My roommate was really humored when he participated in my figuring out how I was going to go grocery shopping today.

I kind of need the money from the sell of it...but in a way I don't like putting it back out to be used by someone else
.
So how did you end up getting the groceries? Any problem?

As for selling the car--it's a detriment no matter what you do. Disposal and recycling of a car is a significantly dirty process. Personally, I'd sell it and at least transfer the Karma to somebody else.
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Old 03-04-07, 02:25 PM   #3
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Shopping for just one person isn't really bad at all. Maybe you don't buy the econo-size of anything.

I've developed a repertoire of simple easy meals to cook. I usually cook only twice a week, making plenty that I freeze and take to work for lunches. Once a week I get a huge salad the serves as dinner for 2 nights. Eat out or takeout maybe twice a week.

For the first 2 years of my car-free existence I neither had a convenient grocery store where I lived nor where I worked. That was a pain as it meant I had to make specific side trips to buy groceries. Finally a grocery store near where I work re-opened. Now I just simply e-mail myself a shopping list and sometime during the week I take a walk and pick up the few things I need to make my 2 weekly meals.
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Old 03-04-07, 02:45 PM   #4
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Our weekly shopping trips are fairly light it is the quarterly ones that will kill you. Currently those are done by truck eventually I hope to be able to do some of them by bike. It will probably look like a bike move when it occurs but hey ya gotta try it. I have been drooling over the Xtra cycle that is built up on the Breezer, just not ready to plop down the $1200 or so for it yet.

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Old 03-04-07, 03:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
As for selling the car--it's a detriment no matter what you do. Disposal and recycling of a car is a significantly dirty process. Personally, I'd sell it and at least transfer the Karma to somebody else
The if more people wanted to sell their cars used, it would reduce the number of new cars that folks would buy. (and therefore, the number of new cars manufactured.)
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Old 03-04-07, 04:37 PM   #6
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Shopping isn't hard at all. I shop for a family of 3 with my bike and home made trailer. I used to use the child trailer but it doesn't hold much more than 75lbs. I found a shopping cart on the side of the road last spring. It had no identification on it so there was no way I could return it to the proper store. I had a buddy of mine stop at my house one day before work and put it in his truck to take to work for me (we work together). Once we got it to the shop I cut it down to size, added axles, and some old 16" wheels I snagged on garbage day. Then I fabricated a hitch mount system for my bike with a quick release.
So now when I go grocery shopping I have a full on cart to drag the groceries home, and boy can this thing hold alot. One day I'll take pics.
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Old 03-04-07, 07:17 PM   #7
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One day I'll take pics.
Soon Please !
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Old 03-04-07, 09:05 PM   #8
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Soon Please !
Just imagine the basket of the shopping cart, with 2 wheels.
I cut off the nadle and welded the back part to the frame. (that little flapper that allows buggies to be compressed)
Then I made a hitch out of low quality 11GA stainless steel and welded it to the bottom of the back.
it's nothing fancy but gets the job done
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Old 03-05-07, 01:26 PM   #9
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Even for 2 adults and two children, I usually carry almost a week's worth of groceries in 2 or 4 panniers. A trailer allows one to carry bulkier items.

If distance is great, do a list of bulky items and shop for these once in a blue moon. Then either go on bike and have delivered (a 3 or 4 $ fee around here) or take the bus and a cab. I find the bulkiest items are non-perisheable ones: paper tissues, toilet paper, laundry soap and the like. Add to that canned goods that you might like to use for cooking and you've got a pretty large and heavy grocery to do... 2-3 times a year.
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Old 03-05-07, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slow Train

I've developed a repertoire of simple easy meals to cook. I usually cook only twice a week, making plenty that I freeze and take to work for lunches. Once a week I get a huge salad the serves as dinner for 2 nights. Eat out or takeout maybe twice a week.
Yup, I get a chicken or steaks, whatever on sale, grill them all up on Sunday with rice/veggies or whatever, and fill 6-8 tupperwares with them. If I season/spice, and prepare it well I don't mind eating the same lunch four days in a row.
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Old 03-06-07, 02:42 PM   #11
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Thanks guys. For that day, a friend came by and we went ahead and went in his car.

I tend to do the preparing in advance, as well. Right now I'm on a 3000 calorie diet and I'm getting ready to start moving myself towards 4000. I did a lot of shopping that day...in the future I'll probably just purchase regularly. The store is only about 1.5 miles away; I'm in a great location.
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Old 03-06-07, 03:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brevig
Thanks guys. For that day, a friend came by and we went ahead and went in his car.

I tend to do the preparing in advance, as well. Right now I'm on a 3000 calorie diet and I'm getting ready to start moving myself towards 4000. I did a lot of shopping that day...in the future I'll probably just purchase regularly. The store is only about 1.5 miles away; I'm in a great location.

I am also very close to the grocery store (1.2 miles), and pharmacies are even closer..

I bought a used trike from a co-worker for $ 70 that he fully refurbished - originally intended for his obese wife - which she quickly disregarded in favor of her car and the couch + TV ...

Her loss, my gain !!!!! (not in pounds of course... lol)
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Old 03-06-07, 04:55 PM   #13
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Congratulations

Richard:

You'll be surprised how fast you'll make minor adjustments to this lifestyle. I shop frequently throughout the week. I usually shop on my way home from work. And on rare occasions/purchases, I use the BOB.
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Old 03-08-07, 01:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brevig
This past Wednesday I, finally, for the first time stopped driving my car and headed out for the gym at 6:30 am. The commute is about 16 miles roundtrip. I feel pretty proud of myself and just wanted to share.

The only consideration now is what to do with my car. I think I'm going to keep it for a month "just to make sure everything goes well". But after that, I'm going to sell it. My roommate was really humored when he participated in my figuring out how I was going to go grocery shopping today.

I kind of need the money from the sell of it...but in a way I don't like putting it back out to be used by someone else.
Congrats. I've been doing an 18 mile RT commute for about five years and love it. 16-20 is just the right length it doesn't kill you at the end of the week, but still a great daily workout. I was sore and worn out by Friday the first few, but I'm completely adapted to it.

My bigget tip about bike commuting is storage - I use a rack trunk, with a shoulder strap if I need to go in stores, (can use it like a big messenger bag). I also have a grocery pannier which holds quite a bit. Lately since the weather's been cool I've just been using my Timbuk2 msgr bag to work and back. (No sweat this time of year)

If you're planning on selling a car take your time and get the best dollar for it. All the best!
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Old 03-08-07, 03:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by brevig
Thanks guys. For that day, a friend came by and we went ahead and went in his car.

I tend to do the preparing in advance, as well. Right now I'm on a 3000 calorie diet and I'm getting ready to start moving myself towards 4000. I did a lot of shopping that day...in the future I'll probably just purchase regularly. The store is only about 1.5 miles away; I'm in a great location.
At 1.5 miles you could go a few times a week with just a backpack. You'll be eating fresher foods and you'll be able to eat a better variety of foods (since you don't have to buy large quantities).
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Old 03-08-07, 07:37 PM   #16
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Thanks again, I had actually taken a break though yesterday and today. I took some books to the gym that were way too heavy to commute with me and I was feeling a lot of pain in my right IT Band (even when doing light strides on the eliptical). My old massage instructor demonstrated on me how to do a leg massage to the rest of the class...so that really helped a lot. I took today off to pick the books up. Tomorrow I'm going to start riding the bike again.

So far I have a small one shoulder back pack. I'm wanting to get a trailer soon...I've been looking at one of the one wheel trailers a while for local commutes. I'm also planning on stopping at the local bike shops...amazingly there are two on my route I discovered a few days ago.
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Old 03-09-07, 02:02 PM   #17
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. . . I'm also planning on stopping at the local bike shops...amazingly there are two on my route I discovered a few days ago.
Impressive. My city of 20,000+ hasn't a single bike shop.
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Old 03-09-07, 04:32 PM   #18
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I know, I was really shocked. These two are in the College Park district (which is near the Orlando Science Center, Observatory, Art Museum, etc...so it's a pretty nice area of town). The other bike shop I'm aware of is by Park Ave in Winter Park right across the street from Rollins College (one of the local prep/expensive universities for the area).

I do find it rare they they're both within about half a mile or so from each other...but I haven't stopped in yet to see what audiences they both cater to.
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Old 03-09-07, 05:09 PM   #19
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as far as shopping goes, i do my shopping little bit by little bit and carry a big empty backpack to work everyday that gets filled every night on the way home. I have a set amount of things that I keep in stock and then a few things that I only get once a month or so like ice cream.

This works out if you plan ahead and keep inventory. I have a grocery inventory workbook, a cleaning supply inventory notebook, and one requisition and procurement workbook. I take notes of what I run out of, and go get the items the next day or so.

I work as a warehouse floor coordinator and my work carries over to my private life a little.


maybe this will work for you, just write everything that you have in your kitchen and then everything you wan to have in there. Look at the two lists and make a master list of everything you have;want in your kitchen. check mark the things on the master list that you don't have/need and get it all during the next week. Every time you run out of something make a written note of it and make sure you get it in the next few days.

I almost always have something in my backpack on the way home every day. AND I almost always have a fully stocked kitchen. A little extra work and organization brings a little extra civilized extra relaxed life.

I wouldn't recommend that you get 50lbs of flour. Instead get two or three 5lb bags, and make sure that you have more than one at all times just in case your sweety wants to do a bakesale.

Plan ahead and make your plans flexible. If you have everything you need you won't be worrying about what you want to eat tonight because you will have everything that you want already.

Have a good time shopping and Hey, for you single guys, stopping at the local grocery store every night isn't a bad thing if there are some cute employees working there to flirt with.
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Old 03-12-07, 03:42 PM   #20
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getting rid of my car was the best feeling the world. everything has just seemed so much better now that i dithed that hunk of gas guzzling junk which i never used in the first place. and i used the money i made on it to fix up my bike and put a security deposit on a new apartement!
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Old 03-14-07, 06:03 AM   #21
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i'd suggest selling it, or you could donate it. our local public radio station takes car donations. maybe you could donate it to your local firehouse; i know of volunteer firefighters who set cars ablaze to put the thing out. sounds excellent.
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Old 03-14-07, 11:23 AM   #22
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i'd suggest selling it, or you could donate it. our local public radio station takes car donations. maybe you could donate it to your local firehouse; i know of volunteer firefighters who set cars ablaze to put the thing out. sounds excellent.
Hey I'd pay good money if they let me torch a car for them!
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Old 03-14-07, 01:34 PM   #23
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How much?
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Old 03-14-07, 02:43 PM   #24
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PS congratulations on going all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!
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