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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 163 16.50%
Car free less than 1 year 92 9.31%
Car light less than 5 years 133 13.46%
Car free less than 5 years 113 11.44%
Car light more than 5 years 82 8.30%
Car free more than 5 years 204 20.65%
Contemplating a car light or car free change 177 17.91%
Not interested in becoming car light or car free 24 2.43%
Voters: 988. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-16-07, 11:17 AM   #26
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Never got a driver's license. Car and motorcycle free for 47 years. Views have not really changed much. Was against smog 30 years ago, am still opposed to both creating smog, and, nowadays, any traveling that helps increase global warming.
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Old 11-27-07, 05:21 PM   #27
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It's been about two years now. I went car free for environmental and social reasons (ie, didn't really need one where I live). I don't miss it, frankly!
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Old 12-06-07, 07:58 PM   #28
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Coming up on two years now.
My "good" bike, my "beater" bike, and a Burley Nomad.

I don't even really think about it too much, anymore. It's just the way I get around.
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Old 12-07-07, 10:57 AM   #29
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wow quite a nice cross-section in here. No wonder we have some interesting conversations!

I am car-lite for about 4 years. been "commuting" (work, school) by bike since i was like 7, but very car-centric otherwise.

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Old 12-10-07, 03:56 AM   #30
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I only use my car to drive home from college and to the bowling alley... I have to fill my tank every four months or so. I love it.
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Old 12-10-07, 02:35 PM   #31
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Well I've just turned 35 and never owned a car. Never really wanted to either. My fiance drives but only to do shopping really as she commutes by train into the city.

She offered to drive me to work and pick me up about 3 years ago and I just gave her a puzzled look and said "Why, I've got a perfectly good bike for that job"
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Old 12-12-07, 11:38 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by billew View Post
I am fifty years old and never have had a drivers license. I got my first bike in 1963.
I thought it was funny when TSA at the airport gave me a hard time because my drivers license had expired over 2 years ago. I believe now I would be required to take the driving test again since it's been expired so long and you can't take the driving test without a car. I guess I will have to break down and get an ID from the DPS making me legally car free also, haha.
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Old 12-28-07, 01:23 PM   #33
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I've been car-free for I guess about 3 years now. It wasn't something that I intentionally set out to do; I just found that for me, owning a vehicle (a truck in my case) was just far more hassle and expense than it was worth here in Chicago.
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Old 12-29-07, 04:20 PM   #34
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I put "car light, less than one year", although right after I clicked the vote button, I wished I could've changed it to >5 years.

Any reasons would be mostly in terms of convenience.

One bit of attitude that's changed is that I'm much more willing to just park whatever we're driving in a reasonably accessible place and walk the rest of the way, especially in a busy, dense urban center with hardly any parking anyway. I'd rather walk ten blocks than spend the same amount of time crawling around narrow streets (especially in small town Europe) looking for nonexistent places to deposit the van.
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Old 01-12-08, 02:27 PM   #35
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Guys I'd just like to say thank you to you all. I have been thinking about getting rid of my car but I was so attached to the idea that everybody can't do without one I was afraid to take the last step. Thanks to finding this forum I now ride my bike to and from work every day and commute everywhere on two wheels. I plan to put my car on the market very soon.

Thank you
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Old 01-24-08, 07:50 AM   #36
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I've been commuting (and riding for fun) since ~1992. Since then I've owned 34 cars/motorcycles (which I drove the absolute heck out of), but I stopped driving in 2003. Seems I have a crazy lead foot which works out great for biking and gets me in lots of trouble for driving.

Living somewhere with a nice public transportation system is definitely a plus. I lived out in the country for a while and have to admit I grew weary having a 45 min commute just to get into the city limits each day.

No way I'd go back to driving now. Biking is too much fun. Sure I spend a lot of money buying new bikes or new parts, but nowhere near the amount I spent customizing my cars or paying insurance each month!
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Old 01-24-08, 12:39 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
I'm curious how long those of us here have been car light or car free. Have your views changed in that time?
I will have been Car-Free for 4 years on 05-27-08.

Having said that, I do use my S.O's vehicle one day/week, as I have to carry a heavy toolbox to the Charity where I repair kid's bikes (54 mile round trip). Also I use her vehicle to take our dogs to the vet, pick up dog food, etc., so I'll leave it to the 'jury' to decide whether I qualify for 'Car-Lite' or Car-Free'. :-)

Although I have several bikes, this has been the 'backbone' of my fleet for over 5 years, a single speed Schwinn with Airfree Tires, 2 lighting systems, fenders, rack, etc.

I also ride this one, frequently, too, a 3-speed, fixed gear, Motobecane:-
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Old 01-24-08, 12:53 PM   #38
wait... what?
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i can really appreciate the ideas of being car free and car lite. as for myself, though, it is simply not possible. i work for a wildland firefighting department in southern california with a 2 hour commute to work one way. once at work we are scheduled to be for a 3 day shift, often times more when days off are cancelled or you are stuck on duty because you're on a fire or out of county. it is not unusual to be at work for 10 days up to 21 days during peak fire season.

with that in mind, when i'm home i am making more of an attempt to use my bicycle as my primary means of transportation. let me tell you, i certainly feel better at night after riding around all day. i would certinly like to be less dependent upon having a car, but i simply do not want to live where i currently work or anywhere that we have stations. the areas i would like to live are too far from where we have stations. plus when the department sends us to training it can be in county, a nearby county, or up in northern california.

to those that manage a car free life: that is excellent. while i'll probably not be car free for many, many years, it is something i hope to one day be able to do.
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Old 01-26-08, 01:03 AM   #39
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It has been one official year of carfreedom for me. I didn't drive a single mile in a car in 2007. I've ridden every now and then. Even during this Christmas break, I refused to drive while in NoVA. It wasn't a goal I set out to accomplish either. I moved off campus in March to permanently live in Pcola during my remaining schooling.

Have my views changed? Definitely.
~Before, I wasn't conscious about the environment. I didn't care to think about oil and consumerism and all those fantastic topics we discuss on this forum. I was never truly aware of them. Now I read about this stuff daily.
~Before, I was studying biology because I liked how it all worked together. Now, I study Marine Biology with a conservation/ecology focus because I want to help preserve what little natural beauty is left.
~Before, I didn't mind eating whatever, whenever (I have a fast metabolism and am a rail). Now, I eat healthy, am almost fully vegetarian, and encourage others to treat their bodies correctly; even at a young age when some think it won't matter.

I also find myself choosing friends differently.

One thing that hasn't changed is my desire to travel, in any form, and wanderlust.
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Old 01-27-08, 07:06 PM   #40
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I've been car free for about 4 months now, my car broke down and I sold it. But that was my first car, and had it for about a year and a half. Other than that, I've pretty much used public transportation or walked about 6 years. I just bought a bike and want to start mountain bike riding because I've pretty much accepted that I'm in no rush to get a car. but when I really think about it, not having a car has more pros than cons for me personally. I get my exercise, in better shape, and I'm usually on time wherever I need to go because I have to make sure that I catch the bus on time. And another thing, I am saving so much money! I'm not even worried about getting a car now. I was able to get a nice bike because I'm not putting everything into gas, insurance and maintenance. Plus I get to read on the bus, and I'm used to it, so I don't mind.
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Old 01-28-08, 09:11 PM   #41
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I started a car-lite lifestyle when I started college. My alma mater is in a small New England town with a great walkable center and nearby commuter rail to Boston, so I didn't drive a car then. I was one of few cyclists on campus (besides the Japanese exchange students). Since graduating I've been living in downtown Durham where I bike or walk to work, the grocery store, several parks, bars, shops, etc. My girlfriend and I own a car, but it's seen less use since she started working closer to home. I'd sell it in a heartbeat, but she's not ready for that quite yet!
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Old 01-28-08, 09:14 PM   #42
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19 years this April and still happy.

My wife owns a car that I have access to in a dire emergency. I was totally car free 7 years before I met her.
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Old 02-02-08, 05:02 AM   #43
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Although I'm car-light for now, in the past I went car-free for 1 1/2 years. Now that I'm working on a 'bent - once I get that built, I want to go car free again. I just get to much shoulder and neck pain to ride my upright all the time.
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Old 02-04-08, 02:42 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by charly17201 View Post
Although I'm car-light for now, in the past I went car-free for 1 1/2 years. Now that I'm working on a 'bent - once I get that built, I want to go car free again. I just get to much shoulder and neck pain to ride my upright all the time.
Have you had the fit of your DF bike checked? Everybody should be able to ride a bike without pain or discomfort, provided the bike fits and they have gradually worked up to a given riding intensity.

Of course, if there's an underlying medical problem or a body mechanics issue, all bets are off and the 'bent might be a perfect solution.

"Think Outside the Cage"
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Old 02-08-08, 02:32 AM   #45
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I only use our cars for transporting my musical equipment to gigs (PA System, Amplifiers...heavy stuff). I ride everywhere else.

My wife drives to make sales calls on her job. She's not into biking.

Semepr Fi!
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Old 02-08-08, 04:31 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by prhey404 View Post
Plus I get to read on the bus, and I'm used to it, so I don't mind.
I must say that this has always been one of the appealing things about public transport for me. When I was studying psychology I used to do most of the reading I had to do for assigments & etc while travelling on the train.
OMNIPOTENS aeterne Deus, qui nos secundum imaginem Tuam plasmasti, et omnia bona, vera, pulchra, praesertim in divina persona Unigeniti Filii Tui Domini nostri Iesu Christi, quaerere iussisti, praesta quaesumus ut, per intercessionem Sancti Isidori, Episcopi et Doctoris, in peregrinationibus per interrete factis et manus oculosque ad quae Tibi sunt placita intendamus et omnes quos convenimus cum caritate ac patientia accipiamus. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Last edited by Sianelle; 02-08-08 at 04:49 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-08-08, 04:47 AM   #47
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Last week we were w/o a car for 3 1/2 days. The car was under repair. I got everywhere on my bike. I mostly enjoyed my time being without a car. I rode everywhere.
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Old 02-08-08, 12:32 PM   #48
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My path to car freedom has taken about 7 years to materialize. In the beginning, I was your typical 295lbs couch potato. My definition of exercise was going upstairs from the rec room to get a new bag of chips and Coke.

After my divorce, the lights turned on. I then realized that I was on the path to a short life unless I changed things drastically. I dusted off my old Karhu cross-country skis and got moving (it was Winter in Montreal then). That following summer, I wondered one day what it would be like to bike to work. Not having had a bike of my own, I borrowed my daughter's MTB, walked over to a service station to inflate the tires and proceeded one Sunday afternoon to do the 6 or so miles (9 km) trek to the office and then back. Although I was sore all over, I figured I could pull off doing that trek at least once a week.

Well, to make a long story short, this year I bacame a full time cycling commuter, travelling around 25 miles morning and afternoon to and from work, five days a week. Last May, when the lease contract came to en end on my Kia Sorento SUV (yes, I admit it... I was a SUV owner on top of everything else) I turned the thing in...

I went from weighing 295lbs (32% body fat) to 205lbs today (20% body fat). When mid-November snow forced the bike into storage, I had pedalled 4,300 miles (6,875km ) in the year. Nowadays, I take the metro and bus to work, dreaming on one hand about more sunny cycling days ahead, and wondering if I should go the extra length and become a Winter cyclist...

All that at 50 years of age...

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Old 02-08-08, 12:41 PM   #49
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This year, my girlfriend got jealous of me cycling to work everyday. The problem is that she needs her car at work. Well, we came up with what we call our Fifty-Fifty:
1) We leave together with both bikes on the car's bike rack;
2) I drop her off at her favourite bike ride commute point. She then goes on to work from there, a 8 mile/12km bike ride);
3) I continue with the car and my bike to her office, where I leave the car for her to use during the day and continue on by bike to my office (12 miles/18km);
4) At the end of the day, she treks back to our rendez-vous point by bike;
5) I leave the office, bike over to her office and pick-up the car;
6) We meet up and return home or we go for a Latte somewhere along the way.

She likes doing that 2 or 3 times a week. It cuts back a little of my bike riding, but it does a lot for the love life.

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Old 02-09-08, 04:02 PM   #50
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I ride 10,000 per year here in the California desert. Summer afternoon temperatures here are above 100F from late May until late September. Totally car free. My last cars were a 1965 Vanden Plas Princess, 1966 Rover and a 1968 Jaguar XKE. Cars are a form of obsolete machinery. They make you physically and morally weak. I tell people that they run on dead babies. You don't see the dead babies and you aren't required to harvest them yourself. But trust me, the oil companies and politicians harvest them for you.
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