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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.

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Old 12-20-07, 09:13 PM   #1
MIN 
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Are you a hippie?

No seriously. I'm facinated by the thought of being carless but I can't ever do that with my corporate office job.
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Old 12-20-07, 09:28 PM   #2
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you know what thought did ?

thought thought he fart but she shat herself



seriously though

your post has outlined a limiting decision that only you can change

... am i a hippy ?

nahh, i'm just made of earth
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Old 12-20-07, 10:30 PM   #3
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I'm facinated by the thought of being carless but I can't ever do that with my corporate office job.
Stick around here a while and maybe you'll get an idea or two that would work in your situation. Even if you can't manage to completely liberate yourself from a personal motor vehicle, you can reduce your car dependence.

For example, it might possibly be useful for a corporate road warrior to know how to get around in big cities on the local subways, light rail, buses, etc. That would go double if you are an international traveller. That's just an example of something you could do and maybe not even the best one.
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Old 12-20-07, 10:35 PM   #4
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Sure I see what you are saying, but I'm not in a particularly metropolitan area and I realistically can't ride my bike to work with my dress code. I try to every casual fridays, but especially when considering the "blustery" weather here, I just have to drive. Public transport is not very likely for my with my commute.
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Old 12-20-07, 10:43 PM   #5
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definatly not a hippy I much enjoy bathing with soap, I cannot play a guitar, I don't to drugs, I don't sing at campfires, and I don't love people I don't know.
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Old 12-20-07, 10:44 PM   #6
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Sure I see what you are saying, but I'm not in a particularly metropolitan area and I realistically can't ride my bike to work with my dress code. I try to every casual fridays, but especially when considering the "blustery" weather here, I just have to drive. Public transport is not very likely for my with my commute.
Stick around anyway. Corporate jobs aren't forever and even major life choices can be revised from time to time. If you have a good understanding of car free living, you'll be better prepared to make the appropriate choices if & when the opportunity arises.
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Old 12-20-07, 11:11 PM   #7
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I'm not a hippie.

Why not take it one car trip at at time? Can you reduce your usage? Any chance of driving in clothes once or twice a week so you could bike commute a little more often? What else do you use your car for and can any of those be done by bike instead? Saving money on gas is never a bad thing.
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Old 12-20-07, 11:15 PM   #8
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I try very hard not to drive when possible. At the same time, cycling has always been a fitness/recreational activity to me versus transportation. It's quite difficult, I have found out, to coordinate the logistics of bike travel (weather, change of clothes, bike upkeep) when you depend on it several times per week.
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Old 12-20-07, 11:28 PM   #9
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Depends on our definition of hippy
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Old 12-20-07, 11:31 PM   #10
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All you Eugene hippies are the same! (says a duck.)
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Old 12-20-07, 11:52 PM   #11
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I try very hard not to drive when possible. At the same time, cycling has always been a fitness/recreational activity to me versus transportation. It's quite difficult, I have found out, to coordinate the logistics of bike travel (weather, change of clothes, bike upkeep) when you depend on it several times per week.
Not too difficult. It does require some changes to your thinking, it's true. You've got some really elegant bikes, but they don't seem to be well equipped for an Oregon rainy season. So, one thing at a time. Why don't you start with getting yourself and inexpensive but solid bad weather bike? I think you'll find it easier to deal with the logistics when you have a well-equipped bike.

Also, try to see if you can make it to the Towards Carfree Cities conference. This is the first time it will be held in North America. Car-free folks in Portland are friendly, and truly, we can't be car-free or even car-light very easily without community.
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Old 12-21-07, 12:00 AM   #12
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How many miles a week would you need to ride? Over the west hills? None of the bikes on your velospace page are appropriate for year-round plainclothes transportation. Doesn't the fact that biking has been your recreational thing make you more, rather than less ready to take it to the next level?

I've held corporate jobs for years, some 6-figure, riding over 100 miles a week year round, never owning a car and seldom taking transit. Not a hippy, but hippy-friendly. (Now I own a bike shop here in PDX. We carry nothing without fenders, rack, lights.)
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Old 12-21-07, 12:57 AM   #13
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tfahrner, which bike shop?

The new Poprad I have is my "bad weather bike". It's got fenders on and I ride rain or shine on the weekends. It's not a matter of fitness... I'm fast and I ride 150 miles per week. It's just hard even from the perspective of social circles - I work with many overweight office people and I am somewhat of an anomaly.
Like I said, I commute on Fridays when possible but on other days, with my dress requirements, it's tough.

Beyond that, say I need some friggen groceries from costco, what the hell do I do? It require MAJOR life changes and consumer-behavior changes to adapt into a car-free life. You know, I'd love to have a custom Ira Ryan porter bike with a nice grocery-go-getter rack, but I can't be bother with the wait time.
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Old 12-21-07, 01:07 AM   #14
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tfahrner, which bike shop?

The new Poprad I have is my "bad weather bike". It's got fenders on and I ride rain or shine on the weekends. It's not a matter of fitness... I'm fast and I ride 150 miles per week. It's just hard even from the perspective of social circles - I work with many overweight office people and I am somewhat of an anomaly.
Like I said, I commute on Fridays when possible but on other days, with my dress requirements, it's tough.

Beyond that, say I need some friggen groceries from costco, what the hell do I do? It require MAJOR life changes and consumer-behavior changes to adapt into a car-free life. You know, I'd love to have a custom Ira Ryan porter bike with a nice grocery-go-getter rack, but I can't be bother with the wait time.
I can carry 90+ pounds of groceries on my bike with no problem. Have done it many times, too!

If that's still not enough for you, bikes at work sells bicycle trailers capable of carrying 300+ pounds!

There are ways to commute to work, regardless of dress code... a few have been mentioned earlier in the thread... personally, I've ridden 30 miles (round trip) in interview clothes before... even raced a roadie on the way back!

Bottom line is: If you don't want to be carfree or commute full time, don't do it! Don't waste your time on an internet forum making excuses for why you couldn't possibly do it. Surely you have better things to do.

Edit: Oh, and as far as consumer-behavior changes: You'll quickly find your shopping habits change... I spend a lot less at the grocery store than I used to. You don't have the space to make a bunch of frivolous purchases... so the impulse buying is cut down immensely. It's led to a lower food bill, and healthier eating. You shop more often, and you don't get as much each time. Who NEEDS to get groceries at Costco, anyway? (Unless you have a small army at home to feed?)
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Old 12-21-07, 01:25 AM   #15
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I'm not making excuses foolio, I made no declaration of my desire to commute full time. I'm merely facinated my the socio-economic disparity between carfree types and everyone else. I've never been to this forum so I'm just check it out.
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Old 12-21-07, 01:29 AM   #16
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Hippie? Not at all. I actually dislike hippies but I am carless because it's easier. Everywhere I need to go is within 1 km of walking distance, which I do by bike. If I had a car, it would be sitting in the underground parking collecting spiderwebs because my errand bike is right by my door.

I live three blocks away from Costco (Downtown Costco is below two condo and not out in an open space), and it's near a rapid transit system (which we call 'skytrain.')

Library, post office, supermarkets, underground mall, major banks, etc are all within easy walking distance where driving is PITA because of all the one way streets and parking.
You spend less time finding a parking spot and walking towards your destination because there are bike racks near the entrance.


The ultimate ideal neighbourhood is actually one where you can easily get by being carless and bikeless (can't do that for me, I love bikes too much) because everywhere you need to go, and I mean everywhere, is within 2 minutes of walking distance. For North American today, those location are usually and always high density urban centres.

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None of the bikes on your velospace page are appropriate for year-round plainclothes transportation. Doesn't the fact that biking has been your recreational thing make you more, rather than less ready to take it to the next level?
Being carless is a lot easier if you have a bike that can allow plain cloths.

This is exactly what I wear when I do my usual errands. I also have similar POS ultra durable granny dutch single speed style bike.


If you have to commute more than 5km, then it would not be feasible (at least for me).

I'm big on personal choices and not telling others what to do. If you feel you need a car, by all means keep it. If you don't want major changes in your lifestyle, don't. Knowing the options available is certainly a plus, but options doesn't require you to make a choice.
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Old 12-21-07, 06:45 AM   #17
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I try very hard not to drive when possible. At the same time, cycling has always been a fitness/recreational activity to me versus transportation. It's quite difficult, I have found out, to coordinate the logistics of bike travel (weather, change of clothes, bike upkeep) when you depend on it several times per week.
Maybe you should take a long-term approach to this issue. You say you cannot, for example, drive to work. One thing you might try is a weekly bike trip that combines transportation with recreation. For me it was a weekly trip to a health-food store. My only caveat was that I HAD to do this trip by bike.

Over time, the trip became a habit and suddenly I was noticing that I'm getting recreation, exercise and -- as a bonus -- some healthy food. This "win-win-win" now seems like a no-brainer, although I did have to work a little bit to implement it.

If you try something like this, it won't take long before you will probably find yourself making a lot of other trips by bike. ... But, of course, it won't happen overnight and you shouldn't have to change you lifestyle much.
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Old 12-21-07, 07:22 AM   #18
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No seriously. I'm facinated by the thought of being carless but I can't ever do that with my corporate office job.
Well, I've known hippies who weren't carfree and carfree folks who aren't hippies and a few carfree hippies like myself.

I don't know what reasons you really have for not taking the plunge. I have been carfree working in the headquarters of one of the biggest banks in the country and at a major aerospace firm.

I don't need to go into all the details, they are well covered in other threads. But perhaps you should just edge into it gently. Scope out your company so you know where you'll park your bike and what you need to do to stay clean. Again, check the threads for details. The problems have all been conquered by other folks already. Then ride to work on a casual friday. Then find other days to ride, or even ride it at lunch. You may start something.

As a wag, I might suggest, just ditch the car and everything else will work itself out. It really will.

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Old 12-21-07, 07:52 AM   #19
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you are a hippie.
don't try to deny it.
everyone who lives in Oregon is required to be a hippie.
they passed an initiative.
Measure 49, i think.

hippie in a suit

j/k
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Old 12-21-07, 07:58 AM   #20
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tfahrner, which bike shop?

The new Poprad I have is my "bad weather bike". It's got fenders on and I ride rain or shine on the weekends. It's not a matter of fitness... I'm fast and I ride 150 miles per week. It's just hard even from the perspective of social circles - I work with many overweight office people and I am somewhat of an anomaly.
Like I said, I commute on Fridays when possible but on other days, with my dress requirements, it's tough.

Beyond that, say I need some friggen groceries from costco, what the hell do I do? It require MAJOR life changes and consumer-behavior changes to adapt into a car-free life. You know, I'd love to have a custom Ira Ryan porter bike with a nice grocery-go-getter rack, but I can't be bother with the wait time.
Tfahrner owns Clever Cycles.

When I go to Costco, I put my Burley Flatbed on the back of my bike and go. Even if you didn't want to put a rear rack on the Poprad, you could do that. If you don't have a bike you'd be willing to put a rack on, you might consider getting such a bike. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. You don't even need an upright bike of the sort that tfahrner and I prefer.

But again, don't focus so much on the car-free part. Think more along the lines of changing more trips by car into trips by bike. Besides your casual Fridays, how could you get another bike commute day per week into your schedule?

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I'm merely facinated my the socio-economic disparity between carfree types and everyone else. I've never been to this forum so I'm just check it out.
I think you'd be surprised at the variety of socio-economic types on this forum.
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Old 12-21-07, 08:01 AM   #21
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You need to get a bigger imagination. We have a bunch of bike commuters here at our facility, which is one of the world's largest corporations related to the international oil & gas industry. All of the bike commuters are technogeeks with advanced science and engineering degrees, a combined 200 years of industry experience, each making well into six figure incomes. We are not hippies.

Our corporate MS150 fundraising team has 300 members.

Cycling is the new golf. You join the cycling team to brown-nose your boss.




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No seriously. I'm facinated by the thought of being carless but I can't ever do that with my corporate office job.
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Old 12-21-07, 08:08 AM   #22
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All of the bike commuters are technogeeks, each making well into six figure incomes.
I want to work where you do.
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Old 12-21-07, 08:43 AM   #23
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I am a corportae stooge & ride every dam' day.
Dress code is business casual. I fold my clothes carefully in my pack & change @ work. not perfect but doable...
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Old 12-21-07, 09:03 AM   #24
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I guess to my redneck friends I'd be a hippy, we recycle, have chickens, a big garden, an old house instead of a big new house, we ride our bikes instead of driving, I think the governments job is to support the people and not big business. I don't consider myself a hippy. I think being a hippy is a fashion statement not a lifestyle choice.
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Old 12-21-07, 09:19 AM   #25
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I consider car lite, car free to be an extremely conservative activity.

If I am a hippie, then I am a gun-toting, anti baby-murder, anti-tax, anti-social service, pro legal citizen only hippie
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