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View Poll Results: How long have you been car light or car free?

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  • Car light less than 1 year

    151 16.15%
  • Car free less than 1 year

    90 9.63%
  • Car light less than 5 years

    129 13.80%
  • Car free less than 5 years

    106 11.34%
  • Car light more than 5 years

    73 7.81%
  • Car free more than 5 years

    196 20.96%
  • Contemplating a car light or car free change

    169 18.07%
  • Not interested in becoming car light or car free

    21 2.25%
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  1. #251
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    Hi, I just joined the forum last night. I have been car free going on 4 years now, ever since I was in a car accident and my car was totaled. The guy that hit me stole the car he was driving and robbed some poor old lady.
    That said it has been an overall good experience riding public transportation and walking. I experience alot more of the world now. Its also great being car note free. I also have a zipcar membership if I really need a car but that happens very rarely.
    I am now doing research to buy my first folding bike. Looking at the downtube, dahon, and citizen. Any advise or suggestions about which bike to buy would be great.

  2. #252
    Green Party Member gp.org xootr swift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BOBBYMARLEY View Post
    I am now doing research to buy my first folding bike. Looking at the downtube, dahon, and citizen. Any advise or suggestions about which bike to buy would be great.


    Hiya, welcome and I’m glad you survived your crash and became a bicyclist more full time. I crashed into the first Gulf War, sold my last car and walked/cycled for all transport for a year, and never looked back, except to change lanes for turning left.

    I have had two folders. http://www.myspace.com/xootrswift is a great bike that happens to fold. If you are doing more riding than folding, I highly recommend the Swift.

    If you are folding a bunch for trains or busses (many busses out on the West Coast have racks on the front so folding is 95% unnecessary) I would recommend one of the 16" folders as they get small and quickly. The Dahon Curve with 305 series 16” wheels has two US versions the D3 http://www.dahon.com/us/curved3.htm and a SL http://www.dahon.com/us/curvesl.htm. There is a European Curve http://www.dahon.com/intl/curvexl.htm the XL, that is very appealing because of the gear range over the D3 and is the same as the earlier US version of the SL. I have D3 now as I decided on simplicity and a slower pace and I found one on eBay new for $350 instead of the $549 retail. I do miss the lower gear range, but when you read my Xootr page you’ll see I’m up for mods if need be.

    I have a made for the D3, folds into itself bag, that I found a Dahon UK dealer online @ eBay that works great. Ride to bag in a couple minutes. The Xootr takes a bit more time, front wheel pull to get into a like size bag only bigger as the 406-20” wheels are just bigger as well as all the frame bits that 20" wheels fit in. But again Xootr Swifts mod out like crazy easily.

    http://www.brompton.co.uk/ Brompton is an elegant origami that shrinks up quickly/smallest and has a suspension built in. It uses a 349 wheel 16”, which has more tire options (only 1-1/4 wide is max) than the 305-16” of the Dahon Curve. http://www.schwalbetires.com/ Schwalbe makes a great range of smaller tires like the Kojaks or my old favs the http://www.calhouncycle.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=108&idproduct=968 Greenspeed Scorchers that both give slick street speed and grip. One reason I even tested the Dahons was because I read here somewhere that had been retooled and are no longer flexy, and are still priced well and far less, to save myself from going hole hog again and getting a $2K+ titanium framed bit Brompton.

    I test rode yesterday the Bike Friday Tikit, which is also a 349-16” varied tire option bike and rides well too and gets small very quickly, but also pricey, relative to the Curve SL which has a good gear range 9sp. It is also missing suspension, as was my Dahon Curve until I turned to Thudbuster and acquired a LT suspension seatpost http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/accessories/seatpost.htm. Suspension is a VERY good idea on a high pressured less than 24” bike wheel as these little frames are stiff and have less flex in the wheel/tire department as there is just less wheel/tire to flex. The exception being the Big Apple brother to the Kojak which can run at 40 PSI and take up a bunch of road noise and bumps but at the cost of speed and efficiency. The High Speed slick is key to the “little wheeled” bikes already quick handling fun complete package. Shrinks quickly and zips around nimbly fast, especially on high pressure slicks.

    I am lamenting not being able to put slicks on my 305-16” wheeled curve but the Big Apples at 70+ PSI are doing all right at giving good roll. Everyone has their favs and uses. This forum has some great insights and feedback. I keep use, tires, upgradability and cost forefront in my hunts and changes, but mainly the ride will say it all... Have fun test riding as many as you can to get the feel for what fits you.

    Thanks for sharing your post and for pedest-cycle-public transporting.
    Last edited by xootr swift; 11-28-09 at 09:41 PM.

  3. #253
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    Hi let me start with my job.I am a car test editor for a monthly car magazine in turkey istanbul.So i am driving lots of cars all the time in a highly crowded city with lots of trrafic problems in it.After 10 years like this i went to holland and seen everybody riding bikes to get their work.After i return to my country i diceded to go to work with my biycle after my first ride to work i was like i am in paradise what a joy i cannot discribe it bye words.i just passed everybody on the trrrafic jam even my collics with their ultra fast porshes and lambos.From that point i selled my 15 year old land cruiser and i live car free in my personel time but still driving lots of cars cause of my job.but now i really enjoy driving car because i dont have to pay for their gas just for my joy hehe.Bye the way i lost 10 kgs after cycling.Before cycling i was 80kg full of muscle but from outside you cannot see the muscles after losing the fats i got ripped of thats marvellous.And sorry for my english

  4. #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by dersan View Post
    After i return to my country i diceded to go to work with my biycle after my first ride to work i was like i am in paradise what a joy i cannot discribe it bye words.i just passed everybody on the trrrafic jam even my collics with their ultra fast porshes and lambos.From that point i selled my 15 year old land cruiser and i live car free in my personel time but still driving lots of cars cause of my job.
    Welcome! I sure hope your editor doesn't catch on, I think you're supposed to be selling the allure of a car enthusiast Just kidding, it must be a ton of fun to live both worlds, driving the most awesome cars around, and then getting to enjoy the fresh air of a bicycle commute in such a beautiful and ancient city. I sure hope your colleagues give you kudos for riding through all that wind and snow!

  5. #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by Llamero View Post
    Welcome! I sure hope your editor doesn't catch on, I think you're supposed to be selling the allure of a car enthusiast Just kidding, it must be a ton of fun to live both worlds, driving the most awesome cars around, and then getting to enjoy the fresh air of a bicycle commute in such a beautiful and ancient city. I sure hope your colleagues give you kudos for riding through all that wind and snow!
    yeah its fun but i am just having the fun now before cycling you just get on the seat with a angry face started the motor and you dont feel anything just plain anger twords everything now i just listen the grinning sound of the machine drive it for just pleasure having fun while corniring vs.. vs..
    I am not completly against cars not because of i am car reviewer its because you need it in your modern daily live if you need speed and maybe your job is 100 kms away from your home or maybe you have a child and in the middle of the he can get sick and you need to take him to hospital somethings like that can happen and not every country is developed country in the world you cannot safetly drive cycles.
    I will by a car again in the future if its completly green for emergency purposes.

  6. #256
    Senior Member teamontherun's Avatar
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    I have only been car free/light for a month. I sold my car and bought a 09 Fuji Crosstown 4.0. I say that im car lite/free because I dont own a car anymore but borrow one to go to my doctors a few times a month (I have cystic fibrosis but a rare type that is only a burden not very deadly). I find since I started riding, my breathing has improved and my health can only go up... I will be car light/free for a long time.

  7. #257
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamontherun View Post
    I find since I started riding, my breathing has improved and my health can only go up... I will be car light/free for a long time.
    Interesting... I have been sitting around the house for the last 3 weeks suffering from bronchitis. At some point, I got bored with it and went out for a ride in 35-40F weather. I thought it was a little dicey, but I actually felt much less congested after the ride.

  8. #258
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dersan View Post
    ]Hi let me start with my job.I am a car test editor for a monthly car magazine in turkey istanbul.So i am driving lots of cars all the time in a highly crowded city with lots of trrafic problems in it.After 10 years like this i went to holland and seen everybody riding bikes to get their work.After i return to my country i diceded to go to work with my biycle after my first ride to work i was like i am in paradise what a joy i cannot discribe it bye words.i just passed everybody on the trrrafic jam even my collics with their ultra fast porshes and lambos.From that point i selled my 15 year old land cruiser and i live car free in my personel time but still driving lots of cars cause of my job.but now i really enjoy driving car because i dont have to pay for their gas just for my joy hehe.Bye the way i lost 10 kgs after cycling.Before cycling i was 80kg full of muscle but from outside you cannot see the muscles after losing the fats i got ripped of thats marvellous.And sorry for my english
    I bet you're the only one here who could ride on two continents in the same day! It will be interesting to have a true Eurasian perspective on our forum.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  9. #259
    Your scars reveal you tallard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dersan View Post
    Hi let me start with my job.I am a car test editor for a monthly car magazine in turkey istanbul.So i am driving lots of cars all the time in a highly crowded city with lots of trrafic problems in it.After 10 years like this i went to holland and seen everybody riding bikes to get their work.After i return to my country i diceded to go to work with my biycle after my first ride to work i was like i am in paradise what a joy i cannot discribe it bye words.i just passed everybody on the trrrafic jam even my collics with their ultra fast porshes and lambos.From that point i selled my 15 year old land cruiser and i live car free in my personel time but still driving lots of cars cause of my job.but now i really enjoy driving car because i dont have to pay for their gas just for my joy hehe.Bye the way i lost 10 kgs after cycling.Before cycling i was 80kg full of muscle but from outside you cannot see the muscles after losing the fats i got ripped of thats marvellous.And sorry for my english
    That is a most uplifting and a WELL WRITTEN story. Congrats Your little English mistakes take nothing away from your excellent communication skills!

  10. #260
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    Quote Originally Posted by tallard View Post
    That is a most uplifting and a WELL WRITTEN story. Congrats Your little English mistakes take nothing away from your excellent communication skills!
    riding two continents in a commute day is something extrordinary but i can not ride because police dont allow cyclist to cross the bosphorus bridge so we all take the ferry
    in my city i am only seeing 3 or 4 cyclist whom going to their work regularly.Although we are a poor country people seem to not care about gas prices or expansve cars.Bye cycling they can save lots of money.I just calculated yestarday i saved 2000 dolars thats a good money.At first i thought i will get sick (ill) but i feel superb no illness happend indeed i am like a horse but i didnt smoke for my entire life maybe that also helped with this.my only problem is my bike is heavy 16 kg scott sporster p5 with rack and fenders.and i also have to carry some load like apple laptop and cameras lenses that mean i am carrying 10 kg extra weight which means i am dying ineed to buy something lighter.

  11. #261
    Senior Member travelmama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dersan View Post
    riding two continents in a commute day is something extrordinary but i can not ride because police dont allow cyclist to cross the bosphorus bridge so we all take the ferry
    in my city i am only seeing 3 or 4 cyclist whom going to their work regularly.Although we are a poor country people seem to not care about gas prices or expansve cars.Bye cycling they can save lots of money.I just calculated yestarday i saved 2000 dolars thats a good money.At first i thought i will get sick (ill) but i feel superb no illness happend indeed i am like a horse but i didnt smoke for my entire life maybe that also helped with this.my only problem is my bike is heavy 16 kg scott sporster p5 with rack and fenders.and i also have to carry some load like apple laptop and cameras lenses that mean i am carrying 10 kg extra weight which means i am dying ineed to buy something lighter.
    Are their ever any organized rides there and do you find it a bit dangerous to ride in Istanbul with the streets being narrow and trolley taking up some of the road?
    Two Wheels One Love

  12. #262
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    Quote Originally Posted by travelmama View Post
    Are their ever any organized rides there and do you find it a bit dangerous to ride in Istanbul with the streets being narrow and trolley taking up some of the road?
    We have cycle clubs and organizations but not to many.Commuters are very few.Roads are very narrow and drivers are crazy.Very small city big poplations like 17 million that kind a dangerous mix for riders here
    nowadays weather starting to get cold i bought some clothes for winter riding i hope they will do their jobs well

  13. #263
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    Hey all! It's nice to see that there are so many of us that are car-free. I've been car-free for about 3 months. I rarely look back on the decision that I've made. I do live in Cleveland, OH and right now it's winter so there are some days that I really want a car. But for the most part, I'm happy with the decision.

    I started riding over the summer of 2009. First, it was just casual exercise. Next, I started riding to work, which was 15 miles round trip. After that, I started riding to work in the rain. Next, I started riding everywhere! Before I knew it, my car was just sitting outside getting no use, so I decided to sell it in November.

    Some people commend me for doing it, but overall I get mostly criticism. I laugh when I hear the criticism, of course. I laugh because:
    1. They're paying for gas, insurance, maintenance, etc.
    2. They're getting fat by eating too much and watching sitcoms when they could be exercising. LOL
    3. They're polluting the earth.
    4. They're stupid. LOL

    Have any of you received criticism for your decision to go car-free? Also, isn't it a liberating feeling to not have to depend on a gas guzzling machine to get around?!
    Even though I didn't lack confidence before, I have a lot more confidence now. I feel better. I feel in shape. I feel more intelligent. I feel great! All from selling my car and biking everywhere!

  14. #264
    Green Party Member gp.org xootr swift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinM View Post
    Have any of you received criticism for your decision to go car-free?
    In 1980 when mandatory (extortion) draft registration reinstated, I became a Conscientious Objector. In an extension of that, I sold my last car at the time of the first Gulf War and walked/cycled for ALL transport for a year. I also became a vegetarian and I am now Ethically Vegan. I also keep an untaxable income for Conscientious Objector reasons.

    For transport, I first reach for my Dahon Curve SL with a Nexus 8, roller brake, Thudbuster LT seat post, http://www.reelight.com/ 500/150/120 and http://www.pedalite.com/. Spring/Summer/Fall being a pedestrian is secondary to cycling, lol. Distance is Amtrak, SNCF TGV, Suisse Rail, Via Canada and the occasional local metro bus or light rail. For the rare weddings/funerals, I’ll use an econobox for a day and possibly fly, yet usually only to cross the Atlantic.

    I pay my personal carbon offset bill with the likes of http://www.terrapass.com/ or http://carbonfund.org/ for transport and the day-with-day footprint. I try buy as local as possible and organic (bio in Europe) produce. I do not have a home but go where I’m needed and give of my time and skills, usually care giving. I buy durable recycled goods from the likes of Patagonia. http://www.patagonia.com/web/us/cont...R&assetid=1809

    I do get criticized often, from random males in big trucks tossing objects and insults, to the worried faces at a gathering of those who happen to ask questions. Making visible the interconnections between diet, transportation, housing and most decisions that have oil use at the base, by example, will draw a critique.

    I am 6’2”, 238 without my bike riding core yet only 190 with bicycling as my main mode of transport, and able to easily sprint up stairs and hills at 50 years old. Because of my size, and the smallness of the Dahon with its 305 series wheels/tires and all the flashing lights, I do get seen. Many people walking ask questions or point, say ‘cool’, ‘wow’, ‘what?’ or ‘that folds right?’ Other bicycle people and people in cars tend to smile, laugh, scowl or ignore.

    In general, I work to live my orientation toward peace, and that gives me joy, in myself. In part through cycling, without a car, I am working toward a way that causes the least harm, and most health for myself and the interconnected web of life on earth.

  15. #265
    Wildflower Century TwoHeadsBrewing's Avatar
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    I don't get criticism, but I do sell it so well nobody bothers. When people ask about my bike riding every day, I outline how much money I've saved each month, how much cash I now have on hand from selling my car, and how much weight I've lost in just 3-4 months of riding. I talk about how much better I feel and how my health has improved, and I didn't have to buy any weight loss supplements, diet books, or a health club membership. They usually just get this look on their face like, "Huh, sounds good. I should do that too!". I bring it all home with a question: "What was the last thing you did that saved over $100 a month, made you happier, healthier, and reduced pollution at the same time?".

    Quote Originally Posted by AustinM View Post
    Hey all! It's nice to see that there are so many of us that are car-free. I've been car-free for about 3 months. I rarely look back on the decision that I've made. I do live in Cleveland, OH and right now it's winter so there are some days that I really want a car. But for the most part, I'm happy with the decision.

    I started riding over the summer of 2009. First, it was just casual exercise. Next, I started riding to work, which was 15 miles round trip. After that, I started riding to work in the rain. Next, I started riding everywhere! Before I knew it, my car was just sitting outside getting no use, so I decided to sell it in November.

    Some people commend me for doing it, but overall I get mostly criticism. I laugh when I hear the criticism, of course. I laugh because:
    1. They're paying for gas, insurance, maintenance, etc.
    2. They're getting fat by eating too much and watching sitcoms when they could be exercising. LOL
    3. They're polluting the earth.
    4. They're stupid. LOL

    Have any of you received criticism for your decision to go car-free? Also, isn't it a liberating feeling to not have to depend on a gas guzzling machine to get around?!
    Even though I didn't lack confidence before, I have a lot more confidence now. I feel better. I feel in shape. I feel more intelligent. I feel great! All from selling my car and biking everywhere!

  16. #266
    Senior Member pat5319's Avatar
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    I was car free for apx. 20 yrs b4 health forced me to drive, and yes cars do make you lazy
    Pat5319


  17. #267
    a.k.a. QUADZILLA LoRoK's Avatar
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    Hola everyone. I'm expanding my relationship to bikeforums from just the ss/fg board and figured I had better drop in here to say hello. I've been car-free for 33 years (I'm 33 years old ) I've been here in Albuquerque for about 5 years now, and it sure is easier (or more pleasant, anyway) to get around in the winter than back home in Chicago, but I did it there too. I love how people absolutely cannot understand why I don't want a ride. At least once a week I'll hear, "You can throw your bike in my truck." Oftentimes from the same people. They just can't understand that I love riding and I don't want to be in a vehicle. Not to get all political here, but I do NOT love our suburban car culture that forces people to believe that I'm a lower-class citizen or something because I make a decision to do something that's better for me and the planet. People are too afraid to find out what they can do with their bodies, they don't know their limits or abilities, and settle for less every day. Anyway, that's enough out of me. I'm happy to be care-free. Oh, wait, I meant car-free.

  18. #268
    Your scars reveal you tallard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoRoK View Post
    Hola everyone. I'm expanding my relationship to bikeforums from just the ss/fg board and figured I had better drop in here to say hello. I've been car-free for 33 years (I'm 33 years old ) I've been here in Albuquerque for about 5 years now, and it sure is easier (or more pleasant, anyway) to get around in the winter than back home in Chicago, but I did it there too. I love how people absolutely cannot understand why I don't want a ride. At least once a week I'll hear, "You can throw your bike in my truck." Oftentimes from the same people. They just can't understand that I love riding and I don't want to be in a vehicle. Not to get all political here, but I do NOT love our suburban car culture that forces people to believe that I'm a lower-class citizen or something because I make a decision to do something that's better for me and the planet. People are too afraid to find out what they can do with their bodies, they don't know their limits or abilities, and settle for less every day. Anyway, that's enough out of me. I'm happy to be care-free. Oh, wait, I meant car-free.
    I know that feeling, I was the same as you til age 32, you beat me I loved winter cycling the most cuz wathcing motorists shovel and sweep and engine warm-up was such a giggle, we could hop on and go. Now 11 years later I have compromised on my life style because of circumstance, but it's a temporary car state. Best wishes and as we say in French: Bonne continuation (good continuance)!

  19. #269
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    My first post on the bikeforums and specific in the car free section .

    I'm Evert, 20 years old, living in Belgium and trying to live 'simple' since some months. One way of doing that is doing all my travels by bike (or train if i have to go further then my bike range). I'm not interested in getting a drivers license, although it feels somewhat limited not being able to drive a car.

    I'm still living with my parents, so currently I can't change anything about the bigger things in my life, like the current housing, how we live as a family, etc. But I'm definitely wanting to start living very simple once I'm going to live on my own. Hopefully my current girlfriend is wanting to share the simple lifestyle.

    I've been riding on old/second hand bikes for the last 5 years, until last month. Now I'm riding on a new recumbent bike, which makes me very happy. I love going out for longer rides and my daily commute became a lovely ride now (except for the times there is heavy rainfall ). I'm getting a lot of kilometers with my bike, the commute is 47km a day (so 23.50km single ride) and the longer rides on my free days give me about 1000km already for January.

    I really hope to stay car free and fight against the 'pressure' of my family to get my drivers license. Although I agree with them a drivers license may be useful sometimes, I find myself not needing one. On the other hand, I'm not wanting to be 'using' someone to drive for me.

  20. #270
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evert View Post
    My first post on the bikeforums and specific in the car free section .

    I'm Evert, 20 years old, living in Belgium and trying to live 'simple' since some months. One way of doing that is doing all my travels by bike (or train if i have to go further then my bike range). I'm not interested in getting a drivers license, although it feels somewhat limited not being able to drive a car.

    I'm still living with my parents, so currently I can't change anything about the bigger things in my life, like the current housing, how we live as a family, etc. But I'm definitely wanting to start living very simple once I'm going to live on my own. Hopefully my current girlfriend is wanting to share the simple lifestyle.

    I've been riding on old/second hand bikes for the last 5 years, until last month. Now I'm riding on a new recumbent bike, which makes me very happy. I love going out for longer rides and my daily commute became a lovely ride now (except for the times there is heavy rainfall ). I'm getting a lot of kilometers with my bike, the commute is 47km a day (so 23.50km single ride) and the longer rides on my free days give me about 1000km already for January.

    I really hope to stay car free and fight against the 'pressure' of my family to get my drivers license. Although I agree with them a drivers license may be useful sometimes, I find myself not needing one. On the other hand, I'm not wanting to be 'using' someone to drive for me.
    Welcome aboard, Evert!

    I'm wondering how your recumbent works when you are heading off to a remote cinema or cafe. Do you need to carry a pretty good lock? Is bike theft a big issue in Belgium?

  21. #271
    Your scars reveal you tallard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evert View Post
    [...]
    I really hope to stay car free and fight against the 'pressure' of my family to get my drivers license. Although I agree with them a drivers license may be useful sometimes, I find myself not needing one. On the other hand, I'm not wanting to be 'using' someone to drive for me.
    I waited til 29 to get my driver's license. Got a junker car for a couple of years because I lived 30 km from town, in northern Canada, then didn't own a car til 11 years later, because I'm back living far from town, up north, with a really touch schedule.

    I must confess to sharing other peoples' car A LOT over the years. An incredible amount of my transportation has been hitch-hiking, comes back to carpooling, and inputs great human contacts in my life. I think more people should hitch-hike in the cycling community. It's a really cool option for long distance travel instead of buses and planes.

    I realize it's become unsafe to do so in some areas of the world (but not Belgium or Canada , but hitch-hiker security is like cyclist security, the more of us get out there doing it, the safer it gets. I'm 43 and still hitch sometimes for convenience.

    So hold your end from the parents, and happy pedalling

  22. #272
    Senior Member 1989Pre's Avatar
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    I sold my car in 1981 for primarily economic reasons, bought a left-over Raleigh Grand Prix.., and never looked back. I was fortunate, at that time, to have a close friend who was an eager and talented cyclist/bike mechanic. I am 52 now, and have a great disdain for motorized vehicles of every type, so as time has gone on, I have become more aware of just how necessary it is to alter one's life-style in respect to, and for, the Earth.
    I use my mountain bike for those times when a.) the roads are wet b.)I will be carrying more than 15-or-so pounds in my backpack (mostly food shopping) c.) I will be traveling on bad or dirt roads or d.) at night, when I am more likely to hit a pot-hole. All other times, I will take my road bike.
    I am lucky to live close (3 miles) from the subway station, so if I am running late or it is icy out, I can get to work on time. Running late is not really a good excuse, because I should be planning better on those days, but ice on the roads is.
    I just love the experience of riding. It is also a very good feeling to know that I will probably never collide with someone and cause them serious injury. I guess I feel a little bit superior to car drivers when I am out on my bicycle, but if I can compel some of them, by my presence, to leave their cars at home one in a while and ride a bike, then that would be a good thing.
    I use various sizes of soft and internal-frame backpacks to do my errands, four of them, ranging in size from 1400 to 3300 c.i. I've ridden home with 50 pounds of groceries in my internal-frame packs. I'd like to see more people car-free!

  23. #273
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1989Pre View Post
    I sold my car in 1981 for primarily economic reasons, bought a left-over Raleigh Grand Prix.., and never looked back. I was fortunate, at that time, to have a close friend who was an eager and talented cyclist/bike mechanic. I am 52 now, and have a great disdain for motorized vehicles of every type, so as time has gone on, I have become more aware of just how necessary it is to alter one's life-style in respect to, and for, the Earth.
    I use my mountain bike for those times when a.) the roads are wet b.)I will be carrying more than 15-or-so pounds in my backpack (mostly food shopping) c.) I will be traveling on bad or dirt roads or d.) at night, when I am more likely to hit a pot-hole. All other times, I will take my road bike.
    I am lucky to live close (3 miles) from the subway station, so if I am running late or it is icy out, I can get to work on time. Running late is not really a good excuse, because I should be planning better on those days, but ice on the roads is.
    I just love the experience of riding. It is also a very good feeling to know that I will probably never collide with someone and cause them serious injury. I guess I feel a little bit superior to car drivers when I am out on my bicycle, but if I can compel some of them, by my presence, to leave their cars at home one in a while and ride a bike, then that would be a good thing.
    I use various sizes of soft and internal-frame backpacks to do my errands, four of them, ranging in size from 1400 to 3300 c.i. I've ridden home with 50 pounds of groceries in my internal-frame packs. I'd like to see more people car-free!
    Welcome! Obviously you're a veteran and a professional, so I'm sure you have much wisdom to share.

    I see that you prefer backpacks to panniers, trailers, etc. Why is that? (I'm like you--I prefer backpacks--but most people on this forum seem to put the weight on the bike's frame instead of their own frame.)


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  24. #274
    Senior Member 1989Pre's Avatar
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    Hi Roody, that's a great question. I can't say I have given it much thought. It seems like my decision was pretty reflexive. I'll answer it as well as I can, though. For one thing, I don't want to have to invest in a set of panniers and rack system for my mountain bike, because I would often ride it without that type of cargo system on it. I'd have to constantly be taking the rack and panniers off and on. Actually, I don't like the way a bike feels/handles with panniers on it. I am not sure that panniers have my largest backpack's capacity, either, especially when I consider the tie-down patches on the outside of the pack.
    A backpack enables me to leave the bike, after shopping, without worrying about what might get stolen from inside the panniers. The pack also stregthens my shoulders and upper back. With the waist-belt of my larger packs, I feel the bike handles better/safer than if I had used panniers.
    I use my packs for camping/hiking and laundry day, too, so I just can't see spending the money for a pannier/rack system. For a long tour, I might do it, but with a full, heavy pack, I rarely-if-ever ride more than four or five miles. With high-quality packs, your shoulders do not suffer (much) and you certainly get your money's worth out of the packs.

  25. #275
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    My wife and I had two vehicles, but we sold one last August. I now ride my commuter bike to work and my wife takes public transportation to school. We also have a tandem for groceries, her work, and most other outtings. It makes life simpler and cheaper (one car to maintain, have insurance, register, etc.)
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    The one on the left...

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