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  1. #1
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    Why are you care free (or car light)?

    I am currently writing a report for a grade 12 Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology course one the effects that the diminishing oil supply will have on our society. One of the aspects I am focusing on is the use of petroleum as a means of transportation. I am trying to get some first hand insight into why people go car free or light. Personally I am 98% car free, and I know standard reasons why one should go car free, but I am looking for the particular reasons why YOU went car free.

    Basically what I am looking for is the following,

    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?
    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?
    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?
    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)
    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.

    You many answer all or any of these questions If there is interest I can post the final report that this information will contribute to here after it is done.

    Thank you very much, your help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    ... thelung's Avatar
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    Im not care free!

    1. All the forms of pollution generated by automobiles and the industries that produce them, fuel them, and pave vast tracts of the planet so that motor vehicles have smooth hard surfaces to speed across. I don't want to be part of that, even though I know i am not making a difference.

    2. I respect wildlife, so i hate roadkill. That alone is reason enough for me to not drive. I don't want to rely on traveling in an giant machine just to get by. I hate roads. I hate the way towns and cities are designed to make things easy for cars instead of for people. Lets get serious, a sustainable future means moving away from unsustainable technology (obviously) which means moving away from using cars asap. I am poor and don't want to waste money on a car, and I don't want to work more just to pay for a car that I don't even really need.

    3. Living in a community designed for cars not for people. People who would rather run me off the road than slow down for 10 seconds. My own ideas about travel and bad weather have had to change too.

    4. "Thats great but I could never do it." or "You're crazy" are the most common ones.

    5. They aren't looking for alternative transportation because nobody gives a ****. The majority of people are unconscious of things outside their daily experience and their self-centered advertisement-driven desires. The mainstream wont care about the precarious state of this oil-based civilization or the climate and ecological problems that are going on in the world right now until their televisions shut off because there is no electricity, Super Wal-mart runs out of food, or Exxon's pumps run empty.
    Last edited by thelung; 12-16-07 at 01:37 PM.

  3. #3
    Banned zelah's Avatar
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    1. I started learning how to drive on my 15th birthday after leaving the dmv with my learners permit. I didn't like it at all, I've never been behind the wheel since. I'm 21 now, and I have no intention of ever driving.

    2. I started riding bikes, re-discovered how fun they are. I realized that it was completely possible to be an adult and not drive at the same time. Along with that came the knowledge of the insane amount of money it took to buy, operate, and maintain a car.

    3. I grew up in the same place thelung did so all of those factors apply for me. There weren't really any other obstacles though, my friends and family were all either supportive or unaffected by my decisions

    4. "When are you going to start being an adult?" was one that stuck with me. The person who said it was sitting behind the wheel of her parents BMW suv. She's also person who told me that God put animals on earth for us to eat, and that it was a sin not to. That prompted my move to vegetarianism, I guess I should thank her one day. Other than that the response is generally, again, either supportive or unaffected.

    5. In middle america overweight baby boomer mentality, bikes are toys. They're toys for children and they're toys for the athletic rich. Bikes are not seen as a viable mode of transportation, you're exposed to the elements, they're "slow", and most importantly they are powered by your own body. We all know how well American's take care of their bodies.

  4. #4
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?
    I was car light for a good number of years and would often take public transit or ride my bike to reach my destinations and over time more and more of traveling and errands could be accomplished by using my bike. I became car free in May of 2007 and although there is still a family car, I do not drive it, and at this time do not even hold a valid driver's license.

    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?
    I felt that going car free was an environmentally responsible thing to do, would be very good for my health, and that I might set an example for my children in showing them we do not have depend on motor vehicles for transportation.

    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?
    I had very few obstacles although did have some issues at work when I told them I would be using my bike for making all of my daily calls... they thought that it would be inefficient until I proved that I could get around the city as efficiently as those people who used their cars to do the same thing. In many cases I could get around faster than those who were driving cars.

    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)
    I receive many reactions from people who find out that I do not drive a car; some ask if I have had a D.U.I. (no), and many thought that when winter hit I would have to resort to driving or taking public transportation but will be riding through our winter (a Canadian one) and will still not have a need for a car.

    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.
    In North America cycling has been seen as recreational rather than utilitarian in purpose as it is in so many other parts of the world although this perception is changing, albeit slowly, as more and more people are discovering that a bicycle can be used in place of a motor vehicle in a high percentage of circumstances and that they can be used in even the most severe weather.

  5. #5
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?

    The desire for physical activity

    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?

    Peak oil, climate change, saving money

    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?

    Unsafe / rude drivers

    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)

    Overwhelmingly positive

    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.

    Laziness, ignorance, self-doubt, poor physical condition, fear (well-founded or imagined), "we don't do that here in Amerika" etc

  6. #6
    Senior Member Marrock's Avatar
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    I blew up my van one day and found out later my license was expired anyway, so a friend gave me an old bike he had in his garage.

    After I got my license sorted out I kept riding and don't give much thought to getting another car any time soon.
    "Engineering! It's like math, but louder."

  7. #7
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?
    I'm car-light. I can't even say that it was a conscious decision. It's a byproduct of living within walking distance of work and living in a city with lots of public transportation.

    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?
    Nope.

    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?
    Before I moved here, the greatest obstacle to even going car-light was the simple fact that I couldn't get to where I needed to go without a car. The greatest obstacle preventing me from going whole-hog car-free is that I still need the car sometimes, whether to carry stuff or to travel cross-country.

    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)
    Nobody seems to care.. lol

    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.
    Because so many people have put themselves into situations and locales where they actually need a car to get stuff done. And, so much civil planning (zoning, etc) has created areas under the assumption that most people are able to drive, so they didn't take walking, biking, or sometimes even public transportation into account. I know of people who commute 50 miles each way (yikes!), and I've lived in places that barely even have a bus system. We've built our society around cars, so there are many people & locations that need cars.
    Last edited by BarracksSi; 12-16-07 at 02:30 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by my.ark.4 View Post
    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?
    Several reasons.
    For one, i'm pushing to get people out of cars, because they're dangerous and waste so much land and trap people in dysfunctional car-only geography with poor community. I can't be an effective advocate for public transit if I drive everywhere.
    Two, I know one too many people who have died, almost died, or killed someone else with a car. I just don't want to be a part of anything that dangerous; i'd feel safer joining the military.
    Three, i've studied oil peak as part of my Masters degree in transportation. The fact that the oil is going to run dry soon is quite obvious, and I have a lot of family who lives in exceedingly remote places. They all feel that a car is utterly necessary no matter where they are. I'd like them to recognize that there are other options so they don't just despair as the gas prices start shooting up out of their price range.

    Culturally, I think of my family and tribe first, and myself second. If the people in my family don't recognize options, that's a problem, so I need to pave the way.
    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?
    Not really, no.
    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?
    Climate and budget. It costs money to get all of the cycling clothes and lights and so on to be able to ride in 0F, windy weather at night. Also, I needed to change the gearing on the bike I had access to to be able to deal with the steep hills.
    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)
    'Wow, you must be in amazing shape, I could never do that!' (said by a 120# woman who exercizes regularly to me, a 260# Clyde coming off of a year and a half of sedentary academia)
    'Do you need a ride? I can give you a ride..' (said by someone looking at me with mixed worry and pity on a day when the weather was as cold as 45F, having completely discounted my comment that I have access to a car and can use it if the weather makes it necessary)
    People tend to find one of my reasons that gels with their beliefs, and obsess over it. A woman in the health department tells everyone I ride for my health, someone else tells everyone how wonderful I am for my anti-war advocacy (Cars are the reason we have ribbons on them) and so on.
    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.
    Because people assume that it is either impossible or that it will damage their status. It is not seen as a serious option, and people are unaware of the measures that can be taken to make it a good transportation system. Buses and walking generally aren't considered as serious options by many people, either. I'm still trying to inform people that a bus system EXISTS in my community.
    Also, the costs of driving are segregated in peoples' minds in several ways. The registration, insurance, etc. are in the 'bill paying' area. None of them individually may seem unreasonable, and it does not occur to anyone that they are connected. Repairs and maintenance are erratic and seen as 'emergencies', separate from bills. Gas prices are complained about, but they have that 'boiling frogs' effect to them and are categorized as yet another separate expense. People generally have a rather major epiphany when I actually make them connect the dots of all those different costs and associate them all as one thing. Especially if they've been complaining about not being able to afford to feed their family - it's patently absurd to be more worried about feeding your car than your children. But then they still have trouble grasping that there is any other alternatives to using their car for everything.

  9. #9
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light? after the war in Iraq started, I looked for ways to reduce my personal use of petroleum products. Eventually, I discovered the bicycle -- which was a lot of fun, too. Basically, Iraq seemd like an oil war and for most of the travelling I did, a car was overkill.
    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?
    The winter doesnt help much. 150 million cars doesn't help either
    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)
    Some thought it was a very good idea. Others wondered if I had finally tripped the wrong switch.
    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.
    Lack of imagination.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    I'm car-light, not car-free, but my car use now is much less than it was a few years ago and I'm looking for ways to cut back even farther.

    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?
    Three factors all played a role in my decision to go car light. First, I needed to lose a bit of weight and get into shape and I wanted to start by walking. Second, I didn't want to spend money on fuel, especially since prices kept on rising. Third, I rediscovered how much I love walking and cycling. All three played a role in getting me to go car-light but the joy of walking and cycling is what keeps me motivated today.

    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?
    I want to live simply and going car-light is part of the way I can do that. I also want to do what I can to treat the environment responsibly. Cutting my dependence on fossil fuels is one way to achieve that goal.

    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?
    I need a reliable car for my work. Some of my assignments are too far for me to be able to attend without a car. Also, I live in a small town in B.C. without any real transportation alternatives. Even if I didn't need a car for work, I'd have to get to Kelowna or Penticton from time to time. In winter especially, the ride to Penticton would be difficult and the ride to Kelowna would be prohibitive. We don't have a proper regional transit although efforts are being made in this area.

    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)
    Most of the responses have been positive. A few people have started cycling because of my example. There are some who don't understand why I'll ride, but they are still in awe, especially when I cycle to an event in subfreezing temperatures in winter. A number of people are concerned about my safety and they'll discuss these issues with me.

    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.
    Driving has been equated with freedom and convenience; cycling and walking do not have this image.
    In some communities (although not so much in B.C.) adult cyclists are seen as irresponsible people who have lost their licenses because of impaired driving convictions.
    Life is good.

  11. #11
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    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?


    I like to ride my bicycle

    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?


    lost only car in my divorce

    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?


    uhh none really one day I had a car the next I didnt

    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)


    neither nobody really cares

    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.

    lol people are fat lazy materialist who need exspensive things to feel important . oh and they have cars

  12. #12
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    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?
    There is no single factor deciding that I should go car free/light. I never had a car. I simply don't need it.

    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?
    Again, never had a contributing factor. I never needed a car to get around.

    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?
    None, every location (banks, post office, library, shops, markets) I need to go are within walking/biking distance.

    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)?
    None really, everyone walks around here, they understand if you choose to bike. I choose to bike because it is faster than walking.

    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis?

    Ignorance and life style choices, simply as that. Until it seriously starts to bite people in the ass, they are not going to change.


    I think of the road as a public facility like a public swimming pool, if the swimming pool is full of people, would you still want to swim? You have to if it's open in the only time available for you to do so, unless you had alternatives available such as your own swimming pool.

    The alternative to a car is a bike, train, mass transit, or walking. I'm not anti-car in anyway, the practicality of a car is unfeasible giving the alternatives to me are more attractive, especially when sometimes walking was faster than driving.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Kimmitt's Avatar
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    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?

    Car light -- I get tremendous pleasure out of riding, so once I was in a situation where I could commute by bicycle, I made the full switchover.

    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?


    Physical fitness, parking expense, gas expense, discount on auto insurance, a sense of being part of the urban ebb and flow.

    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?

    Poor health, the difficulty of carrying the occasional adult passenger.

    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)

    Generally highly positive. Teenagers are the only ones confused.

    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.

    Adults are generally unaware of the existence of bicycles which can be used to take care of life's needs -- even a simple rack/basket system elicits real amazement from some of my peers. Ever since I got a foot-forward style of bike, I've had a lot of interest from people who say they put away bicycling as they got older and their balance and knees started to give.

  14. #14
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?

    Money.

    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?

    Grew tired and bored of passing Mustangs with mom's old sedan.

    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?

    Wal-Mart bicycle from hell. Bought an rusty old Western Flyer for $25 and I was free!

    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)

    It's always been hard to get a ride in these parts.

    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.

    Two words: Sub Urban!

    Quote Originally Posted by From the OP...
    You many answer all or any of these questions If there is interest I can post the final report that this information will contribute to here after it is done.
    It's toll-free, mac. go for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by you finished with:
    Thank you very much, your help is greatly appreciated.
    It was dirt cheap too
    Last edited by Rollfast; 12-17-07 at 03:48 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
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  15. #15
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?
    I don't need a car... (part 1)

    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?
    ...often enough to justify costs of ownership. (part 2)

    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?
    No obstacles. I've never owned a car in my life, so there wasn't much "becoming" involved.

    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)
    It's not something that gets a lot of comments around here. What little I've heard has been positive. I know quite a few car free/light people.

    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.
    Is it? Maybe in some parts of the world. But I don't think I personally know anyone who doesn't have a rideable bike in the household. How much they ride is another question, but it's certainly not an "uncommon" mode of transportation here.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  16. #16
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by my.ark.4 View Post
    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?
    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?
    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?
    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)
    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.
    cool project beers to you even tho you're underage

    1) grew up on the bike as a kid. Continued to use the bike as transportation through school as it was easiest (on-campus dorm, parking like a mile away). I tried the commuting by car for a few months & got tired, fat, and missed biking. So I ride for fitness & fun, primarily.
    2) save a lttle money. I am addicted to machinery. Weird but true. I had a car addiction which was VERY expensive. Managed to kick the car habit & replace it with bike habit. I can focus my gearhead tendancies on it.
    3) streets not designed as multi-use. Drivers not used to cyclists. It is dangerous. I use a lot of lights & carry life insurance
    4) occasional "get off the road!" & donation of beer bottles from cagers. general response is awe & disbelief - average person thinks I'm crazy.
    5) inertia. Society & infrastructure has been built around personal car use in the U.S for a CENTURY. That's 4+ generations. it will not change rapidly. awareness of alternate transportation has risen due to hi energy cost & pollution concern, however.
    beer-bottle target

  17. #17
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I'm 54. I have been car-free and car-light all my life. It's varied back and forth as circumstances changed.

    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?
    It wasn't a decision really. I grew up riding to school and riding to do my errands, see friends, get to my job ect. When I moved out on my own, I had not yet bought a car.

    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?
    A streak of masochism, stinginess, southern california climate.

    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?
    Dating. That was one obstacle that I could not surmount without a car.

    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)
    Yes. My father was inspired to bicycle commuting by my being car-free. But years later he recommended that I buy a motorcycle rather than bicycle commute. Which is strange considering his reaction when I did own a motorcycle. Other than that I have been humored and people tried to get me to stop. My ex wife really pushed me to get a car at one point. That was till I had her do the math and she realized that my bicycle commuting was the only thing keeping us in the black. One boss was doubtful about my ability to make it to work. There were 4 workers in my department. 2 rode bikes from about 9-10 miles away and two drove from under a mile away. After the morning that the two bicyclists from far away made it and neither driver made it in, the boss never commented again.

    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.
    It takes effort to get somewhere. You are exposed to the elements. Traffic is scary. The car gives you the illusion of being comfortable and protected. Its speed and solitude are very comforting and convenient.

  18. #18
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    My reply

    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?
    I've always been car-free, primarily for environmental reasons. I seek to minimize my contribution to air pollution (I grew up in L.A.) and to global warming.

    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?
    Desire to save money, desire to maintain good health (through the exercise of cycling).

    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?
    I've always been car-free, but sometimes I wish I had a car when I need to move from one residence to another.

    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)
    Slight shock by people who don't know me well, but generally speaking, disinterest.

    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.
    Primary reason: cars are considerably more comfortable than bikes, especially in adverse weather. Cars are also faster than bikes, and can transport more items than bikes. Most people, alas, care little about the energy crisis, putting their own interest above that of future generations.

  19. #19
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    I am car free for now, I live at home with my mom while I go to college and I bike everywhere, except when I go grocery shopping for the fam.

    1. I went car free because my work was 4 miles from my house and the hours I worked payed for my gas to get there. Not much fun when your hardly making money.

    2. I could not do cardio that much, broke both hips at age 15 and ever since anything with impact would make them sore, to where it hurt to walk.

    3. I asked for a bike for my birthday and started biking everywhere, I got it for carddio reasons but blew up into an obsession where I hate to be driven and love to bike everywhere.

    4. I save so much money that working part time and paying $300 a month for tuition and books I have $1000 saved up in 3 months.
    Life is short, focus on the things that do matter in life and don't forget the rest.

  20. #20
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    I forgot one thing, as you can see earlier in time obesity was not a problem. You had to work for your food and house. There was no need to really excercise that much because you did it during your job. I believe since those stresses have dissapeared that you have to create those stresses to keep healthy and live a long life.
    Life is short, focus on the things that do matter in life and don't forget the rest.

  21. #21
    Dubito ergo sum. patc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by my.ark.4 View Post
    I am currently writing a report for a grade 12 Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology course one the effects that the diminishing oil supply will have on our society.
    I'm not sure what value an Internet survey can have, particularly since you don't ask for location (your profile states you're in Toronto, but most of the users of this forum are American).


    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?

    I didn't. I've never had a car, and grew up without one (I'm 36 now). When everyone else was getting a car, I thought the whole car this was stupid. I've refined that opinion since, but it still basically holds.

    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?

    Doesn't really apply.

    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?

    Doesn't really apply.

    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)

    About 3/4 of the people I know are also car-free, though not always with any political motive. Its a non-issue most of the time.

    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.

    Mostly because people are fat, lazy, and poorly organized. In addition there is a mis-perception that cycling is dangerous and slower than car use (in fact, in urban centres it is often faster). Finally, most people live in denial - they thing that "science" or "the government" will invent a perpetual motion machine, and this whole energy crisis thing will go away.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by patc View Post
    I'm not sure what value an Internet survey can have, particularly since you don't ask for location (your profile states you're in Toronto, but most of the users of this forum are American).
    I'm mainly using this as a source for the social/psychological reasons why people are so dependent on cars. I'm supplementing it with other statistics to show how many, and what type of people rely on cars, but there is very little out there about the personal reasons people can or cannot live without a car. Geography matters less with this type of information because I have taken the broad cross section of people on this board to be representative of car free people all over the continent.

    But I will agree with you, the survey here is far from scientific.

  23. #23
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    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?

    the reality of Climate Change and our collective impact on the biosphere

    I aim to "be the change you want to see in the world"

    and the best way to do this is to "Walk the Talk"

    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?

    to save money was certaintly another factor

    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?

    luckily i work where i live, in a nursery, so the obstactles were few.. I have had a car most of this year, although it has rarely been used

    one of the obstacles was the isolation factor, living in a small country town, although I can cycle to most of the national parks around my place and it just requires a different outlook on where i want to explore and how i go about it

    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)

    I haven't really had a lot of responses to be honest, i think conservative people would be a little confused ... as in this society we are so geared towards the cars and the girls and the material ... yet amongst conscoius/ environmental circles it is a respected lifestyle, albeit quite a rare one still

    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious energy crisis.

    because we are addicted to oil ... simple

    it is so cheap still, and so convenient to just hop in a machine that can take you hundreds of kilometres in a few hours

    I think it will become more common and eventually

  24. #24
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    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?
    Car light - I really enjoy biking
    2. Were there any other contributing factors that encouraged you to go car free/light (if so, please state)?
    fitness (I started biking more to train to pilot a human-powered submarine!), saving money, really disliking driving, reducing my consumption, global warming/oil dependence/environmentalism, and feeling more connected to my surroundings as I travel through them
    3. What was the greatest obstacle preventing you from becoming car free/light?
    My work is across the Mississippi River and the only bridges are car-only. Ferries are annoying and breakdown often here. Also, my friends and coworkers always use cars and I sometimes have to use a car with them.
    4. What response have others had towards your choice (positive and/or negative)
    "Thats crazy/amazing" "Do you want a ride?" "I wish I could do that" "thats so dangerous" "I couldn't stand being out in the weather"
    5. In your opinion, why is cycling, as a mode of transportation, still so uncommon in the face of a serious
    There are many misconceptions about cycling as transportation that become obvious through the responses of those around you to your lifestyle. Also, most people don't care enough to put forth any effort to better themselves and the world around them.

  25. #25
    Bikes are good El Julioso's Avatar
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    1. What was the greatest factor that made you decide to go car free/light?

    I am car free. I look around me and see that the vast majority of people go about their lives doing what they have been conditioned to do. They do what they do for the simple reason that they know no better. They don't bother to actually think about whether what they do is what they should do (because they generally equate "what one should do" with "what most others do"), and I see this as wrong. I actually think for myself and evaluate actions critically, and I have come to the conclusion that cars simply aren't necessary.

    2. There were many other factors as well:
    - Since I argue that cars are unnecessary, I would be a hypocrite were I to own one.
    - Cars pollute, causing unwanted and potentially dangerous climate change, respiratory issues for many, and reduced quality of life.
    - Oil dependence causes wars.
    - Oil is a non-renewable resource, meaning that driving an oil-powered car is not a sustainable practice
    - Leading a life of hypocrisy, depleting the oil supply and polluting the planet would not be a very nice legacy to leave for my children.
    - I love riding/working on bicycles, both for fun and fitness.

    3. Societal infrastructure in Canada has been, for the most part, constructed assuming that most everyone has a car. As such, essential services are far apart, public transportation is shoddy, bicycle parking is infrequent, and so on. Many others think I'm crazy for not owning a car/having no intention of ever owning one, but I really don't care.

    4. Responses have been varied:
    - Some ascribe my opinions to madness, saying "you're insane"; it makes their clinging to cars much easier to justify when they label those who do fine without cars as nutbars.
    - Some have a great deal of respect for someone who can live as I do, but consider themselves too weak/lazy to live likewise.
    - Some DO live as I do, and give me a high-five.

    5. People are conditioned to do what they're told/what others do, because those above them in the hierarchy of society would lose power over them were everyone to instead think for themselves. People have not felt the pressure to change (e.g. from the media, which is still very car-centric), so most do not. Those who think for themselves (again, the minority) can and do change without immediate pressure to do so, but the rest cannot.

    Also, recumbent bikes are not yet mainstream. A lot of people avoid bicycles because of comfort and ergonomic issues which would be solved by recumbents.

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