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  1. #1
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    car enthusiast giving it up??

    hey all.. Im new here. I'm 31 and have been an avid car enthusiast for about 15 years. Its been very draining, always something to fix, new projects... I rode BMX for years and decided i was going to start biking to work so I bought a new road worthy bike last weekend. my commute to work is short (Im a honda tech at a dealership) about 2 miles. well... i havent touched my car in 3 days now and its kinda nice. Ive read through all these threads and wanted to say thanks for some of the suggestions ive read. Im beginning to think i dont really need a car. Any other car enthusiast make the switch?

  2. #2
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    I do not know if you could call me an enthusist or not but at one time in my life I thought my coolness was based upon how clean my shiny new truck was. Of course I had car payments, bought gas and was broke.....but I was cool.

    Now I am car free and could buy a brand new car with cash if I wanted.....trust me I would rather cut off my own penis first.

  3. #3
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    My car's been sitting idle more often than not, but I still find time to take it out and have some fun.

    The way I see it, requiring fewer daily-driving duties of my car also means that I could make it even less daily-driving-friendly. Maybe strip the interior, give it more of a race-ready alignment, stickier tires,...

    Getting two new bikes this summer means that I'm putting off the finishing touches I've got planned for the car, though.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gosmsgo View Post
    I do not know if you could call me an enthusist or not but at one time in my life I thought my coolness was based upon how clean my shiny new truck was. Of course I had car payments, bought gas and was broke.....but I was cool.

    Now I am car free and could buy a brand new car with cash if I wanted.....trust me I would rather cut off my own penis first.
    What a commitment to the cause! Be careful with those scissors.....

  5. #5
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    As a kid, I wanted to design cars as a grownup. Luckily I grew up pedaling bikes.

    Currently, I have a car sitting in the apartment parking lot, but I've driven it only once in the past two years and that was to prove to the landlord that it was a viable car. Otherwise, I'm bike-centric and do everything from commuting to shopping by bike. It's doable. It helps to use a little planning. I live in a nice valley with everything I need close by and bus service to downtown only half a block away. My commute is only 3 miles.

    But I want to talk about loving cars. As car-free as I am, and as much as I think they are a bad thing for the planet, I STILL LOVE THEM. I think it will always be that way, a love-hate relationship. My best way of dealing with this has been to be a driver at an exotic car auction. That gives me a chance to indulge in jumping from Corvette to Rolls Royce. And I go to car shows. I can't help myself.

    Though I am finding ways to express what I like about cars via bikes. That's why I hang out in the Alt Bikes forum. They are about bikes like hotrodders are about cars. They are about customizing.



    Heck, even George Barris, King of the Kustomizers, did bikes.

    I also like my recumbent. Last weekend I was cycling on it up in the mountains. Coming down was great. My speed through the corners was faster than a car. And being on a recumbent, it was like driving a tiny nimble sports car.

    Ultimately, choosing bicycles over cars has been the best decision I've made in my life. Everyone thought I was weird, especially since I was in L.A. at the time. I left home without a car and that got me started being car-free for the first time. Now I'm in my 50s, and having been on bikes for so many years means that I'm leaner and in better shape than most of the people my age. When I was young it was an obstacle in dating because women seemed to see it as a problem, but now it's a benefit because women know that I'm not a couch potato.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 09-27-07 at 04:00 PM.

  6. #6
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    Ive been into german cars since i could drive... its just seems to take up all of my free time and the fiance hates that... but she also hates that i chose to ride a bike to work (not the best traffic situation on my commute) I cant win... if anything, it will free up money for the car thats sitting at my house now... but i really havent found a reason to drive it. my work commute takes me about 8 minutes. same time as driving. I have a grocery store, store, starbucks, restaraunts, blockbuster all within 200 yards of my house. I love my car, but feel the money to mod and race was for fun, and I have nothing to really show for it.

  7. #7
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowlifeRVA View Post
    ...the money to mod and race was for fun, and I have nothing to really show for it.
    Well, that's the nature of racing, ain't it?

    "To make a small fortune in car racing, first you start with a large fortune..."

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    Well, that's the nature of racing, ain't it?
    so true... especially rally.

  9. #9
    dillyshotback
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    I used to absolutely love cars. I like to goto car shows and the auto shows, but my enthusiasm has definitely gone down since I was 16-17ish in my Mustang-racing days. I rarely drive anymore, my mustang is in the garage at my parents house (for a good 4 years) Which I cannot bring to sell. My Dad is a mechanic, and enthusiest as well, i guess, but he has moved onto motorcycles since he still has to commute further than riding distances.

  10. #10
    livin' the nightmare syn0n's Avatar
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    My love for cars stems from a general love of mechanical things. I'm in no denial that cars are detrimental to the environment, but to me they're still fun on par with, but in different ways than bicycles. I'm not sure I could give up on cars regardless of cost because I genuinely enjoy them enough to shell out the cash (though at the moment I've got a boring, paid-off econobox). Still though, I think people would be better off if they could make short hops on bikes. Less congestion, less waste, and better health.

  11. #11
    vegan cyclist
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    I used to work at a rally prep/support shop. I'd work on evo's and sti's and the occasional group 2 gti or civic, turning them onto legit rally cars, and providing mechanical support at the races.

    It really changed my perspective on cars. Having a really fast rally car with absurd traction is worthless if you don't also have hundreds of thousands of dollars to; enter rallys, replace tires, hire a service crew, ship your car out to races, keep it in shape mechanically, deal with any carnage that may (will) be caused by the race. And on top of that you have the money to be able to drive it as hard as you can, without worrying about totaling the car. If you don't have that extra cash, you will never be able to fully enjoy it. I was the biggest car enthusiast, but working around these rally beasts has changed the way I see them, they're just cars to me now, they've lost their magic, and I'm glad they did. My boss used to race cyclocross and crits, he said, "bike racing is for men, they make rally drivers look like *******."

    People who try to turn their daily driven cars into racecars are idiots. Their cars end up driving like **** on the road, and they don't have the money to race where the car would be fully enjoyed.

    A year ago, I found that my bike could fulfill all my transportational and recreational needs, and that my car would sit for months on end, I canceled my insurance policy. I've held onto my car this whole year as a security blanket, but I realized I don't need a security blanket anymore, and I'm selling it to a friend tomorrow.

    I've quit the rally shop since then to work at a grocery store. Working on these cars was at one time a dream job for me. Now I find that I'd rather have a job that gives me more time to ride my bike, and enjoy my time/life.

    lowlife,
    Go for it, it'll change your life. See how long you can leave the car in the driveway, then you may want to cancel your insurance and it'll snowball from there. Remember the rush you got from the first time you fixed a car that wasn't running right? Kinda makes you feel like more a "man" then you where before. You get that same feeling from finding out you can navigate your region/ run errands under your own power. After a while, you won't want to drive, even riding in a car (in heavy traffic) will be a chore once you figure out you don't need the cage.
    http://myspace.com/thedevilmakesthree

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  12. #12
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onetrack View Post
    It really changed my perspective on cars. Having a really fast rally car with absurd traction is worthless if you don't also have hundreds of thousands of dollars to; enter rallys, replace tires, hire a service crew, ship your car out to races, keep it in shape mechanically, deal with any carnage that may (will) be caused by the race. And on top of that you have the money to be able to drive it as hard as you can, without worrying about totaling the car. If you don't have that extra cash, you will never be able to fully enjoy it. I was the biggest car enthusiast, but working around these rally beasts has changed the way I see them, they're just cars to me now, they've lost their magic, and I'm glad they did.
    I know what you mean. From the outside -- the grandstands, or by magazine or TV -- it looks like a whole lot of fun. Speed, glamour, danger, excitement, yadda yadda yadda...

    I remember reading a bit of knowledge from somebody in car racing about the costs involved; it went something like this:

    "You want to know what it's really like? Okay. Put on a full-face helmet and fireproof driving suit, step into a sauna, and start tearing up wads of hundred-dollar bills as fast as you can, soaking your entire body in sweat, while a crazed gorilla throws you against the walls. That's what car racing is really like."

    But, man, even autocrossing -- racing your stock car around cones in a parking lot -- can put a dent in your wallet if you really get into it and try to be competitive. I know that my car isn't the best for the class it's in now, and my driving skills, while improving, aren't nearly good enough to make me competitive even in a different car. I don't mind it being in the state it's in -- some mild mods, more fun for me to drive, etc. If I were actually GOOD, then maybe I'd be more concerned and try to secure sponsors and such so that I could get my fix. For now, though, it's still just plain fun.

    After a while, you won't want to drive, even riding in a car (in heavy traffic) will be a chore once you figure out you don't need the cage.
    Driving in traffic has been a chore ever since I got my license. I hate it. I love driving -- but I hate being denied the opportunity to actually enjoy it. Normally, I don't have to deal with rush hour at all; we get to, and leave, work pretty early. Plus, I made sure that I found a place to live that's within ten minutes of work, and I try to not be smug when I hear stories from thers that go like, "Man, it took me TWO HOURS to get home last night... and it usually takes just 45 minutes!"

    My god! 45 minutes is good? Hell no. For as long as I'm single, I'm not going to subject myself to a commute like that.

    But anyway...

    I was walking with one of the guys at work earlier today (he drives a car similar to mine and has much of the same enthusiasm), and we've got a running inside joke -- after a day of traveling for a gig, we're thinking, "I miss my car!" He brought it up today, and I said, "You know what... I'm not sure if I can say that this time. I'm missing my bikes about as much as I miss my car."

    I still need my car occasionally, usually for work or long-distance travel. It's paid off, too, and using a rental would be more of a hassle than I care to deal with. I've also said that, if I need a car, I might as well have some fun with it, too. Hence the autocrossing, which I think is the safest motorsport there is.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Business810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    I still need my car occasionally, usually for work or long-distance travel. It's paid off, too, and using a rental would be more of a hassle than I care to deal with. I've also said that, if I need a car, I might as well have some fun with it, too. Hence the autocrossing, which I think is the safest motorsport there is.
    You and I sound a lot alike. I also am a car enthusiast and a moderately serious autocrosser. I commute by bike and I run most of my errands by bike, but I keep my car for the occasional longer-distance trip to see friends or relatives that are a bit beyond my reasonable biking range. I'm not quite to the point of giving the car up, but the car is definitely my backup transportation (not to mention a toy for the weekend.)

    For a long time, I always thought I would never be able to give up a car. Now I see it as a possibility for the future, but probably not if I keep living in this city with family and friends where they are now.
    Jon

  14. #14
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    When I was a little kid, and up until about age 16, I really loved cars. They really are pretty neat pieces of engineering. And when I was growing up, riding in one was always a special and fairly rare occasion.

    However, at age 16 I moved to Canada... and I grew to hate cars very soon. There were way too many of them here, and all the car-oriented designs make huge huge tracts of land look desolate, ugly, and unhuman. This ridiculous overuse of the car, and all the associated displeasures, turned me into a car-hater. It's not the fault of the car, it's the fault of the carcentric society.

    Congrats on your choice, OP. :-) 2 miles is a nice and easy commuting distance. Heck, it's an easy walking distance, though walking it takes a little too long for my liking. Enjoy your newfound freedom. :-)
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

  15. #15
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    I used to have a car hobby. Spent a great deal of time and money at track events, preparing to race.
    I eventually decided that I was dropping too much money on a once-a-month habit so I sold the car and got into motorcycles.

    I sold the motorcycles shortly after I started bicycle commuting. My primary motivation was that riding on the streets in a flat town had become boring, and with a baby on the way I knew I wouldn't be able to take as many weekend trips to the mountain.

    While I do still own a car, it stays in the garage almost exclusively. One day I hope to make the commitment to sell it.

  16. #16
    tsl
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    My first job was at the corner gas station. I could completely strip and rebuild Chevy small-blocks before I graduated high school. I've tilted a few in Brock Yates' Cannonball Run Pub in nearby Wyoming, NY.

    I could go on, but yeah, I was a car enthusiast.

    It was traffic and parking that changed it all for me. As much as I liked my cars, riding the bus to work was cheaper and considerably less stressful.

    Other life changes came along and in April of 1999, it just made sense to get rid of my last car.

    I'm still a gearhead, and I work on the engine too. But the gears are from Shimano and Campagnolo, and the engine just keeps getting older... I still love the feel of fine machinery, and the way tires sing on the asphalt. Now, I'm closer to the machinery--actually attached to it rather than isolated within it, and I can hear the tires so much better.

    And last time I was in Wyoming, NY, I rode my bike through it and didn't stop to see how ol' Brock was doing since being booted from Car and Driver.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  17. #17
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowlifeRVA View Post
    hey all.. Im new here. I'm 31 and have been an avid car enthusiast for about 15 years. Its been very draining, always something to fix, new projects... I rode BMX for years and decided i was going to start biking to work so I bought a new road worthy bike last weekend. my commute to work is short (Im a honda tech at a dealership) about 2 miles. well... i havent touched my car in 3 days now and its kinda nice. Ive read through all these threads and wanted to say thanks for some of the suggestions ive read. Im beginning to think i dont really need a car. Any other car enthusiast make the switch?

    I had hotrods growing up and worked as a staff artist on a car mag in the 80's.
    Ive always liked fine machinery of all types. Cars, airplanes, trains.....
    Now, I am about 98% car-free and ride my bicycle to my job which is at a hi-end,
    sports car manufacturing facility.
    Somewhat hypocritical I suppose.....in league with the enemy, but I feel yer plight.....
    Id take a nice bicycle(or a junky one) over any car, any day at this stage in life.

  18. #18
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I think some of us serious transportation cyclists (I know that is an oxymoron) are actually gearheads period, doesn't matter what the gears are on I grew up around performance cars (mainly Formula Vee) and always wanted a performance car. My brother and I built him a V-8 Vega back in the late 70's, that thing would fly. My dad found out about it and made us take the V-8 out, so we put in a well built 4 cylinder from IECO that would whup the V-8's up to around 100mph. I had a couple of MG's along the way and have always appreciated the technological innovations as they have come along. However like many here I think the car has ruined our society as a whole and is causing way too many problems with the environment. People no longer know who their neighbors are, if they can even see their house from theirs, we have become fat and complacent because we plant our fat butts in a leather seat to drive a whopping 2.5 miles to the nearest Starbucks to buy an overpriced cup of chemicals, then complain about the stairs at work.

    ICE have their place, but there are way to many of them for my tastes. I no longer enjoy driving it has become a chore. Riding a bicycle is a different story.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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  19. #19
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    I think some of us serious transportation cyclists (I know that is an oxymoron) are actually gearheads period, doesn't matter what the gears are on
    I think that's true, too. Sure, there are retro-grouches who use masking tape on their bars and tree-hugging activists that use their bikes to help sick birds learn to fly again ( ), but the very definition of a gearhead is someone who appreciates or fiddles with mechanical devices.

    To flip it around -- there are cycling enthusiasts who don't like cars, but I don't know of any car enthusiasts who don't like bikes.

  20. #20
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Driving can be fun, on good uncrowded roads with a nice car. There's fewer of those around every year, since cars now outnumber registered drivers. I grew up in Detroit and I attended the auto show almost every year with my dad as a child, so I can appreciate cars aesthetically too. But I'm very aware of the destructive qualities of cars, and that sours my love of them.

    I hope and believe that the future of the automobile is in museums and wealthy private collections. If you're ever in Michigan, be sure to go to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. They have an enormous collection of great autos from all periods and all countries. (They also have the rocking chair that A. Lincoln was sitting in at the theater when he was asassinated in 1865. You can still see the blood stains on it.)


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  21. #21
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    To flip it around -- there are cycling enthusiasts who don't like cars, but I don't know of any car enthusiasts who don't like bikes.
    Seriously?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  22. #22
    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    I think some of us serious transportation cyclists (I know that is an oxymoron) are actually gearheads period, doesn't matter what the gears are on

    Totally. I own two cars, one a 2000 Honda Civic which barely gets driven, maybe 3-4 times a month, and a 1968 Ford Mustang, which is a thrill to drive but currently in hibernation. Total gear head with my bikes and cars, self sufficient in every manner except when something like an alignment rack is needed.

    I'll stick my neck out on this forums and say cars are incredible machines, but this country is seriously too dependent and has dug itself into a deep transportation infrastructure hole. The manner in which they are used (people not living close to work, driving EVERYWHERE0 has tarnished their reputation.
    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre View Post
    Cheating: a symptom of the problem.

  23. #23
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Seriously?
    Around the people I know, yeah. Bring a nice bike around and they'll come up and ask about it. Lots of car nuts like all sorts of machinery.

  24. #24
    Senior Member heywood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Seriously?
    I have to agree..seriously..

    I still have my '84 VW Camper and will never part with it but I'll never drive the way I used to due to cost/traffic/parking..it's just no fun anymore. I can put all that enthusiasm into my bikes now and i'm healthier & wealthier because of it..

    Cheers!

  25. #25
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Is anybody old enough to remember a book called Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? One topic was the relationship between spirituality and working with machinery. The author (Robert Persig, IIRC) was very concerned with a concept he called Quality (with a capital Q). I think some of you gearheads would get a lot out of that book.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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