Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Glendora, CA USA
    My Bikes
    Easy Racers EZ-1 and Lightning Thunderbolt Recumbent Bikes
    Posts
    364
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Any Geezer's Here Car Free? Europeans?

    I am considering a radical move to Northern Germany
    near the Dutch border. My GF is car free and although we
    might have enough money to get one and maintain it, I
    imagine that we'd just stay car free. She lives just a 1/4
    mile from grocery shops and the downtown in about
    4 km. I am comfortable on bikes and have learned to use the train the bus and the tube in LA so it might be a fairly smooth transition for such a radical change.

    I was thinking that a couple of bikes, one outfitted with
    a baby carrier trailer might be just the ticket for getting
    plenty of shopping done.

    Anyone got any words of encouragement or gentle
    warnings, suggestions, etc.???

    Ned, age 57
    Ned Goudy, Glendora, CA USA
    Lightning Thunderbolt, Easy Racer EZ1, Rhoades Car
    http://www.rhoadescar.com/4w1p-j.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,119
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nedgoudy View Post
    I am considering a radical move to Northern Germany
    near the Dutch border. My GF is car free and although we
    might have enough money to get one and maintain it, I
    imagine that we'd just stay car free. She lives just a 1/4
    mile from grocery shops and the downtown in about
    4 km. I am comfortable on bikes and have learned to use the train the bus and the tube in LA so it might be a fairly smooth transition for such a radical change.

    I was thinking that a couple of bikes, one outfitted with
    a baby carrier trailer might be just the ticket for getting
    plenty of shopping done.

    Anyone got any words of encouragement or gentle
    warnings, suggestions, etc.???

    Ned, age 57
    Sorry, clarification please, your GF is car free in the US? or Germany?

  3. #3
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Des Moines
    My Bikes
    1974 Huffy 3 speed
    Posts
    9,479
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nedgoudy View Post
    I am considering a radical move to Northern Germany
    near the Dutch border. My GF is car free and although we
    might have enough money to get one and maintain it, I
    imagine that we'd just stay car free. She lives just a 1/4
    mile from grocery shops and the downtown in about
    4 km. I am comfortable on bikes and have learned to use the train the bus and the tube in LA so it might be a fairly smooth transition for such a radical change.

    I was thinking that a couple of bikes, one outfitted with
    a baby carrier trailer might be just the ticket for getting
    plenty of shopping done.

    Anyone got any words of encouragement or gentle
    warnings, suggestions, etc.???

    Ned, age 57
    Ned, I am 54, living in the US and doing about 80% of my transportation using a bicycle. I ran into a gentlemen a few weeks ago who was retired, had lost his auto license and now moves about town on his bike. He is 80.

    My advice is not to let anyone tell you you're too old for anything.

    If you need to get some shopping done, buy a set of panniers. Maybe 40L between the 2.

  4. #4
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    La Petite Roche
    Posts
    12,697
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ned, as a 50+ person who is car free and has spent a little time car-free in Europe in times past, I'd say go for it as long as you can read the signs well enough. Sounds like you have an excellent mentor in your GF.

    I'd say, get the bicycle(s) there, and get some warmer clothes for winter..
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  5. #5
    Dare to be weird!
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Austin TX
    My Bikes
    Hybridized 1970s Coppi road bike; Townie city cruiser
    Posts
    1,991
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Check the local topography there. I'm told that in some places it can get hilly very fast as you get away from the Netherlands coastal plain.

  6. #6
    bragi bragi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    LHT
    Posts
    2,911
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I used to live in Northern Germany near the Dutch Border, not too far from Emden. The terrain there is flat as a tabletop. It's cold, rainy and dark in the winter, with occasional black ice, but not too much. IMO, it's very good terrain for bicycling; open, pastoral, with lots of side roads, and a culture that accepts bicycles without even thinking about it. And, by German standards, it's not very densely populated, either. On the whole, it's a lot more pleasant than most places in the US (not all), IF you can stand sunset at 4:00 in the dead of winter. Also, I found the people there to be polite but distant at first. Until they get to know you. Then they're great.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  7. #7
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,992
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    sounds peachy...

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    150
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I live in Germany, and have an xtracycle that hardly ever gets used. Like your GF with grocery shopping 1/4 mile away, that close it's hardly worth loading up a bicycle. The refrigerators tend on the small side here (a gross generalization on my part i'm sure) and we tend to make more frequent, quick trips than the typical US massive shopping expedition stockpiling for the next Y2K. We use a wagon (an inexpensive plastic tub of a bicycle trailer) when hauling bigger heaver stuff (e.g. cases of beverages)

    I can't imagine an easier place to live Car-free, so go for it, settle in a bit and you will figure out the lay of the land. If you are itching for an equipment purchase, consider something dual use (hand/bike) like the Winther Donkey

  9. #9
    Speediot Xquizit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Brasschaat, Belgium
    My Bikes
    Batavus Boulevard, race bike frame to convert to fixed gear
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm living carfree, but I've got a motorcycle collecting dust in my garage... I was planning to sell it, but I can't get the right price for it. so for extremely long trips abroad I still keep the thing.
    I'm a year round bicycle commuter and I'm in way better shape than way back when I started.
    I can advise everyone to get rid of their cars, for health and environmental reasons. (and so they stop bothering me with their stupidity and blindness)

    I live in Belgium and commute ca. 60km a day

    bikes rule!!

    I'm ready for the next step in my evolution: commuting fixed gear
    bought a frame today for my first conversion which will be finished before the summer

  10. #10
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,362
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    At 62 I can tell you the only requirement to be car free or
    car lite is the ability to pedal a cycle. All else will work itself
    out. Trust me.........
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  11. #11
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    My Bikes
    '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2015 Trek Domane 6.2 disc
    Posts
    11,356
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Make sure that your lighting system is compliant with the StVZO regulations! Many of the high-powered lights used in the USA aren't street legal in Germany.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  12. #12
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Frankfurt, Germany
    My Bikes
    Raleigh Aspen touring/off-road hybrid, and a Bob Yak trailer. Yak very useful for us car-free types that like to buy lots of beer.
    Posts
    2,012
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Northern Germany is flat as a pancake. No car needed around here!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  13. #13
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    My Bikes
    Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?
    Posts
    13,858
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    Make sure that your lighting system is compliant with the StVZO regulations! Many of the high-powered lights used in the USA aren't street legal in Germany.
    Right; get a dynohub and front & rear lights. Don't buy the setup here, though -- it's much, much cheaper over there simply because generator lights are mandated. Plus, the demand is so high that a shop will have it in stock -- no need to specially order anything.

    My sister, her husband, and their daughter have been almost car-free for well over two years in southern Germany. They usually take public transportation, and sometimes borrow a friends' car for carrying large items, but it's possible to do almost anything -- and do it easily -- without a car.
    Last edited by BarracksSi; 04-12-08 at 02:45 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member pmseattle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    451
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I qualify for geezerhood ( in mid 50s ), and have been living with no car in Seattle for years.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Glendora, CA USA
    My Bikes
    Easy Racers EZ-1 and Lightning Thunderbolt Recumbent Bikes
    Posts
    364
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks folks... you are all VERY supportive and
    the message I hear is comforting. I would consider this the adventure of a lifetime and
    it might just be what I need to find a new level
    of happiness and satisfaction in my life.

    Good luck to all. I am leaving on Monday for
    an exploratory trip and to do some problem
    solving. Again, thanks to all of you. I am
    encouraged...

    Ned
    Ned Goudy, Glendora, CA USA
    Lightning Thunderbolt, Easy Racer EZ1, Rhoades Car
    http://www.rhoadescar.com/4w1p-j.jpg

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •