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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 08-31-07, 11:14 PM   #1
JosephPaul86
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Self Changes

I've made some great changes and stuck to them. I used to drive a F150 daily. To work, shopping, out to eat, and even built the 5.4L to produce more egotastical power.

This was till I moved in with some great people. My 23 yr old sister and her husband are super conservative people and motivated me to get out and ride more. Now I haven't driven my F150 for almost 2 months and thus its sold. It was costing me over $200/month in insurance alone.

On top of being car free except for the 87 Honda Elite scooter for longer/faster commutes, I have stopped eating animal by products except eggs/milk. I used to see those Peta videos and shrug it off. I guess I opened my eyes...nuff said. I have my asthma under control, peak flow at 600(highest ever for me)

Biggest challenge for me so far is that I was used to doing grocery shopping once every two weeks or a month..haahaa. I shop once a week and am looking at trailers. I still have my welder/tools so I might fab up something.

After all this...I find myself asking why i didn't do this sooner. Everywhere I have always gone has always been withing cycling distance. Ohh well

Nothing but respect for you true environmentalists and animal rights activist. I never thought I'd be saying that, trust me. I went from a motorhead ignorant republican Texan to giving a crap about the world and the affects of what I do. No offense to those republicans out there.

Chat over, just happy to find a place that some people might have similar stories/come arounds.
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Old 09-01-07, 07:16 AM   #2
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Congratulations on taking a pretty big step. Sounds like you are having fun with it. I trailer will make a big difference and help with hauling larger cargo.
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Old 09-01-07, 07:45 AM   #3
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Good going and especially in the redneck capitol of the world I still have my F350...have to have it for my current job but I only drive it when necessary. The rest of the time it is bike happy for me, only bad part is I live 15 miles from everything.

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Old 09-01-07, 04:28 PM   #4
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It reads like you made a big step instead of going at it slowly like I did. What we have in common is the "Why didn't I do this sooner?". I should have just done it all at once like you did.
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Old 09-01-07, 05:45 PM   #5
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Well done. Sounds like amazing strides you have made.
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Old 09-03-07, 12:09 PM   #6
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Just got back from a weekend at Surfside beach. Took the Honda Elite scooter which took me 2 hrs for a 1 hr car drive. Got stopped by a state trooper, thought it'd be for riding on a Hwy. He warned me that my rear tire looked low and advised a lower speed route to Freeport.

Joined Save Our Beach Association(SOBA) in cleaning the beaches. Drunken red necks don't bother with cleaning up their own messes, arseholes. Spent most of last night cleaning the beach and part of this morning.

I snagged some aluminum crutches at the dumpster. Do people not know what recycling is? Ideas for a trailer are brewing...
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Old 09-04-07, 06:40 AM   #7
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Very inspiring read, to say the least. Given where you live, I'm assuming that most people say, "This isn't New York or Chicago. You have to own a car here." I know because they say the same thing here in my crappy little corner of redneck America. I think that you and many others prove that you can adjust to a car-free lifestyle fairly easily if you're committed to it. I would not say that I'm car-free, but I'm definitely very light on my vehicle usage, as most of my miles on my car are from road trips to out-of-state, which seems hypocritical on the surface, but is what I feel that cars are actually good for.

I've always marched to my own drum, but I feel weirder now than I ever have, as this morning I showed up to work (I'm a city planner) on an expensive road bike, wearing a suit with a jacket and tie, right pants leg rolled up, a ROOTS Canda messenger bag around my neck (In rdenck-land, mind you), and a baseball cap on my head at 6 am in the morning. About six or seven other employees were standing outside smoking while I was rolling down my pants leg and searching for my ID badge in my bag. The funny thing was that I actually heard their conversation stop dead, as they all sat and stared at me as if a UFO had just landed in front of them and several little green, anal probe-wielding men had walked into their smoking circle.

I calmly got everything situated and walked in the door, where the security gaurd asked me how cold it had to get before I'd be driving (I don't know the answer, or if there is one). It just kind of hit me this morning that it is VERY MUCH the exception to actually think about the things you do and the impact your actions have. I've quit preaching about it to anyone, though. It's not my place. The fact that I have an average waist line and can climb a few sets of stairs without hopping on the elevator is enough for me.

Ghandi once said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." It's been my motto since I've heard it.
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Old 09-04-07, 11:56 AM   #8
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Luckily I am close to most everything, a little over a mile to the local Kroger grocery and Ace hardware is 2 miles away. I haven't had any bad confrontations except a truck almost not seeing me last night.

I'm glad to read your story, makes me know its possible to reach my goals, just have to keep working at it. I was 240, now 230 after a couple months of cycling. But this month will be interesting as I am now car free and a change in diet. I can finally buy stuff for my mode of transportation but I am waiting till I wear these components/parts dead.
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Old 09-04-07, 12:24 PM   #9
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I am car-lite, but my wife isn't. I'm not sure if I could ever give up meat. What you've done takes a lot of guts, and I respect that. Someday I hope to be car-free, but I don't think it'll happen until my kids grow up and move out...
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Old 09-04-07, 08:13 PM   #10
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I often find myself wishing I had done it sooner. I had always limited my housing and work distances (due to the lessons of the 70's oil crisis). But not until Katrina was my trip wire. Now I enjoy my bike ride so much I wish I had more than the 5 mile round trip to the downtown office. So to extend my route, I have a community garden plot that stretches me to 8 or so, and I get to eat fresh picked produce for lunch.

I know, too many ideas for one paragraph. Meaux
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Old 09-04-07, 10:07 PM   #11
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Hehe, from redneck to hippy in one fell swoop (not that there's anything wrong with rednecks or hippies). Feels pretty good though when you realize what you're capable of. Being able to make your own trailers is awesome, and maybe if your friends catch on they can hit you up for some trailer building lessons.
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Old 09-04-07, 11:01 PM   #12
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Good work. You've made a conscious choice to bring about profound changes in your life. In some areas, you've gone a lot farther than I have. (I don't eat meat very often, but I'm not willing to go vegetarian or vegan.)

Keep us posted on the progress of your transformation. We all need an inspiring story.
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Old 09-04-07, 11:28 PM   #13
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I've made some great changes and stuck to them. I used to drive a F150 daily. To work, shopping, out to eat, and even built the 5.4L to produce more egotastical power.

This was till I moved in with some great people. My 23 yr old sister and her husband are super conservative people and motivated me to get out and ride more. Now I haven't driven my F150 for almost 2 months and thus its sold. It was costing me over $200/month in insurance alone.

On top of being car free except for the 87 Honda Elite scooter for longer/faster commutes, I have stopped eating animal by products except eggs/milk. I used to see those Peta videos and shrug it off. I guess I opened my eyes...nuff said. I have my asthma under control, peak flow at 600(highest ever for me)

Biggest challenge for me so far is that I was used to doing grocery shopping once every two weeks or a month..haahaa. I shop once a week and am looking at trailers. I still have my welder/tools so I might fab up something.

After all this...I find myself asking why i didn't do this sooner. Everywhere I have always gone has always been withing cycling distance. Ohh well

Nothing but respect for you true environmentalists and animal rights activist. I never thought I'd be saying that, trust me. I went from a motorhead ignorant republican Texan to giving a crap about the world and the affects of what I do. No offense to those republicans out there.

Chat over, just happy to find a place that some people might have similar stories/come arounds.
This is a great story. I just have a question, though: what motivated you to transform yourself, as a previous poster has said, from a redneck to a hippy of sorts? What was the "aha" moment that made you go from all-American pickup driver to scooters and bicyles? (And I've been to TX a few times; I can imagine there was a social cost to what you did. Respect.)
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Old 09-05-07, 12:28 AM   #14
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A recent death in the family made me spend a month in Albuquerque, NM. During this time I lived a simple life, cycling everywhere, met some great people, and saw how I could live my life to better myself, and impact the environment less.

When I came back home to Sugar Land, Tx I just stuck to it. Lease was up on my apartment, roomates went back to dorms. So I moved in with my sister, also a vegetarian. I didn't find any need for the truck anymore and I'll rent a car for long trips or ride the moped for up to 4 hr RT.

Today I saw a Beaver(the animal) up close for the first time in my life, found a neat "bird watching" park I never noticed off of the highway. None of this would've happened if I kept driving a car.

Ohh and I am losing weight and beating my asthma by building my lungs...or so it feels.
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Old 09-05-07, 10:34 AM   #15
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Way to go! I'm car free for 2 months now and love it! I still talk with a drawl though and don't trust government for anything.
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Old 09-05-07, 11:07 AM   #16
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Your story is a huge inspiration. I wish someone would do an NPR segment on your life change.

I'm sure you're having a blast at being carfree and seeing the world from a new perspective. I've always been carfree, but I'm only 21 and a Jr. in college. But I easily see myself being carfree for the rest of my life. I already have committed to the lifestyle in a very hard location as yourself. I've mentioned the "woes" of Pensacola on another thread, but being in the deep south, in the middle of Redneck Riviera, trying to be carfree is such a fun chore. I gain new perspectives on the south everyday. I am an alien life form to many. That includes most coworkers too.

But get this. I've had two of my coworkers at Target talk to me about starting to ride their bikes to work. They have questions about my lifestyle. If you are dedicated to what you do, it's obvious that people around you will see it, and start to think. My coworkers see that I am always on time to work, work the physically hardest job @ target(cart pushing), and than ride back and forth to school (15mi RT). Oh and I never complain about my choices. This is life. My life is relatively my choice, so why others get mad at me for choosing a bike for transportation means boggles my mind. I'm sure you've observed this as well. I don't vocally get angry at people choosing vehicles to get around, but drivers like to vocally express why their choice is the right and only choice. That's what I still don't get???? Maybe it's jealousy...I dunno.

Anyways congrats again on your choice(s). Maybe you should start writing a blog of your daily adventures, encounters, experiences, and so on.. I'd read it.
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Old 09-05-07, 11:36 AM   #17
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Yeah. Currently I work at a warehouse, operating a Hyster(electric machinery) and occasionally a forklift. My co workers could care less about cycling to work as they have some bogus excuses like "safety", "I already own a car" and "habits". Shoot...I see the safety part canceled out as I am extending my life, and living much better. I sold my truck to someone who needed it for their business. And bad habits are SUPPOSED to be broken.

Hey and I am 21, hints my screen name. Up until I was 16 and got my licensce, i loved cycling. Then the laziness factor plus being where I live kept me in a car. After graduating in 2005 I took time off of school and am finally starting Community College in Spring. Looking to be a Respiratory Therapist or a CNA.


I gotta go. I have a dental appointment at 2 pm, and I'm guessing its 8 mile sor so. Like to get places with time to spare.
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Old 09-06-07, 09:26 AM   #18
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I went from a motorhead ignorant republican Texan to giving a crap about the world and the affects of what I do. No offense to those republicans out there.

Chat over, just happy to find a place that some people might have similar stories/come arounds.
Hey fellow asthmatic truck-owning Texan, I lived the car-centric lifestyle for about 10yrs (peaked with 5 cars, a total of around 1800 horsepower , and car bills of around 30k/yr) and finally got my act together.

I'm commonly considered a "conservative Christian" in my views but actually try to practice what i claim to believe - I try to live according to the "good stewardship" perspective.

So we live below our means, in a modest house, and walk/bike as practical, living the car-lite life. We still own 2 cars: an econobox and a small truck. We could loose the truck but it sure is handy on occasion, and paid for.

the people I manage, who make 1/2 or 1/3 what i do, live in bigger houses and drive their fancier cars a lot more! I just don't care about "keeping up" for the sake of keeping up or showing off anymore.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:19 PM   #19
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Me 2 acroy,,,,My job is to drive a 40 foot long rig, When I go "with my wife" we take her car, but when I go.....I ride
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Old 09-11-07, 08:36 PM   #20
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Good going and especially in the redneck capitol of the world
Erick, Oklahoma is the redneck capital of the world. Stop dragging Texas down to their level.
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Old 03-29-08, 08:21 PM   #21
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Guess i'll update my thread.


So I am still car free But I am eating fish and poultry now. I just couldn't stick my diet...I think it was the lack of knowledge and preparation.

The first reply on this thread..."trailer will make a big difference and help with hauling larger cargo." Has been answered with a rejuvenated Burley trailer. It makes life so much easier. I'm down 15lbs from when I started this thread too

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Old 03-29-08, 10:38 PM   #22
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JosephPaul86,

Eating vegetarian takes practice. Just try to prepare 1 vegetarian meal once a week or every two weeks. No pressure just enjoy eating and cooking. Maybe you'll decide you don't want to be vegetarian but still have veg dishes in your arsenal.

Awesome story!
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Old 03-29-08, 11:20 PM   #23
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Joseph, your story is nearly identical to mine, except you changed your life far sooner than me. I live in Tennessee; maybe not quite the same as Texas but close enough. I too was very interested in bikes until I turned 16. I owned a Dodge Ram and an El Camino (with lots of modifications), drove everywhere, got out of shape and fat, etc. Eventually it hit me, and changing the way I live was the best thing I ever did. Hey, I also work in a warehouse!
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Old 03-29-08, 11:58 PM   #24
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Nice thread for all the right reasons. More so for the place you live.

Don't feel guilty about the meat versus vegetarian. You'll find your diet will evolve into the more beneficial food types, with probably a reliance on grains, fruit, vegetables, with some lean or white meat in there. They are all things that are physiologically beneficial for cycling, anyway.

Apart from that, keep in mind that the only person worthy of judging what you do and whether you should feel comfortable with your decisions is... you.

Well done Joseph.
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Old 03-30-08, 06:46 AM   #25
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I am impressed Joseph! Way to go!

As far as the diet, I am not convinced that some people don't require at least some meat in their diet. It was pointed out on a thread a while back that we all come from different "tribes" (for lack of a better word) and some were meat eaters some were vegetarian. I can go 99% vegetarian with no problems, my wife cannot. We probably eat less than 1/10th meat of an average American tho.

Aaron
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