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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 03-26-07, 02:41 PM   #1
Artkansas 
Pedaled too far.
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Two Weeks In A Cage

I had to give up my car-free lifestyle for a couple of weeks. My company sent me to the company hq in California, just outside of Santa Cruz.

Kind of ironic. In car centered Little Rock, I'm car free. In bike friendly Santa Cruz, I'm in a cage.

Pulling out of San Jose airport was kind of strange. I was getting used to the car, I was getting used to steering, and most mindboggling, getting used to the onslaught of visual cues that drivers take for granted. All the situations, and signs came flashing at me. It was a bit disorienting for a little while until my driving reflexes came back to me.

I did look into options to stay on a bike, I found bikes for rent at $50.00 per day. And I found bikes at the Salvation Army for $50.00. Three things kept me from taking the latter choice. My knee could use a little rest, I couldn't figure out how to get a bike into the rental car, and work was hard and long, so I would have had to buy lights etc. So I opted to stay in the cage for the duration.

But I learned a bit. The car did enable me to go visit the beach after work some days. That was a treat. I found that driving in a pushy manner is an adrenaline rush. Do it once, and you want to do it again. I don't think most drivers are sensitive to how addicted they are to this rush.

It was also nice to find a city that was friendly to bicycles. In Little Rock, I have found exactly 1 bike rack in 2 years. In Santa Cruz they are all over. I went to a couple of concerts. Many of the other spectators pedaled to the concert!

Some of the cyclists were okay. Others were crazy. I was reminded how a bicyclist can seem to appear out of nowhere to a motorist. It was great to see such a variety of bikes. Even a Bakfiel that was available for rent.

I did indulge a little. In Sprockets, I went in searching for info about local bicycle advocacy groups. I found that and got leads to local groups, but I also left with an Avocet saddle (O2 with cromoly rails) that had the width, groove, lack of seams and firmness I had been looking for and Trek Club gloves with gobs of gel padding. Both fit what I had been searching for unsuccessfully for months in Little Rock. They made appropriate souvenirs I thought.
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Old 03-26-07, 03:24 PM   #2
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Maybe you should invest in a folding bike sometime
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Old 03-26-07, 04:12 PM   #3
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Two weeks in a car!!

You're my hero of the week for being able to deal with a nightmarish situation.
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"Think Outside the Cage"
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Old 03-27-07, 09:08 AM   #4
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Pedaled too far.
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Maybe you should invest in a folding bike sometime
When the finances allow, maybe. But in this case it was nice to let the knee rest.
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Old 03-27-07, 04:49 PM   #5
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Just to ask, were you at SCO? That was why I enede up spending a couple of weeks in Santa Cruz once several years ago.
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Old 03-28-07, 09:46 AM   #6
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Pedaled too far.
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Nope, I was at the hq of the company I work for (Convenos/Spinner) in Scotts Valley. They just bought the assets of the company I used to work for and I was there, helping the people understand the history, use, and functions of the software.

Sure is pretty up there.


But housing costs...
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Old 03-28-07, 10:46 AM   #7
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Yep, it is pretty, and expensive, which seems to be standard as far as anywhere here in California goes.
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Old 03-28-07, 01:41 PM   #8
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Pedaled too far.
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Yep, it is pretty, and expensive, which seems to be standard as far as anywhere here in California goes.
Tell me about it. I've lived all over Southern California. In the Palm Springs area I watched one house ,half a block from the house we were renting, sell for $30,000 and 7 years later sell for $300,000. That's a big reason for me to stay in Arkansas now. I may be able to get into a house in time.
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Old 03-28-07, 02:50 PM   #9
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Did you even look into flying with your bike? Maybe $150 (total cost) or so.

It looks like a great opportunity, missed, to me.
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Old 03-29-07, 08:28 AM   #10
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Did you even look into flying with your bike? Maybe $150 (total cost) or so.

It looks like a great opportunity, missed, to me.

I had 14 hours notice for a 2 week trip. I was barely able to get a computer loaded, pack and get two hours of sleep. Then I would have had to somehow get the bike into the rental car, and with its fenders, it wouldn't have fit. So buying a $50.00 beater would have been a better plan.

Yes, it would have been nice, but now that I'm back, my knee is feeling better than it was before so the rest was appreciated.

But it was so cool to be in an area that was much more bicycle minded. I got a number of ideas about adapting a city for bikes to bring back with me.
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Old 04-02-07, 01:21 PM   #11
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San Francisco Bike Coalition has bike boxes that members can check out, but not that many. Are there other places you can rent a box for a trip? $150 is a little too much for me for most situations.

AR, just be glad you weren't in the Bay Area or LA and forced to drive. Every single time I have to drive anywhere here I become more glad that I don't own a car.
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Old 04-02-07, 04:55 PM   #12
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Pedaled too far.
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AR, just be glad you weren't in the Bay Area or LA and forced to drive. Every single time I have to drive anywhere here I become more glad that I don't own a car.
I knew it was time to leave L.A. the Friday night I drove from my apartment near the Miracle Mile to my Dad's house in Lake Elsinore. It took me longer to drive than it would have to pedal the entire distance. That was 20 years ago.
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Old 04-11-07, 07:14 AM   #13
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In Little Rock, I have found exactly 1 bike rack in 2 years.
Wow. I didn't realize ANY place was that bad.
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Old 04-11-07, 08:19 AM   #14
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It just makes it all the easier for our bicycle advocacy group. We don't have to look hard to find things to improve.
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Old 04-11-07, 07:04 PM   #15
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It just makes it all the easier for our bicycle advocacy group. We don't have to look hard to find things to improve.
No bikeracks nor advocacy group here save myself.
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