Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-30-08, 04:39 PM   #1
thisispaxtonst
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Eugene, OR
Bikes: Far from stock Redline 925, 1980s Schwinn Maximizer based polo bike
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
one of my first real "adventures" car-free...

A day that, had it not involved a bicycle, would have had me crying...

My wife and I moved to Eugene, OR at the beginning of the year. A very large part of the draw for me was the city's healthy bike-culture. I've had a desire to live car-free for awhile, but since being married have always had one there as sort of a crutch. Well, when we moved, it ended up taking forever for our registration to transfer from Pennsylvania, so four months later our unregistered car is still sitting in the driveway doing absolutely nothing. With that said, circumstance has more or less forced us into car-freedom, at least until paperwork finishes clearing. I absolutely love it, partially because it forces me to be a bit creative in solving problems that ordinarily would be solved by calling my wife with the car. One such problem came up yesterday.

I rented a long-haul cargo bike from CAT, our local bike co-op, to haul some groceries home (which I enjoyed thoroughly and decided to design and build one of in the very near future). Upon returning the bike, I saw a used fixer-upper of a bike trailer there for 25 dollars. I bought it and tried to decide how to get it home, as the hitch arm was one of the missing parts. I ended up lashing it to my bike with an old inner tube and trying to tow it, which failed miserably as it bounced back and forth behind me while flying into the air and crashing back to the ground every six feet.

I stopped to try to come up with a more stable way of transporting it when I heard the whoosh of the sidewall of my rear tire spontaneously ripping in half. Fortunately, I had only made it about a block from CAT, so I returned to get a new (old) tire and revisit my attempt to securely attach the trailer to my bike.

As I pedaled off again, I once again heard the trailer doing somersaults behind my bike as the sky opened up and it started hailing. I stopped under an overpass and after some trial and error, ended up lashing the folded up trailer to the front rack on my bike, which I built earlier this month for just such occasions. While it didn't fit perfectly, it did the job, although I now couldn't steer properly or reach my brake. I proceeded to ride the rest of the way home in a t-shirt, in hail/cold rain--very, very slowly--grinning ear to ear the whole time.

This is a picture of my bike with the attached trailer when I got home:


It really sounds miserable but I felt so alive during the experience that I couldn't help but love it. Anyone have any similar experiences?
thisispaxtonst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-08, 05:04 PM   #2
politicalgeek
Peace, Love, Bikes
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Central Ohio
Bikes: Schwinn Le Tour III
Posts: 900
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hmmm...maybe this counts. I am not completely car-free, but working towards it. Yesterday I went to a service project to help clean up one of the local MUPs around downtown Columbus. It was 6-7 miles from my apartment to the site, something I am not ready to do yet. I parked at my workplace and rode the 2 miles or so to the site, helped with the clean up and had a great time. As we got back to the start and decided to ride en mass to a local bar, I realized I had a slight issue. The cable lock I had used to secure my one wheel to the frame had re-set itself in the process of locking up.

As I sat there with the chorus of "Wow, that sucks" echoing in the background, I realized there a local bike shop 2 miles or so away. I slung the bike onto my bike and walked down to the shop to get them to cut the lock.

I came back to parents tonight and told them what happened. I was kinda proud that I was able to solve an issue without a car, but they wanted to know why I didn't just call them. The thought had occurred briefly, but is very liberating not having to rely on a vehicle.
politicalgeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-08, 02:57 AM   #3
wahoonc
Senior Member
 
wahoonc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: On the road-USA
Bikes: Giant Excursion, Raleigh Sports, Raleigh R.S.W. Compact, Motobecane? and about 20 more! OMG
Posts: 16,768
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 40 Post(s)
Every time I ride past a traffic backup caused by a wreck or disabled vehicle...

Aaron
__________________
Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-08, 01:02 PM   #4
Roody
Sophomoric Member
 
Roody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dancing in Lansing
Bikes:
Posts: 23,732
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 299 Post(s)
Good story, OP!

One of the nicest things about being carfree is solving those problems, big or small, and feeling proud about it when you finally get home.
__________________

"Think Outside the Cage"
Roody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-08, 11:54 PM   #5
bragi
bragi
 
bragi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: seattle, WA
Bikes: LHT
Posts: 2,911
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Last summer, I had to have an outboard motor worked on. Being carfree, and not wanting to spend (more) money uselessly, I borrowed a trailer and hauled the outboard from Seattle to Edmonds and then back after the work was done. It was a bit tougher than I expected (100 lbs is more on a bike than you'd think), and I got quite a few stares from motorists, but, oddly, more than a few pickup-driving types, people who would normally not be too nice to a guy on a bicycle, smiled and gave me a thumbs-up. People gave me a lot more room when they passed, too. It's as if I achieved redneck status on the bike, just by hauling something big and heavy.
bragi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-08, 10:39 AM   #6
littledog
Ya never know 'til ya try
 
littledog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Northern Illinois
Bikes: Schwinn Cruiser Deluxe Trek 820 MTB Trek 7300FX Hybrid
Posts: 244
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bragi View Post
Last summer, I had to have an outboard motor worked on. Being carfree, and not wanting to spend (more) money uselessly, I borrowed a trailer and hauled the outboard from Seattle to Edmonds and then back after the work was done. It was a bit tougher than I expected (100 lbs is more on a bike than you'd think), and I got quite a few stares from motorists, but, oddly, more than a few pickup-driving types, people who would normally not be too nice to a guy on a bicycle, smiled and gave me a thumbs-up. People gave me a lot more room when they passed, too. It's as if I achieved redneck status on the bike, just by hauling something big and heavy.
They probably thought you were a BASS member. They really support their brother fisherman. Even if they do ride a bike.
littledog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-08, 12:10 PM   #7
mconlonx 
Nobody
 
mconlonx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 7,360
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1479 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bragi View Post
...It's as if I achieved redneck status on the bike, just by hauling something big and heavy.
Maybe not quite appropirate to this forum, but if you have a pickup truck, you will find you have many more friends than you thought you did. If you have a pickup truck and chainsaw, you'll wonder why you are so popular.

Carry a chainsaw in your trailer and you'll never get hassled again...
mconlonx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-08, 11:13 PM   #8
thisispaxtonst
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Eugene, OR
Bikes: Far from stock Redline 925, 1980s Schwinn Maximizer based polo bike
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Maybe not quite appropirate to this forum, but if you have a pickup truck, you will find you have many more friends than you thought you did. If you have a pickup truck and chainsaw, you'll wonder why you are so popular.
I've had the same luck with a 15mm stubby box-end and a pump in my backpack; track bike kids don't seem to be terribly well-prepared (friends of mine though they are).
thisispaxtonst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-08, 08:08 PM   #9
Nycycle
Senior Member
 
Nycycle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Taylorsville Utah
Bikes: Long Haul Trucker
Posts: 797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I love used, cheap, make stuff my self, but I got my brand new Nashbar trailer so cheap, and it works so nice...........
Nycycle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:10 PM.