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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 09-18-07, 11:48 PM   #1
I922sParkCir
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What to do? Car-free college student, must drive, or move out.

What an interesting predicament I am in. A month ago I went cold turkey, car-free, I just gave it away. Just to let you know who I am, I just turned 20, I am a Christian, Libertarian, Vegetarian, Environmentalist, Full-time student, who lives a little bit over 17 miles from school. I am fundamentally against cars in their present state. Now, when I went car free I understood that my bike will be my car and I am not willing to compromise in driving unless biking was impossible, and I will still have a social life, I'll just bike to get there. Finally I live in Orange County, and as you might know the housing market is insane so my only option is student loans (and being a libertarian I do not belive in government grants and loans) which can really add up, or living with my parents. I chose the latter.

Here comes the problem. My dad is a little bit on the paranoid side and is very against biking, and just tonight (after getting home after 1:30 AM after a 20 mile ride) made a rule, no biking after dark. I realise I am an adult but I understand, his house his rules.

I need to bike, want to tour on my Trek 520 to Seattle over the summer, so this is a pretty big life choose.

So what should I do, give up and drive, or rebel and probably cause problems, or try to move out , or something I haven't thought of?

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Old 09-19-07, 12:06 AM   #2
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It's probably time to move out anyway.
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Old 09-19-07, 12:10 AM   #3
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...no biking after dark...
Is your class schedule consistent with daylight cycling only? If night riding is optional, it would be possible to comply with your dad's rule.

My son is in his 20s, car free, and he is also a long distance cyclist. He likes to ride at night. I'd class him as a near expert rider. He has an unbelievably bright set of lights. But I'm a dad and I still worry about his safety on the road at night.
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Old 09-19-07, 12:19 AM   #4
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It's probably time to move out anyway.
You're probably right, but then I'd have to take less units and work full time. Would it be worth it?
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Old 09-19-07, 12:52 AM   #5
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How about at scooter? I have one for the times when I need to get to school (10 miles) fast. Like if I got off of work late or whatever. If you ask me, worry about your education first, once you graduate you still have another 50+ years to be car-free.
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Old 09-19-07, 12:53 AM   #6
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btw, at over 100 miles per gallon I dont think a scooter will hurt much as far as pollution goes.
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Old 09-19-07, 01:13 AM   #7
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You're probably right, but then I'd have to take less units and work full time. Would it be worth it?
Self-sufficiency and living independently may not be a credit requirement for graduation, but the skills will serve you well throughout your life.
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Old 09-19-07, 06:11 AM   #8
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Do you have really, really good lights and lots of reflective gear? You might be able to convince your Dad to let you ride after dark if you can show him how visable you make yourself. Then present him with some opinions on night riding (you can search these forums). Many experienced riders believe that it's actually safer to ride when there is so much less traffic as long as you are visable.

That being said, I left home at 18 myself because I didn't want to follow my parents rules anymore. There's no crime in taking a long time to get a college degree.
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Old 09-19-07, 06:15 AM   #9
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btw, at over 100 miles per gallon I dont think a scooter will hurt much as far as pollution goes.
This is a falsity. In general scooter emissions are equivalent to that of an SUV. Yes you are using less fuel but due to the mixing of gas and oil the emissions are dirtier than other vehicles that use catalytic converters filter out particulates.
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Old 09-19-07, 06:27 AM   #10
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...really good lights...
The OP is Christian. God will provide the lamp.

(OK, not my best work, but I'm leaving it in.)

I agree that there is no harm in working through college. It may be good for you. If you find roomates, housing can be fairly cheap.

I have no idea how fundamentalist your libertarian views are (do you pay taxes?), but student loans are (usually? often? always?) provided by private banks with government guarantees, and you might as well take advantage of the government if you can. Or maybe you're just against debt in general -- not really trying to get you suckling on the government teat -- just throwing that out there.

Good luck.
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Old 09-19-07, 06:28 AM   #11
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This is a falsity. In general scooter emissions are equivalent to that of an SUV. Yes you are using less fuel but due to the mixing of gas and oil the emissions are dirtier than other vehicles that use catalytic converters filter out particulates.
Even with 4-stroke engines? I could easily see that with crappy 2-strokes, but I don't really know about modern scooters.
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Old 09-19-07, 07:12 AM   #12
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Even with 4-stroke engines? I could easily see that with crappy 2-strokes, but I don't really know about modern scooters.
Mixed bag...the EPA has been cracking down on all small engines and they are getting cleaner every day. FWIW there is clean burn technology being used on the 2 strokes and some of the 4 strokes are coming with catalytic systems on them. I have a link to a study somewhere that compares the latest and greatest to the current automotive standards.[rant on] However you really need to look at the complete failure of the American Automotive cartel to increase mileage standards. The engineering exists, but they haven't provided us with any improvement in overall mileage in the past 30 years. They created a market based on what they could make the most profit on. They spent massive amounts of money on creating "safer" cars because of incompentent drivers and their inability to keep a vehicle upright and between the ditches. Instead the money could have been better spent on improved driver training and enforcement of people that break the laws [/rant off]

I think scooters are PART of the solution, along with bicycles, tricycles and mass transit.

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Old 09-19-07, 07:12 AM   #13
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This is a falsity. In general scooter emissions are equivalent to that of an SUV. Yes you are using less fuel but due to the mixing of gas and oil the emissions are dirtier than other vehicles that use catalytic converters filter out particulates.
Yeah, this is true with a two-stroke, four-strokes much are better, consume more gas, and are much more expensive.

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The OP is Christian. God will provide the lamp.

(OK, not my best work, but I'm leaving it in.)

I agree that there is no harm in working through college. It may be good for you. If you find roomates, housing can be fairly cheap.
Funny, I have a good light set-up. The housing market is really messed up, and I did that but there were several issues with roomates moving out. It wasn't sustaining.

One thing I didn't consider was public transportation. That'll probably be the best solution.

I will also move towards moving out.

Thank you,
- Jai
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Old 09-19-07, 07:44 AM   #14
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This is a falsity. In general scooter emissions are equivalent to that of an SUV. Yes you are using less fuel but due to the mixing of gas and oil the emissions are dirtier than other vehicles that use catalytic converters filter out particulates.
you're making an incorrect assumption that all scooters are 2-stroke. The majority of scooters in this country are 4 stroke. Most mopeds are still 2-stroke, but they are a dying breed.
4-stroke bikes are relatively clean; about as good as a car. PPM of contaminates is slightly higher. However, double to triple the fuel economy makes up for the PPM increase. Less fuel burned is more crude in the ground.
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Old 09-19-07, 07:50 AM   #15
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I chose the ladder.
Are you going to sleep on the roof?
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Old 09-19-07, 07:57 AM   #16
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You're probably right, but then I'd have to take less units and work full time. Would it be worth it?
No. If your finances aren't sufficient to live on your own, and you won't borrow money (good call), take the bus at night, get through school as fast as you can, and THEN move out. You'll get more sleep that way, and be poor for a shorter period of time.
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Old 09-19-07, 07:57 AM   #17
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Move out. You're old enough, and it doesn't make sense to try to live around rules that conflict with a perfectly fine lifestyle choice. If you have to compromise on your views on loans, so be it.
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Old 09-19-07, 08:55 AM   #18
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I actually was talking to a guy at the scooter store and he told me that in 2003(?) they passed alot of new regulations on the 2-smoke engines basically making it to were there is no speed advantages over the 4-stroke and more. And the pollution levels caused by them is actually just about the same.

edit: and like Aaron said, he told me that the 2-strokes are a dying breed now since the regulations.
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Old 09-19-07, 08:59 AM   #19
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At 20 you're old enough to decide what's good for you, not your dad. Get a decent set of lights for your bike and show him how safe it is with the proper gear.
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Old 09-19-07, 09:38 AM   #20
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If you don't mind riding at night and can make it work with u and your dad, go for it.

Public trans is another good option. The scooter idea I do like... I'm not keen on scooters.. but hell.. at least they are taking up a fraction of the space as cars/trucks... and probably pollute less.
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Old 09-19-07, 11:02 AM   #21
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You're probably right, but then I'd have to take less units and work full time. Would it be worth it?
It may actually be cheaper in the long run. When I went back to school, I had a little money saved up and found a good job near to campus. I was car-free, worked full time in the summer and about 30 hours per week during school. I was a minimal full-time student and it took me about 4 years. I had my AA degree, but for what I was studying, I had to take a lot of core courses like math. Math classes generally took me two quarters each to do. So that slowed me down.

But when I was done, I very proudly displayed the bumper sticker "Don't laugh, it's paid for." on my mortarboard at graduation.

It's the journey, not the destination. University life is very exciting. People are learning, There are exciting events and the lifestyle is fun. If you are paying your bills and not falling into debt, its not such a bad way to spend a few years. Certainly going out into the work world may seem like a let down after college.
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Old 09-19-07, 11:34 AM   #22
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I'd suggest staying at home since it's cheap/free and taking the bus if your dad really has that big of a problem with your riding at night. All OCTA busses have a bike rack on the front and at least around here (north OC/Buena Park) I rarely if ever see both of them in use. That way you can ride to school, etc then hop on the bus for the return trip in the dark. The bus system here isn't great, but with a combination of bus/bike it does the trick most of the time.
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Old 09-19-07, 12:22 PM   #23
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I'd suggest staying at home since it's cheap/free and taking the bus if your dad really has that big of a problem with your riding at night. All OCTA busses have a bike rack on the front and at least around here (north OC/Buena Park) I rarely if ever see both of them in use. That way you can ride to school, etc then hop on the bus for the return trip in the dark. The bus system here isn't great, but with a combination of bus/bike it does the trick most of the time.
Thank you. That's going to be my plan.

Thank you to all who contributed.

-Jai
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Old 09-19-07, 12:22 PM   #24
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[QUOTE=Artkansas;5296005]

But when I was done, I very proudly displayed the bumper sticker "Don't laugh, it's paid for." on my mortarboard at graduation.
QUOTE]

Can I use your idea of that sticker on the mortarboard? I'll graduate debt-free in May 2009, thanks to generous grants, scholarships, and cheap tuition. (Low income + high GPA = great financial aid)

(sorry for thread hijack)
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Old 09-19-07, 12:54 PM   #25
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[QUOTE=eofelis;5296637]
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But when I was done, I very proudly displayed the bumper sticker "Don't laugh, it's paid for." on my mortarboard at graduation.
QUOTE]

Can I use your idea of that sticker on the mortarboard? I'll graduate debt-free in May 2009, thanks to generous grants, scholarships, and cheap tuition. (Low income + high GPA = great financial aid)

(sorry for thread hijack)
Be my guest. I can't remember where I bought it. Pep Boys maybe?
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