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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 03-11-08, 09:01 PM   #101
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Ugh, my mom tells me it's a life skill. So is biking. Mom, get me another bike, skip the coffin and the car. I'm 15 and haven't started drivers ed, don't plan on it either.
Go to drivers ed. Even if you abhor cars such that you never get a license, take drivers ed. It'll probably make you a safer cyclist.

But I'll bet at some point you'll wish you had a license. You'll want to rent a car, or take a job driving a truck and you'll wish you had that license.

Your mother is right. In the USA, driving is a life skill.
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Old 03-11-08, 09:18 PM   #102
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Ugh, my mom tells me it's a life skill. So is biking. Mom, get me another bike, skip the coffin and the car. I'm 15 and haven't started drivers ed, don't plan on it either.
Even though you think you may never use the drivers license, still get it. You never know what's going to happen. You may have to drive a U-Haul truck or something like that.

Also think of all the bad drivers you probably deal with on a daily basis. If they can get a license then you can get one very easily.

Btw I am 15 also.

Oh a little off topic, but instead of a car are you asking for a sweet utilitarian ride? I am.
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Old 03-12-08, 03:19 PM   #103
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I think it would be cool if automobiles just disappeared completely. I wouldn't mind as long as they kept a bussing system for crap like state to state. Can you imagine, they would have to repaint the lines of the road so there were 2 meter wide lanes. This would also put a solution to global warming and fatal accidents. I would love it. All those people who work in the automotive business would transfer in bike development and then we could have better parts... The possabilities. And best of all... no DMV!
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Old 03-13-08, 07:48 AM   #104
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Well its just not practical, theres too many applications where car goes beyond human laziness and moves to necessity. But I'll tell you my theory:

You need more separation between cyclist and car. Its all about the mass of the travelling method. A car can handle a collision with another car because both of them have a lot of mass, and will absorb the impact. But a car and a person, or a car and a bike colliding wouldn't end so well. At the same time two bicycles can collide with relatively little pain because they are both of similar mass. Same goes with pedestrians -- isn't that why for a hundred years humans have chosen to build separate footpaths instead of 'foot lanes'. Well since a bicycle and a person would fair about the same against a car, the theory goes that bicycles should deserve their own separated bicyclepath with a nature strip separating them from cars.

So the ideal situation is that every road will be converted into 3 parts consisting of sidewalk cyclepath and drivepath if you accept my created names. Since the construction of modern suburbs and cities is already so developed that is unlikely to happen without a major change in thinking. But bigger changes have been made, and little sparks of light are always being shone from cities like Bogota etc. In the end we are only dealing with concrete and tar, that stuff is bloody tough but with enough money and willpower it can be moved.

The most important thing I think is to have a new breed of simple cheap bicycles that would allow a generation of kids to see bikes for their true beauty and not as a flashy suspension gimick that can only but discourage bike use.

Thats the world I hope for. Singlespeeds and fixxies are making a comeback i tell you, a very slow one of course but i think in a few years all the major brands will have a singlespeed and a fixed gear with brake in their range.
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Old 03-13-08, 02:57 PM   #105
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I don't see why you guys are anti-car, I am anti-crapy car.

I love it when a force fed car drives by, somtimes with a loud bov, then its really cool.

Or even the high reving all motor engines are great.

If I could get a non crapy car (read track) I would, but a bike beats a crapy car any day.

The only reason I ride a bike is its cheap (if you want it to be, and use your brain).

What about motor bikes? Why don't you guys hate on those? I love those screaming 16k engines.
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Old 03-15-08, 04:10 PM   #106
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It really depends on where you live and where you need to be on a daily basis. I'm now living in Seattle car free and it's fine because the places I usually go on a daily basis are less than a 15 minute bike ride and if I ever need to go across town there's great public transportation. If you lived in a rural area it would be much harder
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Old 03-27-08, 01:09 PM   #107
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Sorry, It has been a while. You have a great point Lisitsa. I know the it is very impractical but it would be cool. Melbourne, huh? Wow. How is the scenery down under? One of the reason I mountain bike is to enjoy the views. Do you have nice scenery? My dad was sent to Australia on his mission call and he said it was way fun, but he never told me what it looks like.

Oh! And diff lock2, i am not anti-car at all. I just love biking and hate paying for gas at $3.50+ per gallon. That is why I have the Ferrari logo as my picture.

Last edited by brockelju; 03-27-08 at 01:12 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 03-29-08, 06:50 PM   #108
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set the example!!

kudos to you for being so young and adventurous. teens are the trend-setters, and everyone is in need of a bike trend. but don't skip the car for everyone else but you, rather, see how much you'll gain from being car-less: more money by not buying fuel, car repair/upkeep, car insurance, registration, etc.; better health, more girls will be after your cut and fit body too....My personal experience is a bit extreme, but perhaps a source of inspiration. I was an ASE certified auto tech, built turbo charged VW beetles in my garage, drag-raced every week, and managed a street-bike club in St. Augustine Florida, riding a GSXR600 with nitrous. I raced bicycles when I was younger, BMX and the Road raced after I shattered a collar-bone and dislocated a shoulder in a BMX race. When I decided to get back into bicycles i went all-out, traded one of my VWs for a Litespeed race bike, and have been car-less ever since, becoming a bicycle mechanic again. I completely did away with cars for environmental reasons, but also, for selfish reasons.
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Old 04-21-08, 06:58 PM   #109
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I'm the only teenager at my school who rides a Road bike to school everyday. Same with work. I own a car, but i only use it when I'm responsible for transporting others who aren't into cycling. It's a great way to save gas, and I feel like I'm doing my part to help the environment, even though i do drive occasionally.
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Old 04-22-08, 02:37 PM   #110
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My dads a prick and wont let me ride. I asked him today if i could ride to this coffee shop, only like a ten mile ride, but because i'd be back after dark, he said no. **** him. I cant let him get in the way of me riding my bike.
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Old 04-22-08, 04:07 PM   #111
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Regarding the poster who asked about cases like handling emergencies, pregnant wives etc. My wife and I who have 2 kids, a toddler and an infant sold our last car awhile back when we started reading up on the status of peak oil and global environmental concerns, and realized we needed to be a part of the much needed change.

One of the biggest questions we asked ourselves was just what you brought up, how do we handle emergencies with two kids (at that time one and a pregnant wife). We came to the same conclusion as another reply, either its a real emergency and is better handled by expert emergency responder or its something that can be managed by a bike just as well as a car. So far that has held true.

She had no problems riding her whole pregnancy, and we've two emergency rooms visits for our elder, and it was a non-issue, most emergency room visits pretty handily fall into ambulance trip or not, and a few ambulance rides a year are still a drop in the bucket financially compared to a car for the "what if".

So yes "calling 911" is a perfectly good option, and otherwise it really is more the mental safety blanket then anything. My wife will be the first to admit that the hardest part about selling the car was getting past the mental block than any actual impact it had on our lifestyle.

Now almost a year later, we are both more sold than ever on going this directions, for the benefits to us, and the world around us.

Going back to the central theme of this thread, I'm really impressed by the maturity that many of you teens are showing in thinking about your lifestyle and mode of transport. It gives me hope for the world ahead, that people will be willing to take a fresh look at the paths we're choosing and the by-products of our decisions.

I sincerely applaud you all.
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Old 04-22-08, 05:09 PM   #112
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I don't see why you guys are anti-car, I am anti-crapy car.

I love it when a force fed car drives by, somtimes with a loud bov, then its really cool.

Or even the high reving all motor engines are great.

If I could get a non crapy car (read track) I would, but a bike beats a crapy car any day.

The only reason I ride a bike is its cheap (if you want it to be, and use your brain).

What about motor bikes? Why don't you guys hate on those? I love those screaming 16k engines.
My "motor bike" would eat itself around 7k rpm. Thumpers FTW.

As for cars, I'll be getting Dad's former AutoX car when he moves on to a WRX. That'll do it for me.
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Old 04-23-08, 03:28 PM   #113
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I'm in my 20s now but I decided when I was 15 that I wasn't going to get a license or drive. I wish I'd done it a little differently...you should take drivers' ed and get a license even if you don't get a car. That way you can drive when you carpool with friends which will make things a little easier for you socially, and it's helpful in case anything "happens" when you're out with someone who was driving. Also it will help you understand traffic patterns which makes you a better cyclist. But you don't have to buy a car. I saved a lot of money not having to pay for insurance etc, and that helped me a lot when I got to college.

It was a little hard for me when I was in high school. I felt like there was stuff I couldn't do. But now I think most of that stuff wasn't really worth doing and I had just as much of a social life as anyone who got a car at 16. I never dated anyone who thought bikes were dumb and the one time I went out with someone who thought I was "weird" for not driving it didn't last long. The person I'm with now thinks it's badass that I ride bikes everywhere

Gas will probably never be as cheap, or cars as inexpensive, as it was for your parents. I think people will respect you more in the future for making your own smart choices and sticking to them. Also, if you live in a city--or if you move to one--it will be a lot more "normal" to just walk or take public transit than if you live in the suburbs or a rural area (like I did, everyone drove a pickup). But if you want to make a statement being car-free is a big one.
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Old 04-28-08, 08:02 PM   #114
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I'm also a teenager but I want to live car free at least until I'm in a situation where I'm forced to get a car. I haven't started driver's training yet but I'm going to when school gets out. The only problem I have with cycling everywhere is riding on expressways because the traffic seems dangerous to me. Anyone have suggestions?
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Old 04-28-08, 08:46 PM   #115
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I'm also a teenager but I want to live car free at least until I'm in a situation where I'm forced to get a car. I haven't started driver's training yet but I'm going to when school gets out. The only problem I have with cycling everywhere is riding on expressways because the traffic seems dangerous to me. Anyone have suggestions?
Where do you live? For most places if you study maps long enough you can find roads that bypass the busy roads. If you live in an area that is fairly new this may be harder for you.
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Old 04-28-08, 09:43 PM   #116
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I live right next to an expressway, I have no qualms crossing it but it makes me nervous thinking of going down it even though I've seen people on bicycles riding down it. There are other ways to get to the places I want to go but the expressway seems to be the fastest.
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Old 04-28-08, 10:31 PM   #117
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I live right next to an expressway, I have no qualms crossing it but it makes me nervous thinking of going down it even though I've seen people on bicycles riding down it. There are other ways to get to the places I want to go but the expressway seems to be the fastest.
So you like Scar Symmetry as well eh?



Also, I love my car. I also love my bike.
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Old 04-29-08, 04:57 AM   #118
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I'm in my 20s now but I decided when I was 15 that I wasn't going to get a license or drive. I wish I'd done it a little differently...you should take drivers' ed and get a license even if you don't get a car. That way you can drive when you carpool with friends which will make things a little easier for you socially, and it's helpful in case anything "happens" when you're out with someone who was driving. Also it will help you understand traffic patterns which makes you a better cyclist. But you don't have to buy a car. I saved a lot of money not having to pay for insurance etc, and that helped me a lot when I got to college.

It was a little hard for me when I was in high school. I felt like there was stuff I couldn't do. But now I think most of that stuff wasn't really worth doing and I had just as much of a social life as anyone who got a car at 16. I never dated anyone who thought bikes were dumb and the one time I went out with someone who thought I was "weird" for not driving it didn't last long. The person I'm with now thinks it's badass that I ride bikes everywhere

Gas will probably never be as cheap, or cars as inexpensive, as it was for your parents. I think people will respect you more in the future for making your own smart choices and sticking to them. Also, if you live in a city--or if you move to one--it will be a lot more "normal" to just walk or take public transit than if you live in the suburbs or a rural area (like I did, everyone drove a pickup). But if you want to make a statement being car-free is a big one.
How did you manage to have a license without having insurance?
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Old 04-29-08, 07:31 PM   #119
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definitely learn to drive. but at the same time, i just did a speech on how expensive it is to own a car, and while its not as big a deal for people making more money, as a college student i might be going car-free this fall, after school starts back.

in order to earn a car, there are a lot of fees you have to pay, whether or not you drive it. i will use myself as an example- and as someone who is younger, yours could be as much as double- i know my brother's are (he is 17).
insurance- $1200 a year. that's over $3 a day
tax, title, registration- varies from state to state, but mine is roughly $200 a year.
these are fees you have to pay, just for the convience of owning a car- not including moving the darn thing. its almost $5 a day, and will most likely be closer to $7 or 8 for a fresh driver.

then there is the other fees-
gas- assuming you only drive 12000 miles a year, and your car averages 25 mpg- you will need 480 gallons of gas a year. assuming $4 a gallon, that's $1920 a year.
you will need 3-4 oil changes, at $30+ a pop.
tires, brakes, and other general wear parts- roughly $100-150 per year for an average car- more for an SUV.
repairs... don't even think about those.
that adds up to over $3500, assuming your car is paid for and you don't need any repairs. for someone that makes less than 10k a year, its a huge percentage. My dad wishes he only put in $3500 in his car a year. my little brother puts in about $5000 his first year in his car, after insurance (2200 a year for just liability and repairs, and his truck averaged 12mpg.)

i always wondered where all my money went... and it wasn't to beer and fun- it was into my car (i used to be an avid autocrosser and car modifier... recently i just haven't cared.) im not saying don't get a car, but just be aware of how much it costs to own one- on top of the purchase price.
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Old 04-30-08, 08:38 AM   #120
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How did you manage to have a license without having insurance?
I didn't--I'm not even sure which pedals do what. What I meant was, don't be like me! At least learn. But you only need insurance if you actually own a car, I think.
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Old 05-01-08, 08:11 AM   #121
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I didn't--I'm not even sure which pedals do what. What I meant was, don't be like me! At least learn. But you only need insurance if you actually own a car, I think.
You need insurance wether or not you own a car. I still had to pay insurance when driving my parents' cars which is terribble. I wish there was a way to pay insurance depending on how much you drive. It sucks having to pay 100 bucks a month of insurance on a car I drive MAYBE once a week.
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Old 05-01-08, 08:32 AM   #122
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Insurance varies state to state. California requires all drivers to be insured to keep their license. In Arkansas, it is the car that needs insurance. Of course if you are not an insured driver in Arkansas and you rent a car, you will need their insurance, or if you borrow a car, you'd better be sure that the owner has insured it and you while you are driving it. Check with your DMV for your state regulations. IANAL.
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Old 05-23-08, 11:52 PM   #123
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I just got my road bike and I love it. We're working out how to do driver's training online. I do want to know how to drive but cycling is great to get places if you have the right equipment
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Old 05-28-08, 04:17 PM   #124
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Insurance varies state to state. California requires all drivers to be insured to keep their license. In Arkansas, it is the car that needs insurance. Of course if you are not an insured driver in Arkansas and you rent a car, you will need their insurance, or if you borrow a car, you'd better be sure that the owner has insured it and you while you are driving it. Check with your DMV for your state regulations. IANAL.
You can live car free though and not pay any insurance. I live car free in California and don't drive. Therefore I don't pay any car insurance at all. That would change if I need to drive. I think though in California as well you insure the vehicle not the driver.

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/vr/insurance.htm
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Old 06-06-08, 07:44 PM   #125
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I'm 20 and don't even have my permit (I'm planning on taking the test this summer). It's funny how I got hooked on biking, but during 11th grade in HS, I used to take the bus to school. The bus system went on strike for a month and I had to either take the train to school which would have been $12-15 a day or ride my bike. I tried the latter and was AMAZED at how well I could get around. So that summer I started riding my bike more and more and was hooked. Finally when college started I decided to ride to school everyday, even in the winter (of course if the snow was really bad I would have to take the bus). Have been doing it ever since. My friends thing I'm crazy for riding 1/2 hour to and from school everyday as well as doing 50+ miles to go through NYC. I was the only person who commuted to school until this year. The #1 complaint my commuter peers share is the parking and how much gas is getting to be. I have several bikes because my bike functions as my "car." My philosophy is if I owned a car it would still come up to being way more expensive than owning several bikes with quality/durable expensive parts.

Anyway here's a reel of the things I've been able to do without having a car (much of which I have amazed myself as well. It's funny seeing the looks of drivers' faces when you're doing something "crazy") My bag is a Pac Design messenger bag and I consider it my "trunk." The front rack on the bike is a Cetma Rack. Two things that were investments but have more than payed for themselves with what I've been able to do with them.









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