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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 10-03-07, 06:33 AM   #1
feethanddooth
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after 2 years i folded. bought a car

long story condensed...

epileptic.
lost license.
car taken away cause on disability with no money.
rode bike to work for 2 years.
saved money cause no gas needed.


so now with a new job hopefully on the horizon i need to have a little more transportation available. picked up a used car which im hoping will not replace my bike commuting. after purchasing it on monday i still cycled to work on tuesday though.

should i feel like i let the BF down? part of me feels like it.
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Old 10-03-07, 06:58 AM   #2
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I take it you are not epileptic anymore? Anyway don't worry about it, if you love cycling you will stick to it car or no car. Maybe not as often but do whatever works for you.
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Old 10-03-07, 08:37 AM   #3
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...should i feel like i let the BF down?
People go into new phases of life all the time. It would be interesting to have your observations about how driving again changes your outlook on things. Will people on bikes start to look like obstacles in your way? Will you start to think of us as the riff raff and jealous bitter bicycle riders who can't afford a car? I'll stay tuned.
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Old 10-03-07, 09:10 AM   #4
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long story condensed...

epileptic.
lost license.
car taken away cause on disability with no money.
rode bike to work for 2 years.
saved money cause no gas needed.


so now with a new job hopefully on the horizon i need to have a little more transportation available. picked up a used car which im hoping will not replace my bike commuting. after purchasing it on monday i still cycled to work on tuesday though.

should i feel like i let the BF down? part of me feels like it.

Nobody will be forcing you to drive. So I hope you find yourself continuing to commute. You are always welcome here for reinforcement of how nice it is to bicycle commute.

WARNING! You may discover that your bike fights back fiercely. My old 10 speed commuter bike has outlasted five cars and a motorcycle. Somehow, there is always an excuse to leave the car in the driveway, tires need replacing, it needs a tuneup, yada, yada, yada.

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Old 10-03-07, 09:14 AM   #5
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People go into new phases of life all the time. It would be interesting to have your observations about how driving again changes your outlook on things. Will people on bikes start to look like obstacles in your way? Will you start to think of us as the riff raff and jealous bitter bicycle riders who can't afford a car? I'll stay tuned.
I at one time lived in Arlington TX and rode to Dallas every day to work at Fedex and after enduring beer bottles being thrown at me and being ran off the road several times, I concluded that I need a car, yeah I saved money, but not having a car really sucked and I bought a beater car to get to work. I still say bikes are great for recreation, but for daily going to the Cost co or carrying the general stuff I carry it just doesn't work for the long term. I wonder how many here secretly wish they had a car as they will never admit it especially here, but cars are more practical.
I do ride to the corner store if I need one small thing as I enjoy riding, but over all the car free thing isn't always practical in todays car driven society which is engineered for cars.
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Old 10-03-07, 09:37 AM   #6
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...over all the car free thing isn't always practical in todays car driven society which is engineered for cars.
I agree that today's society is engineered for cars. It was not that way in the distant past, and it may not remain that way in the far future. Maybe some of our disagreement would disappear if we factored in our different time horizons and what we are trying to accomplish.

My personal interest is to figure out what causes car dependency and what could be done to relieve it. It's a massively complicated problem and frankly I don't think anyone yet has a good handle on it. You said society is currently engineered for cars as if that were a given. I am an engineer, or at least I was a practicing engineer before I retired, so my perspective is a little different. The world as it exists now is the result of design choices that were made in the past. The world of the future is not a given, it will be the result of the design choices yet to be made.
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Old 10-03-07, 09:48 AM   #7
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My wife has a car, so I have caught myself cheating here and there.


I still rely on my bicycle for commuting and other errands daily - I just don't like sitting in city traffic, or stopping for red lights.

=)
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Old 10-03-07, 12:06 PM   #8
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feethandtooth,

I'm sorry that you're no longer carfree, but very happy if this means your medical condition is under control. I hope you'll still be posting here.

Best of luck,
Roody
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Old 10-03-07, 01:10 PM   #9
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You have to do what you have to do. You said it yourself, you need more options. Just because you have the car doesn't mean it has to be your main mode of transportation. Being car free isn't an option for everyone, besides you can still be car lite.
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Old 10-03-07, 02:47 PM   #10
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My wife has a car, so I have caught myself cheating here and there.


I still rely on my bicycle for commuting and other errands daily - I just don't like sitting in city traffic, or stopping for red lights.

=)
Please stop riding a bicycle.....thanks.
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Old 10-03-07, 07:16 PM   #11
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After parking my car and driving it once or twice a month since april, I am back to driving it daily. I got laid off from my old job, and my new job just doesnt provide enough time between after work and before school to bike it. I get off work now at 5 (used to be 3:30) and have to be at school 6 miles away at 5:30. I have been using the scooter mostly, but it has been raining this week so I have been in the cage.

Just remember, car-free is not for everyone, but dont let the car become a habit, like I fear it could do to me now that I have to drive it.
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Old 10-03-07, 08:25 PM   #12
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You have to do what you have to do. You said it yourself, you need more options. Just because you have the car doesn't mean it has to be your main mode of transportation. Being car free isn't an option for everyone, besides you can still be car lite.
I agree with this. It isn't black and white (owning a car and not owning a car); the grey area in between being how you use your automobile. Feethanddooth, you said you still plan on commuting by bicycle and basically being car-lite, I personally see nothing wrong with that. With the way things are right now, it isn't really feasible for everyone to be car-free anyways. By the way, what kind of car did you get?
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I have been using the scooter mostly, but it has been raining this week so I have been in the cage.
What kind of scooter do you ride? I used to have a Honda 150 that I rode in the rain, and it handled fine. I had a helmet with one of the clear plastic flip-down faceshields that I had treated with rain-x, it worked surprisingly well.
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Old 10-03-07, 08:34 PM   #13
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After parking my car and driving it once or twice a month since april, I am back to driving it daily. I got laid off from my old job, and my new job just doesnt provide enough time between after work and before school to bike it. I get off work now at 5 (used to be 3:30) and have to be at school 6 miles away at 5:30. I have been using the scooter mostly, but it has been raining this week so I have been in the cage.

Just remember, car-free is not for everyone, but dont let the car become a habit, like I fear it could do to me now that I have to drive it.
6 miles away??? And a half hour to get there??? I fail to see the problem here....
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Old 10-03-07, 09:07 PM   #14
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I cant show up all sweaty and smelling like fried rice (I cook in a chinese restuarant) in front of all the college chicks! j/k. Oh, yea then after school I have 15 minutes to make it 4 more miles to my other job.

I do still plan on riding the bike to work on the weekends, and to school on days that I am off.
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Old 10-04-07, 06:23 PM   #15
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I agree that today's society is engineered for cars. It was not that way in the distant past, and it may not remain that way in the far future. Maybe some of our disagreement would disappear if we factored in our different time horizons and what we are trying to accomplish.

My personal interest is to figure out what causes car dependency and what could be done to relieve it. It's a massively complicated problem and frankly I don't think anyone yet has a good handle on it. You said society is currently engineered for cars as if that were a given. I am an engineer, or at least I was a practicing engineer before I retired, so my perspective is a little different. The world as it exists now is the result of design choices that were made in the past. The world of the future is not a given, it will be the result of the design choices yet to be made.
Platy, this is an interesting question. Last year, I read a history of cycling , The Noblest Invention: An Illustrated History of the Bicycle http://www.amazon.com/Noblest-Invent.../dp/1579546692 and the author pointed out that when the bicycle first arrived on the scene around the 1890s, it was heralded as a great opportunity for workers to travel farther for job opportunities. The automobile was a kind of evolution of the bicycle...in many ways the first cars were simple builds on bicycle design. I just wonder if the invention of the bicycle wasn't one of those "design" decisions that you mention... it would be ironic!
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Old 10-04-07, 07:22 PM   #16
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What kind of scooter do you ride? I used to have a Honda 150 that I rode in the rain, and it handled fine. I had a helmet with one of the clear plastic flip-down faceshields that I had treated with rain-x, it worked surprisingly well.
I have just some little 50cc scooter. I have seen the bigger ones but I would need to get a motorcycle licence for one. I would eventually like to get my motorcycle licence and then I could get rid of the car for good. I have heard that they are not to bad in the rain with the right gear. I dont wear a helmet on the scooter so it stings in the rain!
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Old 10-04-07, 08:42 PM   #17
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I wonder how many here secretly wish they had a car as they will never admit it especially here, but cars are more practical.
I do ride to the corner store if I need one small thing as I enjoy riding, but over all the car free thing isn't always practical in todays car driven society which is engineered for cars.
I can only speak for my family. We do not wish for a car. My husband I have been car free from the start of our adult lives. We have reached the point where we are members of a car share and rent a car once a year or so to take a vacation. Our eldest also has a standing ride to her Girl Scout troop activities. But we really don't enjoy cars and are always happy to return the car and get back to our version of normal. What I really wish is that I could ditch cars altogether.

I do think that personal cars have a useful place in society. We aren't making very efficient use of them though.
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Old 10-04-07, 08:50 PM   #18
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I have only been car free for four months but have been car lite (drive once a month or less) for a couple of years now.

I hate driving and I never, ever secretely wish I had a car. I feel like such a dummy everytime I put goo money into a gas tank or an insurance bill.

The thought of taking a car into the shop makes me want to vomit.

Im far from rich but I am not poor either. I could definetely afford a car if I wanted one.
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Old 10-04-07, 10:25 PM   #19
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...The automobile was a kind of evolution of the bicycle...in many ways the first cars were simple builds on bicycle design...
Cars and bicycles are similar in at least three important ways:

1 - They are both products of industrialized society,

2 - They are both privately owned vehicles and as such they are presumed to express something about the owner's socioeconomic class and attitudes, and

3 - They are both essentially useless without a road infrastructure provided at public expense.
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Old 10-05-07, 06:36 AM   #20
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Cars and bicycles are similar in at least three important ways:

1 - They are both products of industrialized society,

2 - They are both privately owned vehicles and as such they are presumed to express something about the owner's socioeconomic class and attitudes, and

3 - They are both essentially useless without a road infrastructure provided at public expense.
very true.

thanks everyone for making me still feel welcome. so far after three days of owning the car i have cycled to work 2 of the 3. the one day i had to take the car in for inspection which was located next door to work.

i think everyone here has a lot of great points. my brother owns a car and in the event i needed something that was further away than i was comfortable or the weather was not welcoming he gave me a ride.

i think the idea of car-lite is great for me. when my new job starts i already have been planning routes to cycle there. most likely will do a drive/cycle home. cycle there/drive home. but i will see what the job does to me physically.
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Old 10-05-07, 06:43 AM   #21
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a few points id like to make...

two days ago i left work in the 'rush hour' period. took me longer to drive home than it did to cycle.

i did happen to purchase a car that fit what i would be needing in the future and what i felt was as friendly to the environment as possible. a chevy pickup. not a tank though. just the small regular size with a regular two seat cab. and the key... 4 cylinder engine. at least i wont be spitting gas everywhere just to drive on a road.

when i drove to work, it felt awkward.

my bikes seemed to miss me the day i returned after driving to work.

im waiting to see how my cycling to work habits continue after the temp drops to below 20F.


thanks to all of you who mentions me being "cured" of my epilepsy. its great that we all support each other like that.
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Old 10-05-07, 07:36 AM   #22
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I was under the impression that since we all have different needs, the goal was to minimize our use of gas-powered locomotion to the best of our individual abilities.

Since May, I've been commuting to work by motorcycle. We've started to get a bit of snow, and I have to drive now. I love cars, but driving to work sucks.
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Old 10-05-07, 07:39 AM   #23
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i did happen to purchase a car that fit what i would be needing in the future and what i felt was as friendly to the environment as possible. a chevy pickup. not a tank though. just the small regular size with a regular two seat cab. and the key... 4 cylinder engine. at least i wont be spitting gas everywhere just to drive on a road.

I just thought of something, maybe instead of me getting a car with great gas mileage, I should get a car that gets about 10 miles per gallon (like a big 4x4 truck) that way I will allways be too cheap to buy gas for it. Kinda reverse psychology kinda thing.
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Old 10-05-07, 09:32 AM   #24
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i did happen to purchase a car that fit what i would be needing in the future and what i felt was as friendly to the environment as possible. a chevy pickup. not a tank though. just the small regular size with a regular two seat cab. and the key... 4 cylinder engine. at least i wont be spitting gas everywhere just to drive on a road.
I like that approach. I don't drive much but there are times I need a car. The one I own has served a good long life and will soon be put out to pasture. I'm looking to replace it with one that will suit my needs and provide reliable and economical basic transportation.
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Old 10-05-07, 05:23 PM   #25
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I just thought of something, maybe instead of me getting a car with great gas mileage, I should get a car that gets about 10 miles per gallon (like a big 4x4 truck) that way I will allways be too cheap to buy gas for it. Kinda reverse psychology kinda thing.
Hey! that was one of the big motivators for me... except... after they swapped out my carb (and put in one that was jetted WAY too big) I was only getting 7.7 mpg. There were other factors... such as having to carry my 20+ pound starter to the autoparts store in a backpack, then carrying the replacement back to the truck. (About 10 miles each way) on my bike...

And then all the insurance and everything.... Yeah, I finally decided enough was enough. My wife wouldn't let me get rid of the truck, so when it broke down again, I just kept making excuses to why I couldn't fix it. Eventually even SHE figured out we didn't NEED it.
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