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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 09-02-10, 05:42 PM   #351
Brontide
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It seems way out of profile to spend $3600/year insuring a $2k vehicle, are there extenuating reasons for that cost?
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Old 09-03-10, 06:28 AM   #352
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All I can tell you is that car insurance rates in Toronto are insane. We've had a couple of fender-benders and my husband has a speeding ticket, but nothing too bad.
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Old 09-06-10, 12:16 PM   #353
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not going car free, as they are too much fun for motorsports use. BUT, i am super car light, using a car only for something i cant carry on my bike. i go to do normal errands, etc etc on the bike
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Old 09-08-10, 08:04 PM   #354
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Ok, I admit there are times when I miss the car! There's a club ride in a town 60+ miles away that really looks like FUN, the BEST we've been able to ride is 50 miles in a day so "riding the bike, there and back and doing the ride", sorry ain't gona happen. Most of the time it's really not bad living without a car, no payments, no insurance or heavy maint. cost's. Oh well, will have to just ride on my own again. YMMV.
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Old 09-13-10, 09:27 PM   #355
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1: i love you guys!
2: I've been car free since october 6th 2009! (almost a year!)
3: my roommate has been car-less for 5 years!
collectively we have about 9 bikes in our apartment and garage.
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Old 09-14-10, 04:15 PM   #356
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1: i love you guys!
2: I've been car free since october 6th 2009! (almost a year!)
3: my roommate has been car-less for 5 years!
collectively we have about 9 bikes in our apartment and garage.
Welcome!

Isn't it great living with other people who are carfree cyclists? For years I lived with my adult son and our best friend. All three of us were riding everywhere, and it was such a warm feeling to have that support and companionship--and just somebody to go along on a ride across town when you have a sudden craving for pancakes at 2 AM.
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Old 09-21-10, 01:52 PM   #357
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Hey all.

New username, but not new to the forum. I used to post here a few years back, still car free as I was then, but I've moved several times, got many different jobs along the way, was more or less nomad and just forgot about the place. Am a little more settled now and just remembered this place existed so I thought I'd come back. I'm Piper, 28 years old and I'm currently living on the Big Island of Hawaii where I'm sort of traveling/working. Am also doing the hammock camping thing right now and really enjoying life.
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Old 10-06-10, 09:46 PM   #358
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Nice, I did carfree on the Kona side of that island for a while too. The roads don't always offer room for a rider, but it's doable. Hilo, must be interesting with all the rain.
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Old 10-11-10, 02:12 AM   #359
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No kidding. Sometimes I feel like I'm about to be squashed with the bike "lane" being about this wide: | | (to scale). I have a rainjacket and fenders, so it's not as terrible as it sounds. Sometimes I stop, pull over and wait it out. I'm actually just outside Pahoa right now and it's not too bad. But then again, I've not needed to go anywhere so I'm staying inside right now. You ever ridden on Maui? Now that's scary. Barely any room for cars, let alone a bike.
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Old 10-17-10, 03:32 PM   #360
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I've been car-lite for about 6 months, and last week I decided to just go for it and sell my car. I've only been using it for trips to the grocery store to buy kitty litter, or to the farmer's market which requires a 1000' climb, but then I realized I should just HTFU and get a trailer. Fortunately I live in LA so I don't have to worry about winter, and the Metro will let me visit family who live too far away to ride my bike.

The reactions from people I've told range from puzzlement to envy. My mom is worried, though. I just told her to worry about my brother more. He's into dirt jumping.
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Old 10-18-10, 01:25 PM   #361
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I've been car-lite for about 6 months, and last week I decided to just go for it and sell my car. I've only been using it for trips to the grocery store to buy kitty litter, or to the farmer's market which requires a 1000' climb, but then I realized I should just HTFU and get a trailer. Fortunately I live in LA so I don't have to worry about winter, and the Metro will let me visit family who live too far away to ride my bike.

The reactions from people I've told range from puzzlement to envy. My mom is worried, though. I just told her to worry about my brother more. He's into dirt jumping.
Welcome to the forum! I like your user name--fortunately, it isn't very accurate!
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Old 10-25-10, 06:36 AM   #362
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Hello there!

I've been lurking on BF for years now, so I guess I could as well introduce myself.. After all I already feel like I know many of you

I started following LCF about five years ago, when a coworker got me confinced to start cycling to work. I quickly fell in love with the freedom and independence of cycling and started riding everywhere. After a few years of dedicated commuting, I finally sold my car. There's still one car in our household, and I can't see us getting rid of it. Hence I concider myself car-lite. I use the car probably about once every two weeks, to transport larger amount of groceries and large items.

When I started riding, I also slowly started to look at my life differently. At the time I worked for a stereotypical IT company, cubicle hell and all that. I hated it. I was tired, depressed, suffering from insomnia and back problems. Cycling helped quite a bit, as I wasn't involved in any other physical activities. Reading LCF and other similar sites, I started to realize that "stuff" didn't make me happy or help me sleep better.

I'd learned the ins and outs of bike maintenance along the years, and when I heard that the LBS was looking for a mechanic I jumped for it.. and got the job. Quitting the IT job was probably the most relieving day of my life (well, almost quitting since I do freelance-type stuff for them once in a while). I was out of the rat race!

The pay for the bike shop job is nowhere near what I was making in IT, but I'd already reprogrammed myself (with the help of LCF ) in regards of possessions and spending. I'm actually doing better with less now. I'm healthy, fit and happy. I sleep 8-9 hours every night. No more back pains.

To quote someone's signature: "life is good"
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Old 10-26-10, 11:19 AM   #363
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Hello there!

I've been lurking on BF for years now, so I guess I could as well introduce myself.. After all I already feel like I know many of you

I started following LCF about five years ago, when a coworker got me confinced to start cycling to work. I quickly fell in love with the freedom and independence of cycling and started riding everywhere. After a few years of dedicated commuting, I finally sold my car. There's still one car in our household, and I can't see us getting rid of it. Hence I concider myself car-lite. I use the car probably about once every two weeks, to transport larger amount of groceries and large items.

When I started riding, I also slowly started to look at my life differently. At the time I worked for a stereotypical IT company, cubicle hell and all that. I hated it. I was tired, depressed, suffering from insomnia and back problems. Cycling helped quite a bit, as I wasn't involved in any other physical activities. Reading LCF and other similar sites, I started to realize that "stuff" didn't make me happy or help me sleep better.

I'd learned the ins and outs of bike maintenance along the years, and when I heard that the LBS was looking for a mechanic I jumped for it.. and got the job. Quitting the IT job was probably the most relieving day of my life (well, almost quitting since I do freelance-type stuff for them once in a while). I was out of the rat race!

The pay for the bike shop job is nowhere near what I was making in IT, but I'd already reprogrammed myself (with the help of LCF ) in regards of possessions and spending. I'm actually doing better with less now. I'm healthy, fit and happy. I sleep 8-9 hours every night. No more back pains.

To quote someone's signature: "life is good"
Your story is interesting and inspiring; I'm glad you decided to start posting to the forum!
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Old 11-02-10, 11:08 PM   #364
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Hey all! Some really really awesome stories i've read so far, so i guess its my time to share.

First, i'll be 21 years old in 6 days. I attend Central Michigan University as a Recreation and Environmental Education major currently in my Junior year. I have been overly OBSESSED with cars since i was a young boy. Living in metro Detroit and having a father working for the "Big Three" cars have been in my life forever. My father built and restored muscle cars so i naturally picked it up from him. Since my 16th birthday i have had 14 cars. Yes, 14. I've built cars up and sold them off only to build something nicer/ faster/ exc. Any money i made i poured straight into my vehicle.

I originally came to Central Michigan as a biomedical science major. I wanted to be a physicians assistant, i wanted a big paycheck, a big house, and most of all lots of cars. Throughout my studies i took some very interesting classes and met some very interesting people. Going into the end of my sophomore year, i had an epiphany. I was taking classes for my major i was not enjoying, my ideals of a huge house, lots of cars, and a big paycheck were changing and i questioned if college was even the right choice for me. With some real soul searching and support of friends and family, i changed my entire life around. I switched my major, switched my minor, and started living the more 'simple' life i wanted to live.

I grew up riding BMX so as i came to college I wanted to continue to ride but thought a road bike would suit campus commuting a bit better. I bought a road bike and used it to get around but still relied on my car for almost everything. The more i found myself riding, the better i felt. Now, this could be due to the fact i had more cash because i wasnt blowing money on gas, but regardless, i felt great!

Fast forward to two months ago. I just purchased my 14th car, a 2002 Subaru WRX. I was already in my 'simpler' life mode as i bought this car and was having second thoughts about the purchase but did it anyways. I felt horrible after buying the car and sold it two weeks later. I've been carless ever since, so two months now.

I LOVE it! I have lots of money to help pay for school and people say i've been more 'peppier'. I think its just because i absolutly love to ride. I LOVE the outdoors and riding alows me to see how beautiful the world (and my city) truely is.

My factory working father thinks its a bit weird and wonders how i can survive. Its been quite easy actually, the town is a university town so most things are within a 30 minute bike commute. For visits home (which is about 3 1/2 hours) i try to catch a ride from someone from my area who also goes to school here. My general plan is to go out west after graduation to a city like LA, San Fran, Seattle but a job could take me to Chicago / NYC. Either way, all cities are pretty good bike friendly cities with public transportation. So i guess i'm going to take this carless attitude as much into the future i can.

Its overall made me a much healthier, happier person. I love the choice to go carless. I will say it was a HUGE move emotionally though. Its though to be so into cars and just drop it.

Oh well.

Thanks for listening :-)

.Chris

PS: The Michigan winter is starting so we'll see how much i like this carless move in two months when there is 3 feet of snow on the ground
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Old 11-03-10, 08:14 AM   #365
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Hey all! Some really really awesome stories i've read so far, so i guess its my time to share.

First, i'll be 21 years old in 6 days. I attend Central Michigan University as a Recreation and Environmental Education major currently in my Junior year. I have been overly OBSESSED with cars since i was a young boy. Living in metro Detroit and having a father working for the "Big Three" cars have been in my life forever. My father built and restored muscle cars so i naturally picked it up from him. Since my 16th birthday i have had 14 cars. Yes, 14. I've built cars up and sold them off only to build something nicer/ faster/ exc. Any money i made i poured straight into my vehicle.

I originally came to Central Michigan as a biomedical science major. I wanted to be a physicians assistant, i wanted a big paycheck, a big house, and most of all lots of cars. Throughout my studies i took some very interesting classes and met some very interesting people. Going into the end of my sophomore year, i had an epiphany. I was taking classes for my major i was not enjoying, my ideals of a huge house, lots of cars, and a big paycheck were changing and i questioned if college was even the right choice for me. With some real soul searching and support of friends and family, i changed my entire life around. I switched my major, switched my minor, and started living the more 'simple' life i wanted to live.

I grew up riding BMX so as i came to college I wanted to continue to ride but thought a road bike would suit campus commuting a bit better. I bought a road bike and used it to get around but still relied on my car for almost everything. The more i found myself riding, the better i felt. Now, this could be due to the fact i had more cash because i wasnt blowing money on gas, but regardless, i felt great!

Fast forward to two months ago. I just purchased my 14th car, a 2002 Subaru WRX. I was already in my 'simpler' life mode as i bought this car and was having second thoughts about the purchase but did it anyways. I felt horrible after buying the car and sold it two weeks later. I've been carless ever since, so two months now.

I LOVE it! I have lots of money to help pay for school and people say i've been more 'peppier'. I think its just because i absolutly love to ride. I LOVE the outdoors and riding alows me to see how beautiful the world (and my city) truely is.

My factory working father thinks its a bit weird and wonders how i can survive. Its been quite easy actually, the town is a university town so most things are within a 30 minute bike commute. For visits home (which is about 3 1/2 hours) i try to catch a ride from someone from my area who also goes to school here. My general plan is to go out west after graduation to a city like LA, San Fran, Seattle but a job could take me to Chicago / NYC. Either way, all cities are pretty good bike friendly cities with public transportation. So i guess i'm going to take this carless attitude as much into the future i can.

Its overall made me a much healthier, happier person. I love the choice to go carless. I will say it was a HUGE move emotionally though. Its though to be so into cars and just drop it.

Oh well.

Thanks for listening :-)

.Chris

PS: The Michigan winter is starting so we'll see how much i like this carless move in two months when there is 3 feet of snow on the ground
Welcome, Chris!
It is wonderful to have another fellow Michigander on the forum. (I'm in Lansing but spend a lot of time in Traverse City). I imagine Mt. Pleasant is a good place to be carfree. There are no mountains, in spite of the name it's flat as a pancake around there. There used to be a Greyhound bus that would have taken you home, but they cut that service a couple years ago, unfortunately. Winter won't be that bad, since you seem to have a good attitude about weather and the outdoors. You can pick up some good tips here and start a thread if you have any problems or questions.

Best of luck and post often!

P.S. As a Michigander, I have to ask you to think about staying here after graduation. We don't want to lose bright young people like you. Remember, the opportunities are endless in Michigan as we evolve into a diffeent kind of state. My guess is that recreation and the environment will be a big part of our state's future.
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Old 11-03-10, 11:32 AM   #366
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P.S. As a Michigander, I have to ask you to think about staying here after graduation. We don't want to lose bright young people like you. Remember, the opportunities are endless in Michigan as we evolve into a diffeent kind of state. My guess is that recreation and the environment will be a big part of our state's future.

Thanks for the welcome! Part of me really would like to stay here in this state because, as you said, i too think recreation will be a big part the states future. The other part of me would also like to move down to Detroit and help with the long term uplift process trying to slowly get the city back on its feet. Although, whatever life brings me i'll always have my family and heart in Michigan!

.Chris
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Old 11-04-10, 09:25 PM   #367
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All I can tell you is that car insurance rates in Toronto are insane. We've had a couple of fender-benders and my husband has a speeding ticket, but nothing too bad.
Insane Toronto car insurance makes the math easy on doing rentals and/or car share and/or taxis. A family member once offered their used car to me free. I'm like no thanks, would not want to insure it. If you are keeping the car for the times you really need it, think of how many times that is. $3600 makes for a lot of cab rides... If you have a credit card that covers the CDW you can often find a compact rental for $30 a day. Also a lot of rentals Autoshare or Zipcar will probably work well for you if there are cars in your neighbourhood to not lose the convenience factor.
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Old 11-04-10, 09:27 PM   #368
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Ok, I admit there are times when I miss the car! There's a club ride in a town 60+ miles away that really looks like FUN, the BEST we've been able to ride is 50 miles in a day so "riding the bike, there and back and doing the ride", sorry ain't gona happen. Most of the time it's really not bad living without a car, no payments, no insurance or heavy maint. cost's. Oh well, will have to just ride on my own again. YMMV.
When I used to do club rides I'd get on the club email list and find out who was going nearby to carpool with. However if you are the only one where you live that wants to go agreed not so convenient.
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Old 11-13-10, 07:44 AM   #369
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I never knew the idea of 'car free life' till a few months back, but I have never had a driving license, never even had lessons. My parents did also not have cars.
That makes 46 years.
I do get rides from my brothers and some friends at times, I am not against using a car specially if it is already going where I need it, but try not to ask for 'fun' rides.
I ride a recumbent trike as main transport, 5 km one way to work, and have kept my old bicycle for shopping runs and own a folder for when I want to go by train but will not have good public transport on the other end.

I have to admit that I live in the Netherlands, known for big bike participation in traffic, and the nearest train station is a 5 minute bike ride away, with decent bike parking. Commuter type train to Amsterdam takes 35 minutes, Rotterdam 1 hour. And in case I get the urge, Paris is less than 5 hours from home. And compared to what car owners pay, not that expensive.
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Old 11-15-10, 07:30 PM   #370
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I never knew the idea of 'car free life' till a few months back, but I have never had a driving license, never even had lessons. My parents did also not have cars.
That makes 46 years.
I do get rides from my brothers and some friends at times, I am not against using a car specially if it is already going where I need it, but try not to ask for 'fun' rides.
I ride a recumbent trike as main transport, 5 km one way to work, and have kept my old bicycle for shopping runs and own a folder for when I want to go by train but will not have good public transport on the other end.

I have to admit that I live in the Netherlands, known for big bike participation in traffic, and the nearest train station is a 5 minute bike ride away, with decent bike parking. Commuter type train to Amsterdam takes 35 minutes, Rotterdam 1 hour. And in case I get the urge, Paris is less than 5 hours from home. And compared to what car owners pay, not that expensive.
Welcome! It's great having somebody else from your country, especially since it's the gold standard for carfree living, more or less.
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Old 11-25-10, 01:47 AM   #371
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Having been car light for a while - using it mainly when necessary for work, but very little otherwise - I finally sold it last weekend. Don't need it for work any more, can shop on foot or by bike or on-line, and public transport around here, though quite expensive, is pretty good. Whether I will go entirely car free is questionable - I can envisage occasions on which I might borrow or hire a car for specific purposes - but I can't see me owning one again. Feel quite good, actually - one fewer thing to take care of, maintain, etc.
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Old 11-25-10, 06:51 AM   #372
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Having been car light for a while - using it mainly when necessary for work, but very little otherwise - I finally sold it last weekend. Don't need it for work any more, can shop on foot or by bike or on-line, and public transport around here, though quite expensive, is pretty good. Whether I will go entirely car free is questionable - I can envisage occasions on which I might borrow or hire a car for specific purposes - but I can't see me owning one again. Feel quite good, actually - one fewer thing to take care of, maintain, etc.
Congrats! It's a huge weight lifted, huh? We sold our car about 2 weeks ago. It's great to not have to worry about maintenance, insurance, and (here in the city) vandalism and parking accidents by other drivers.
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Old 12-26-10, 02:43 PM   #373
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Just a quick check in. Almost 4 months strong without a car, heading into the new year worry free!

Congrats on all who are still carless and may we all stay safe into the new year!

.Chris
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Old 12-26-10, 06:16 PM   #374
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Next year will be my 28th year car free, if you don't count being driven around by parents as a kid as breaking the car-free ethos
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Old 12-27-10, 08:41 AM   #375
1989Pre
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Location: Brunswick, Maine
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Sounds like a great time to me, Chris!

Weet, you have as many years as I do. cool!

I was wondering how the members, here, do their grocery shopping. I use my mountain bike and a 2800 C.I. internal frame pack. Hook the waistbelt up and I can ride 40 pounds home no problem.


Paul

Last edited by 1989Pre; 12-27-10 at 08:48 AM.
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