Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-24-07, 11:43 PM   #1
bondiblue
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 19
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Long-time biker, will have to start driving soon... =(

As a 23 year old recent college graduate, I have yet to get a driver's license. Growing up I lived in a rather crazy city in a developing nation, and had no desire to have to deal with a rather aggressive drving culture. I did obtain my permit, but did little more than drive around the neighborhood twice.
I went to college in Chicago and had no use for a car, nor could afford it. Rides in cars were given by friends when needed. Although I have enjoyed biking since I was a kid, my last two years of college saw me fall in love with biking in a way that I am sure most of you here would understand, and that many unfamiliar with bikes wouldn't. I now bike to work, run most errands/shop on a bike, and would rather be out on the bike while friends sit and play Nintendo Wii at their batchelor pad.
The one problem with not having a license is simply that there are cases when it would be handy (makes sense, no?). I have no intentions of owning a car anytime soon, but I know that being able to drive is pretty much a life skill that everyone should probably have. A few months ago I got another permit (as my other one was expired, and foreign), but once again have not gotten in more than a few hours behind the wheel.
I will be taking a road trip half way across the country in little less than a month. On other road trips I have done double duty as co-pilot instead of taking shifts as a driver, but this time there might just be two of us, which presents some what of a problem. It would be a lot of driving for just one person!
I am genuinely freaked out about having to drive. The idea of being five feet wide is terrifying. The thought of getting into an accident sends shivers down my spine. As a biker, I think to myself "I wouldn't want me out there driving a car".
Has anyone here successfully learned to drive as an adult? My low confidence aside (I can work on that), is it possible to learn decent highway driving skills in a matter of a few weeks? Believe me, I don't want to put myself or anyone else in danger, but if learning to drive can be done in a short time, I'll do my best to get there.
Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated!
bondiblue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-07, 12:51 AM   #2
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Bikes:
Posts: 23,531
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 125 Post(s)
I guess it's kind of ironic that you're asking for advice on learning how to drive on a carfree forum!

I know that my mom learned how to drive when she was older. She never got to like it or to feel very comfortable with it. And I don't think you'll feel comfortable either, from the sounds of it, at least not in time for your trip. Of course, highway driving is the easiest kind of driving, so you'll probably do OK if it comes down to it.

If you really don't feel right about driving, maybe you should talk it over with your travel buddy. He/she might not feel so comfortable about your driving either! Instead of you driving, maybe you could take an extra day on the trip so one person could do all the driving.

Whatever you decide, I don't think that driving is a life skill that you "must" develop. It's up to you. Some people lead long and productive lives and never drive even once. Driving is like knitting or speaking French--a nice skill to have, but not essential to the good life. Albert Einstein, for example, never learned to drive, although he could ride a bike with great abandon.
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-07, 05:28 AM   #3
oneredstar
the bike made me do it
 
oneredstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Paris, of the prairies
Bikes:
Posts: 528
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Too bad on your current situation. If you do decide to do some of the driving on this trip, at least it will be on the highway. I always found that highway driving was far less stressful then driving in the city. Sure the speeds are higher, but there is a lot less stopping and starting.

Good luck in whatever decision you make. If you do end up driving I would be interested to get an update from you and see how you feel about it after the fact.
oneredstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-07, 12:57 PM   #4
bondiblue
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 19
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A quick update here. I didn't end up driving since the car we borrowed was manual, and have no experience driving manual, much less automatic. With no plans for road trips any time soon, learning to drive is on the back burner again.
bondiblue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-07, 02:40 PM   #5
acroy
Senior Member
 
acroy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Dallas Suburbpopolis
Bikes:
Posts: 1,480
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
driving's no biggie, just like any other skill, don't wigg out about it, take it easy, learn your limits...
I drive as little as possible but it is sure handy to be able to do so when I wanna!
acroy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-07, 03:22 PM   #6
kjohnnytarr
Instigator at best
 
kjohnnytarr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Columbia, Missouri
Bikes: Motobecane Jury
Posts: 1,086
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
On your trip, get your friend to do the city stuff, and you take the highway miles. You'll do fine.
kjohnnytarr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-07, 03:28 PM   #7
Buglady
Senior Member
 
Buglady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Calgary
Bikes: 2013 MEC Col Ltd. road bike; 2012 MEC Silhouette hybrid; 2001 Specialized Allez (too small); 1984 Raleigh 5-speed city bike; 1985 Boyes-Rosser tourer; 1976 Raleigh Twenty folding bike; 1988 (?) Kuwahara "Blaze" mountain bike
Posts: 2,303
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bondiblue
A quick update here. I didn't end up driving since the car we borrowed was manual, and have no experience driving manual, much less automatic. With no plans for road trips any time soon, learning to drive is on the back burner again.
Ech, I hate manual transmissions. I canNOT get the hang of them! However, I just wanted to reassure you on the "learning to drive as an adult" thing. I didn't even get my learner's permit until I was 26, full license at 29. I don't particularly enjoy driving - I actively hate city driving - but I am competent, probably more so than if I had learned as a teenager.

Since you have been biking for transportation, you do have experience with traffic and with the rules of the road, and that is the hardest part of learning to drive a car. The rest is just practice and muscle memory. Get a friend to take you out on some secondary streets or an empty parking lot, and you'll be fine. And just because you get a driver's license, that doesn't mean you "have" to drive - just that you could if you needed to.
Buglady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-07, 03:35 PM   #8
Artkansas 
Pedaled too far.
 
Artkansas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: La Petite Roche
Bikes:
Posts: 12,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
As you said, driving is a necessary life skill.

Don't worry about the cross country drive. My Mom and I did one when I was 16 and had only had my license for a few months. That kind of driving is relatively easy. Just pull over if you get tired.

Just remember to brake with your feet!
Artkansas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-07, 08:43 PM   #9
Wogster
Senior Member
 
Wogster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Toronto (again) Ontario, Canada
Bikes: Norco Bushpilot (out of commission), Raleigh Delta
Posts: 6,941
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buglady
Ech, I hate manual transmissions. I canNOT get the hang of them! However, I just wanted to reassure you on the "learning to drive as an adult" thing. I didn't even get my learner's permit until I was 26, full license at 29. I don't particularly enjoy driving - I actively hate city driving - but I am competent, probably more so than if I had learned as a teenager.
Ah, the standard transmission, it's not the transmission that people have trouble with, it's the clutch, and that needs practise, some people can learn it in a day, some people take weeks or months to learn it. The shifting part is easy, and any idiot can learn that in about 5 minutes.....
Wogster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-07, 10:34 PM   #10
megavovan
Senior Member
 
megavovan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Bikes: Cheap $100 Walmart mtn bike full suspension
Posts: 164
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't understand why everyone says "LOL GO HWY MILEZ ITS EZ!!111!"

I recommend you do lots of city driving, until you are comfortable. I am a hair short of 19 and been driving for about 9 months now. I did not go on highway for 2 or 3 months, I mastered my city/street riding.

Then I took whacks at highways, first easy empty highways outside city, then inside.

But then again, I live in 4th largest city in the nation, and highways are always clogged.
megavovan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-07, 10:34 PM   #11
Lecterman
The Guadfather
 
Lecterman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Fart Worth
Bikes: Trek, Centurion, Kuwahara coming soon
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It helps to know how to drive.

I mean, how else are you supposed to get away from the monsters in the movies....if the car starts
__________________
Are you a registered member? Why not? click here to register. Its free, and only takes 27 seconds!
Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
"Minor bun engine, made Benny Lava!!!"
Lecterman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-07, 01:37 PM   #12
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Bikes:
Posts: 23,531
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 125 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bondiblue
A quick update here. I didn't end up driving since the car we borrowed was manual, and have no experience driving manual, much less automatic. With no plans for road trips any time soon, learning to drive is on the back burner again.
Whew!!

Don't listen to all the geeks here. You do not have to learn how to drive. It will soon be a vanished art, like using an abacus.
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:58 PM.