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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 10-04-12, 11:27 PM   #551
Bluish Green
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I am officially Car Lite now. We donated our old car to charity. We still have one car, a small Toyota hatchback, which my wife drives and carts kids around with. I have made the commitment to 100% bicycle commuting. It's quite a leap, but exciting.

My doctor and family won't let me go back to being a car commuter. Since starting bicycle commuting, I have lost 40 pounds and controlled my blood pressure and cholesterol.

Besides the health benefits, what I like best are lower car insurance payments and not giving a damn what the price of gas is.
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Old 10-05-12, 04:40 PM   #552
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I am officially Car Lite now. We donated our old car to charity. We still have one car, a small Toyota hatchback, which my wife drives and carts kids around with. I have made the commitment to 100% bicycle commuting. It's quite a leap, but exciting.

My doctor and family won't let me go back to being a car commuter. Since starting bicycle commuting, I have lost 40 pounds and controlled my blood pressure and cholesterol.

Besides the health benefits, what I like best are lower car insurance payments and not giving a damn what the price of gas is.
Welcome to the Car-Free/Car-Lite side of life and congratulations !
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Old 10-05-12, 04:47 PM   #553
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And to boot the buses stop running @10pm even on FRI/SAT!
Don't feel bad, if I don't catch the 8 pm bus out of the Little Rock transit center, I have to ride or walk.
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Old 10-09-12, 07:18 AM   #554
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I've been car light for six or seven years now and it's almost all to the good. I only use my car once every six weeks or so. The only downside is that as my 98 Subaru gets older its gets cranky about being left alone and harder to start when I do need it.
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Old 10-22-12, 03:13 AM   #555
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I have read most these posts. I am amazed at those that made it to Car Free!
Car Lite for me. I have attempted at not getting in the car on and off for three years now. I suppose nothing is impossible, but car free sadly seems impossible currently in my life. Aging folks live on other side of state. Sons live an hour away, we live outside the city in cold 1/2 the year MI...blah blah blah. SO I attempt now to drive only one to two days a week. This winter I am giving it a real attempt to keep riding. I have found my spot in the world become a tiny dot if I do not drive. But on the 8th day of the week I hope to be car free
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Old 10-22-12, 09:22 AM   #556
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I have read most these posts. I am amazed at those that made it to Car Free!
Car Lite for me. I have attempted at not getting in the car on and off for three years now. I suppose nothing is impossible, but car free sadly seems impossible currently in my life. Aging folks live on other side of state. Sons live an hour away, we live outside the city in cold 1/2 the year MI...blah blah blah. SO I attempt now to drive only one to two days a week. This winter I am giving it a real attempt to keep riding. I have found my spot in the world become a tiny dot if I do not drive. But on the 8th day of the week I hope to be car free
Welcome to a fellow Michigander! I'm in Lansing. I'm technically carlight also, since somebody in my household does have a car. I haven't owned a car for years.

It's always nice to see somebody from the car state trying to be more carlight.

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Old 10-29-12, 02:37 AM   #557
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I am not sure if I am car Light, or Car Free. I do not have a Drivers License or own a car myself (medical reasons), but my wife does, and I do ride in her car sometimes (mostly to the VA Clinic, which is 45 miles away). I ride my bicycles when I need to go somewhere. I even have a trailer for groceries, fishing and camping gear, inflatable kayaks, etc....Does that make me personally Car Free, or Car Light?

This may be a little off-topic, but just out of curiosity, does anyone know why I have to walk with a cane most of the time, but I can ride a bicycle just fine? The VA doctors don't have a good answer.

Last edited by Schwinnhund; 10-29-12 at 02:41 AM. Reason: Added material
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Old 11-04-12, 08:47 AM   #558
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I've taken the plunge. Eighteen months of commuting, shopping, etc, by bike convinced me I could. I realized that the number of times I drove or really needed to were so few it was not worth it.

I'm investing in a second bike. Building it myself in order to learn how they are put together. Think I'll get a trailer. It will make grocery shopping more convenient.

A friend who knew I was in the process of selling my car texted me and asked if I were car-less. I corrected her. Car-free.
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Old 11-09-12, 11:28 AM   #559
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I think the idea of being car-free is wonderful. At my age (20) I think I have a better chance of accomplishing it, but sadly for work I cannot (Realtor). Also, Michigan can get quite terrible in the Winter months.
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Old 11-16-12, 06:54 PM   #560
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I have owned many vehicles, and I decided if I want to reach my goal of being a pilot, something has to go, that being the expensive car, gas, and insurance costs, face it it will only get more expensive to own a car.I value having money in my pocket, and a plane rental runs about $200 an hour with instructor, so there is no room for the expense of a car, as flying is insanely expensive. I love the awesome physical shape I will be in and this greatly increases longevity.
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Old 11-26-12, 02:02 PM   #561
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I've been car-lite for over 4 years now and have not looked back since. In fact, I am very uninterested in vehicle ownership and the costs associated with maintaining and operating a vehicle. I still have a vehicle, I simply choose not to drive it. When the vehicle is all paid for I will likely get rid of it and use my Wife's vehicle if I have too.

Car-lite is so nice.
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Old 11-26-12, 06:43 PM   #562
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I've been car-lite for over 4 years now and have not looked back since. In fact, I am very uninterested in vehicle ownership and the costs associated with maintaining and operating a vehicle. I still have a vehicle, I simply choose not to drive it. When the vehicle is all paid for I will likely get rid of it and use my Wife's vehicle if I have too.

Car-lite is so nice.
Welcome to LCF. The one-car family is a great goal for you! Enjoy your rides!
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Old 01-17-13, 03:49 PM   #563
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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.
^^That was January 2008. It is now January 2013 - still car free myself and my wife still owns a car. I would call that "car light" except I only use her car when I am doing something for her.

Yes, still happy and CARe FREE!
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Old 01-19-13, 07:07 PM   #564
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I'm counting myself as car-light, and have been considering a move to car-free, in part because I um, might have a pending legal situation hanging over my head that may eventually make my totally paid for 1997 Civic more expensive than it now is to barely use.

I typically drive my car about once every two weeks for errands that aren't easy/feasible by bike here (our public transit is not great), or when going out of town (and when so doing, I, too, take a bike).

Both my housemates are car-free, but I think they get rides from other people more often than I use my car or get rides put together.
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Old 01-19-13, 07:15 PM   #565
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Welcome to the fourm thryn. I began my bicycle riding in Sarasota, and as a kid pedaled all over, up and down the Tamiami Trail, out to Siesta Key and more. People wonder why I'm fearless in traffic. Sarasota is a good size town to be car-lite/car-free in. Good luck to you.
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Old 01-19-13, 07:48 PM   #566
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I think the idea of being car-free is wonderful. At my age (20) I think I have a better chance of accomplishing it, but sadly for work I cannot (Realtor). Also, Michigan can get quite terrible in the Winter months.
What I do is to leave the car at work and commute on foot or by bike. Aside from occasional out-of-town trips, my driving is limited to work-related trips.
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Old 01-19-13, 08:59 PM   #567
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Welcome to the fourm thryn. I began my bicycle riding in Sarasota, and as a kid pedaled all over, up and down the Tamiami Trail, out to Siesta Key and more. People wonder why I'm fearless in traffic. Sarasota is a good size town to be car-lite/car-free in. Good luck to you.
Bolding mine, because bwahahahahaha yeah. It is a good town to ride in, though, when the snowbirds aren't trying to commit cyclistcide. I've actually been really fortunate so far on that front, but most of my regular-cyclist friends have gotten at least grazed. It helps that I stay off the main roads as much as possible.

Thanks!
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Old 01-20-13, 10:31 AM   #568
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Hi - I am car light - i sold my truck a year ago and we are a 1 car family. My wife is not ready to let go of a car yet.

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Old 03-05-13, 12:27 PM   #569
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Car light since I have four kids. Haven't figured out how to pull them all on my bike if I need to take them somewhere!

I have been car free or car light on and off for years. I love it! Seems like you miss out on so much that is going on around you zipping around in a car.
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Old 03-07-13, 02:19 PM   #570
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I live in Norther Maine and have been car free since January 2010 Biggest reason I did was because I have type 1 Diabetes and biking keeps me in a good healthy state, well alongside a pretty strict diet! It's nice to see that so many people here bike as much as I do! Here were I live I'm the only one around who still bikes once the snow hits the ground.
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Old 03-07-13, 02:38 PM   #571
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That's outstanding.

I'm going to sell my car in the next few months. My wife will keep hers. We'll see how that goes.
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Old 03-07-13, 02:55 PM   #572
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That's outstanding.

I'm going to sell my car in the next few months. My wife will keep hers. We'll see how that goes.
Cool! What are you going to commute with?
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Old 03-14-13, 01:03 AM   #573
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I've never owned a car. BUT I live in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, so it was never an issue. Bike infrastructure in this city is actually considered to be sub par, compared to cities like Groningen. I do have various bikes for different functions: a cargo bike for hauling our bakery supplies, A koga miyata world traveller for recreational cycling and for travel to places around Rotterdam (60 km maximum) I use a Versatile/Orca velomobile built by flevobike. Longer distance travel I do by train. Because Rotterdam is on the high speed line to Paris, we're within commuting distance: 2.5 hours, near enough for daytrips. Oddly it now takes me longer to travel to the north of the Netherlands than it takes to reach Paris. We bike all year round, but we don't have much snow, because we're on the North Sea. Contrary to popular belief, biking in the Netherlands is not "easier" because it is "all flat". Dutch head winds are "a mountain" in their own right.

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Old 03-14-13, 08:14 AM   #574
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Cool! What are you going to commute with?
Well, it's easy in my case. We're moving into Manhattan. I'm also searching for a job, and chances are, I should be able to land one in Manhattan. If you live in Manhattan and are sane, you avoid driving at all costs. A car is a liability more than an asset. I grew up there, and we didn't have a car in the family. I didn't learn to drive until I was 20 years old and had moved out of the city. I'll have bikes and subways and my feet to get me around.
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Old 03-18-13, 04:55 AM   #575
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I'm somewhere between prospective and car-lite.

I tried biking to work a few times at 17 - 18. I was amazed at how easy it was to cover distances by bike, even in the rural towns I grew up in. I tried to continue cycling in college, but my bike's destruction by vandals in 2006 put a stop to this. I didn't have money for a new bike at the time (though I did find cash for my $450/year university parking permit, and cash to buy a car for $7,500 in 2007). I wasn't to bike again until 2011.

Last summer, I bought another hybrid bike. I rode around exploring our parks and greenway trails. As winter moved in, my pleasant cycling evenings were cut short. To maximize my use of daylight, I decided to try biking to work. I first rode to work in September. In November and December, my old 2002 car started experiencing multiple issues with the fuel pump and factory security sensors. I was left stranded several times, lost the use of my car for about 2 complete weeks, and ultimately had to spend over $1,000 in parts, labor and towing fees. This taught me about the local bus system and carpooling, and strengthened my resolve to commute by bike.

Today, I bike to work between 1 - 3 days per week. I've purchased a Dutch-style city bike.. I have dyno lights that allow me to bike after dark.. I own 2 large grocery panniers that can help me transport even a 30-pack of beer home.. and I own some simple winter gear that keeps me comfortable in temps down to about 15F.. I own an Ortlieb briefcase.. I slowly but surely am adding to my rain gear, and should have a complete set soon.

I still use my car, but often for frivolous or unnecessary reasons. Sometimes I oversleep. Sometimes it's raining, and I'm not ready 1.5hours before work in order to catch the bus. Last month, I had to take my computer in for repair.. and had to drive it 0.25 miles since the tower didn't fit in a grocery pannier.

I'm hopeful that with continued smart investment in my gear, improving weather and the advice I read here, I'll be ready to lose the car the next time it has mechanical problems.
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