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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.

View Poll Results: How long have you been car light or car free?
Car light less than 1 year 164 16.52%
Car free less than 1 year 93 9.37%
Car light less than 5 years 133 13.39%
Car free less than 5 years 113 11.38%
Car light more than 5 years 82 8.26%
Car free more than 5 years 206 20.75%
Contemplating a car light or car free change 178 17.93%
Not interested in becoming car light or car free 24 2.42%
Voters: 993. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-03-10, 06:41 PM   #326
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i've been living car-free in chicago for a decade now. however, for the first 7 or so years i wasn't a cyclist, i relied solely on the CTA to get around town. now that i've traded in a train commute for a bike commute, my car-free life is much, MUCH happier. bicycles simply rule the universe.
Welcome, Dan. I know what it's like to look forward to running errands because it's another chance to take a bike ride.
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Old 06-10-10, 04:39 PM   #327
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WOW! What great stories!

I have always been passionate about cycling and have participated in some degree or another since I was a child. June 1, 2010 I made the decision to change my lifestyle, sell my truck and go car free!

I have to say, it has been awesome! I don't miss my truck a single bit! I don't miss the payments, gas, or insurance bills either!!!

With an 11 year old son there are going to be adjustments that need to be made. I wasn't sure how he would react but he loves it! My main concern is this fall when school and related activities resume.

I told a neighbor and great friend about our new lifestyle and she thought it was great for my son and I. She has 2 cars and generously offered to let us use them whenever the need arises.

Lovin this lifestyle!

Dan
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Old 06-10-10, 05:37 PM   #328
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Originally Posted by CrossCountry50 View Post
WOW! What great stories!

I have always been passionate about cycling and have participated in some degree or another since I was a child. June 1, 2010 I made the decision to change my lifestyle, sell my truck and go car free!

I have to say, it has been awesome! I don't miss my truck a single bit! I don't miss the payments, gas, or insurance bills either!!!

With an 11 year old son there are going to be adjustments that need to be made. I wasn't sure how he would react but he loves it! My main concern is this fall when school and related activities resume.

I told a neighbor and great friend about our new lifestyle and she thought it was great for my son and I. She has 2 cars and generously offered to let us use them whenever the need arises.

Lovin this lifestyle!

Dan
Welcome to the forum, Dan. Your son is the same age as my grandson--just getting to where they can keep up with the old guys. and before we know it, they'll be looking back to see if we're keeping up with them!
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Old 06-11-10, 09:17 AM   #329
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Thanks! Boy is that ever true!! He gets faster every day
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Welcome to the forum, Dan. Your son is the same age as my grandson--just getting to where they can keep up with the old guys. and before we know it, they'll be looking back to see if we're keeping up with them!
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Old 06-11-10, 09:23 AM   #330
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I started working at home a couple of years ago, so I don't have to commute by car or bike. But I do visit clients, and most of them are local, and I usually go by bike now. I'm doing an increasing number of errands by bike, also.

My car's engine blew out a couple of months ago. I didn't get around to fixing it for a month, and it was rather pleasant living with out it. I borrowed my wife's car a few times. I got rides a few times. But I did ride a few long trips, too. I even took my dog to the vet, using a kiddie trailer.
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Old 06-14-10, 02:24 PM   #331
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I have never even had a driver's license, nor has my husband. It works out rather well. I've been using my bike more than the bus/train lately. I really enjoy riding. So I suppose I'm now public-transit-lite AND car-free.
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Old 06-22-10, 02:23 PM   #332
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I'm working towards becoming car lite. My commute is 12 miles round trip and have did that for 3 weeks now. Everything else is 4-5 miles from the house. Put 120 miles in 3 weeks and I started cold turkey. It is nice not having to keep cars filled all time. Can't say the same for the wife though. Grocery stores are relatively close but no decent ones plus she loves her Walmart, closest one 10+ miles. The good Y with the swimming pool is about the same. Wouldn't be bad but with the boy not really possible. She did say someday we'll only have one seldom drvien car probably a RV so there's hope, we like to travel.

Funny looking back when I was starting out in Springfield, MO I was stupid for not riding a bike. I was ONE mile from work and school. All the shopping centers were within a couple miles even the gym was closer than 4 miles. Hard to think of all the money it would of saved me. My goal is make my son aware of just how much a car will cost and hopefully he'll be at least car light.
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Old 06-24-10, 05:46 PM   #333
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Except for my last year of high school, after my bike had been stolen and I didn't care because I had a driver's license, I've used my bike for at least some of my transportation.
Living in the city the last two years, I've been riding my bike to school except when it's icy, and using a bike for short trips that are too far to walk, and sometimes for longer trips.
I'd love to get rid of our family's car altogether, but, especially during the winter, my wife isn't really willing to bike more than a few miles, and it seems things would be a bit difficult with children, especially as public transportation isn't great in this area.
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Old 07-01-10, 10:12 AM   #334
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I moved to Chicago for the purpose of being car - free. Where I lived in Southern California it made it virtually impossible to be completely car free.
It has been the best feeling in the world and so much less stressful than dealing with a car and all the issues that come with it.
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Old 07-01-10, 10:21 AM   #335
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I moved to Chicago for the purpose of being car - free. Where I lived in Southern California it made it virtually impossible to be completely car free.
It has been the best feeling in the world and so much less stressful than dealing with a car and all the issues that come with it.
Welcome to the forum. It's cool that you actually moved across the continent to maintain carfree lifestyle. How come your location still says CA desert?

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Old 07-02-10, 10:03 PM   #336
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Hi all, I've been riding my bicycle everywhere for about a month now and started looking for cycling resources online, and found this forum.

I live in Mexico (I'm from near the arizona border but recently moved 30 mins from Mexico City) and since moving out of home @ 17 I've never had a car, I always managed with walking and sometimes public transport and such.

I never thought about cycling since my home state is incredibly hot (over 100f most of the year) and since living here in central Mexico (cold, mountainous climate) I had been thinking about buying a bike, well I finally did one time at Costco. I saw it and just said what the hell.

It was like an epiphany, it was a very simple steel-frame 24" mtn bike, but it gets the job done. I'm already going to buy a road bike (aluminium, 700c, weighs 10.8kg) and am starting to get all the kit. I commute around 25-40 km total on a given day. I do my groceries, visit my gf, visit clients, go to work etc everything on the bike. Since buying the bike I have not spent 1 cent on a cab or bus.

I am very happy with this lifestyle and can't wait to get stronger and faster at the bicycle; besides commuting and all of that I cycle 1 hour non-stop near my house a few nights a week so I can get more endurance and strength.

In my really crappy super heavy mtn bike (18kg) I average ~28kph or something like that so I can't wait to buy the road bike and hopefully reach 35kph on flats.

I actually have a profile on MapMyTracks with my last few days of cycling, if anyone wants to take a look. Keep in mind there's a TON of stop-lights and speed bumps(very common in Mexico) so I can't go very fast, also my bike slows me down a ton: www.mapmytracks.com/aldocg

Thanks for reading such a huge post heh, hope to become an active member of the community.
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Old 07-03-10, 12:37 AM   #337
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Hi kabex, welcome to the forum!
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Old 07-08-10, 12:56 AM   #338
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well as a minor intro I live in Southern MD.. Waldorf to be exact

I've been car free for about 3 years.. some of this was in Southern VA as well, actually most of it...

the only detriment is that I'm fairly popular in my social groups and the whole lady scene hasn't been as bright since I don't pick them up anymore.. most girls in my circles don't even begin to comprehend the lifestyle or that any "normal" person would do it.. I mean these are girls that might hit the gym hard but drive to the corner store 3 blocks away, oh well.. woe is me right?

planning the big move into the city (DC BABY!) and it will all be an afterthought
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Old 07-11-10, 12:00 AM   #339
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I recently moved closer to work (6 miles away) and decided to purchase a bike for commuting. I've actually enjoyed riding and have been car free as of Tuesday! I like going "green," getting more exercise on top of the gym, and saving money. It's impressive to hear that some of you have kids and can still remain car free...that's great! I don't have any kids and I imagine if that day comes then I might get a car (or go car light), but for now I don't have a need for one.
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Old 08-25-10, 06:38 PM   #340
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I want to change to car free. The cost for up keep and repairs as well as gas is ridiculous, especially for a broke college student... Just trying to figure out the winter months. Any pointers?
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Old 08-26-10, 04:11 PM   #341
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I want to change to car free. The cost for up keep and repairs as well as gas is ridiculous, especially for a broke college student... Just trying to figure out the winter months. Any pointers?
Maybe you could start a new thread with your request for pointers on winter biking. We have at least one such thread every fall, and I guess we're already getting close to that time.



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Old 08-27-10, 09:18 PM   #342
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I have been car free my whole life (all 30 years of it). I, however, have only been a cyclist for 3 years. Before that I either walked or took the bus.
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Old 08-31-10, 03:08 AM   #343
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This looks like a medium frame. I'm not sure what your budget is like, and I don't know if there is a reserve price on this, but I saw it and figured you might like to check this out.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Raleigh-Technium...item2c56fae461
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Old 09-01-10, 12:22 AM   #344
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After my recent bike build, I decided I'd park the car and go 30 days without it to see if I could do it. So far, I'm 4 days in and honestly don't miss my car one bit. I just wish I'd done this sooner.

For the past 4 years or so, the idea of being car-free has been very appealing. However, the infrastructure of where I live is far from efficient enough to make this much of a reality and I've had some very long commutes to work. With my office 1.5 miles from my door, I have no excuse any more.
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Old 09-01-10, 08:26 AM   #345
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Car-lite for, let's see, 10 days now. I'm experimenting with it - I have a wife and a 2 year old, so we're seeing if we can get by with one car (mostly for them) and bikes (mostly for me).

Incidentally, you can follow my progress at http://nickfrazier.com/category/project-park/

Take care, see you on the road.
Nick
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Old 09-01-10, 10:38 AM   #346
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Car-lite for, let's see, 10 days now. I'm experimenting with it - I have a wife and a 2 year old, so we're seeing if we can get by with one car (mostly for them) and bikes (mostly for me).

Incidentally, you can follow my progress at http://nickfrazier.com/category/project-park/

Take care, see you on the road.
Nick
Just checked out your blog. Your situation is eerily similar to my situation. The difference is I don't have kids and I live in California. Crazy!
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Old 09-01-10, 12:02 PM   #347
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We declared August "no-car month" at my house. We used the car 4 times during the month:
* 2 trips out of town (we could have stuck to our principles and rented but it seemed dumb)
* 1 trip to the bike shop when my seat post bolt gave out and my bike was basically unrideable
* 1 trip to the grocery store when we'd already biked 57km that day, and it was 30+ degrees (celsius) out, and we were going to have guests over soon... yes we caved hehe

I think we're officially car-lite. The car costs nearly $300/mo in insurance so I'm tempted to go car-free, but it's sooo handy to have when we really need it, I'm going to have a hard time cutting the cord. At this point what I'm thinking is we'll hang onto it until we get our next big repair bill, and then rather than repairing it, just sell it and be done with it.

In the meantime, we'll definitely do at least some errands by bike/foot. I don't drive to work and my husband works from home, so no car needed for that.
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Old 09-01-10, 04:08 PM   #348
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There's a lot of new folks in the last few days, which is fantastic. I hope you all will pull your weight by posting from time to time. We always like to have new ideas and fresh experiences. If you don't see a topic that you're interested in, feel free to start a new thread.
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Old 09-01-10, 04:12 PM   #349
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We declared August "no-car month" at my house. We used the car 4 times during the month:
* 2 trips out of town (we could have stuck to our principles and rented but it seemed dumb)
* 1 trip to the bike shop when my seat post bolt gave out and my bike was basically unrideable
* 1 trip to the grocery store when we'd already biked 57km that day, and it was 30+ degrees (celsius) out, and we were going to have guests over soon... yes we caved hehe

I think we're officially car-lite. The car costs nearly $300/mo in insurance so I'm tempted to go car-free, but it's sooo handy to have when we really need it, I'm going to have a hard time cutting the cord. At this point what I'm thinking is we'll hang onto it until we get our next big repair bill, and then rather than repairing it, just sell it and be done with it.

In the meantime, we'll definitely do at least some errands by bike/foot. I don't drive to work and my husband works from home, so no car needed for that.
It sounds like you're in a good situation to be carfree, so I won't be surprised if we soon hear that you are. Do you ever use public transit?

As for waiting until your car needs a repair to sell it--keep in mind that you won't get much money for it if it isn't running well, and it might take a long time to sell, even at a low price. Almost every used car buyer wants a vehicle that runs well.
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Old 09-02-10, 05:23 PM   #350
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We do use public transit as well. Toronto has a pretty good transit system and I have 2 bus routes right at my door, and am a 15-minute walk from the subway.

The car is a 2001 Hyundai, it's probably worth only about $2k so I don't expect to make a big profit by selling it. A tree fell on it several years ago so it's pretty dented up. It still runs well. My thinking is if we charge (let's say) $1000 for the car and be up front with the buyer saying it needs a new XYZ, which the dealership told us would cost $400 or whatever, we could still get buyers. We sold our old Hyundai which had a non-working fan, non-working AC, and non-working power locks for almost $1k which we were pretty happy with. And during the safety check they found we had a cracked engine block or something, which we told the buyers, and they still bought it.

We're going to do another official no-car month in the winter (like January or February) and see how we manage when it's not nice weather. If that goes well we'll probably sell it in the spring.
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