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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 04-16-08, 01:31 PM   #1
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Stimulus bikes?

Most of us in the US will have $600 checks in the next month or two, with strict instructions from the government to spend the money on consumer goods in order to stimulate the economy.

Gee, it seems like a good time to buy a bike! What's the best way to spend $600 or so on a nice bicycle? Give us reasons for your choice. Links and pictures are nice also.

BTW, people with very low incomes and those on disability are only getting $300. Any suggestions for them?
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Old 04-16-08, 01:42 PM   #2
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It'll depend on what frame(s) I find either on eBay, Craigslist, or the local transfer station/yard sales. From that point on, it's whatever I've already got on the parts shelf.

$600 for my share? That better translate into three bikes if I'm going to spend it all on bikes. Nah, I'm a cheap *******. $400 of that will go into savings.
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Old 04-16-08, 02:18 PM   #3
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BTW, people with very low incomes and those on disability are only getting $300. Any suggestions for them?
I hadn't heard that lower income == lower gov't cashback. The last I heard was that the 'incentive' would be determined based off of your return information. Silly of me to think that lower returns should equate to a higher stimulus package, I suppose.

Anyhow, for any amount people are getting back, there's plenty of brand new bikes to be had with just a little bit of added cash above the minimum $300 stimulus level... the choices increase as you get toward that $600 level, if you're so inclined to go with a new bike.
You can scour CL for 5 minutes and probably find something just as well suited to the intended purpose for about 1/3 the price, unless you're looking for a fixed gear. People on CL are insane with the prices they want, even on suicide-conversion gaspipe frame beaters.
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Old 04-16-08, 02:27 PM   #4
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My clothes washer broke, so I "pre-stimulated" the economy by buying a new one last week. Or so I thought, until I looked at the shipping carton.

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Old 04-16-08, 02:37 PM   #5
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The Novara Transfer comes in at $599. Needs panniers and a helmet. Gets rave reviews from a friend who just picked one up. He did note that the "automatic" light sensor isn't, since the lights won't turn on in fog or twilight. A bit of electrical tape fixed that detail. It's probably the cheapest and best equipped car free bike I've seen. No standlight on the lights, so battery backup is a Good Idea.

I haven't seen any new bikes under $300 that strike me as well suited to car free life. If it's under about $350-400, odds are it won't have a rack or fenders. Add on those, a cargo net, and decent lights and you're right back at the $350-450 price point... and the "cheap" bike will probably be heavier than the fully equipped one.

A trailer would be a good use of the bonus tho, especially for someone who already has a working bike. Some stuff just doesn't fit in panniers or on a standard rack. The trailer will take a *lot* of those kinds of things, so it really opens up a new world of moving stuff by bike. Since trailers come in at around $300 new, that is manageable for the small refund group, and leaves the large refund group with $300 to buy conveniences.
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Old 04-16-08, 02:43 PM   #6
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The Novara Transfer comes in at $599. Needs panniers and a helmet. Gets rave reviews from a friend who just picked one up. He did note that the "automatic" light sensor isn't, since the lights won't turn on in fog or twilight. A bit of electrical tape fixed that detail. It's probably the cheapest and best equipped car free bike I've seen. No standlight on the lights, so battery backup is a Good Idea.

I haven't seen any new bikes under $300 that strike me as well suited to car free life. If it's under about $350-400, odds are it won't have a rack or fenders. Add on those, a cargo net, and decent lights and you're right back at the $350-450 price point... and the "cheap" bike will probably be heavier than the fully equipped one.

A trailer would be a good use of the bonus tho, especially for someone who already has a working bike. Some stuff just doesn't fit in panniers or on a standard rack. The trailer will take a *lot* of those kinds of things, so it really opens up a new world of moving stuff by bike. Since trailers come in at around $300 new, that is manageable for the small refund group, and leaves the large refund group with $300 to buy conveniences.
That Novaro's a good call!

Even with sales tax, it would only be a little over the $600 stimulus check. Actually, the only thing you "need" to get started is the bike. Extras like a rack and panniers can come later.
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Old 04-16-08, 03:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Most of us in the US will have $600 checks in the next month or two, with strict instructions from the government to spend the money on consumer goods in order to stimulate the economy.

Gee, it seems like a good time to buy a bike! What's the best way to spend $600 or so on a nice bicycle? Give us reasons for your choice. Links and pictures are nice also.

BTW, people with very low incomes and those on disability are only getting $300. Any suggestions for them?
Guilty as charged...

I kind of jumped the gun We got a quarterly bonus payout this week from the project I am working on

So off to the local bicycle emporium to purchase a suitable replacement for my aging Raleigh Sports (the ugly one) and to get something that fits a bit better. Basic requirements were IGH, fenders, rack(s) and upright riding position. I was really leaning towards a Breezer but can't find anybody with one in stock within a 12 hour drive of me. Toyed with a couple of other ideas but settled on a Redline R530 By the time I get all the upgrades and necessities I will have spent close to $900. But that includes some high dollar things like an LED generator powered light system with standlights, new Brooks B67, very nice Basil Panniers and a Euro style locking system, and last but not least a new Wald 933 basket.

Should have everything on hand by the end of next week!

Aaron

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Old 04-16-08, 04:13 PM   #8
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I have been trying to find out how to opt out of this charade, so far without luck. Apparently I will have to go into an IRS local office, since there are no ways to do it over the web or by phone. Finding the time to get there is the hard part.

The way the economy is going, maybe I'll just buy a little gold.
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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.
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Old 04-16-08, 04:38 PM   #9
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Gold is running high. Buy an undervalued stock.
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Old 04-16-08, 08:04 PM   #10
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It'll depend on what frame(s) I find either on eBay, Craigslist, or the local transfer station/yard sales. From that point on, it's whatever I've already got on the parts shelf.

$600 for my share? That better translate into three bikes if I'm going to spend it all on bikes. Nah, I'm a cheap *******. $400 of that will go into savings.
Sounds like a good plan. I just invested in a rear derailleur and a new chain for my commuter. Also, recently spend $70 on new tires. The rest should go to savings.
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Old 04-16-08, 08:37 PM   #11
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Give It Away

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I have been trying to find out how to opt out of this charade, so far without luck. Apparently I will have to go into an IRS local office, since there are no ways to do it over the web or by phone. Finding the time to get there is the hard part.

The way the economy is going, maybe I'll just buy a little gold.
If you don't accept it the government will spend it on something else. Give it to a charity that you support or buy goods with it and give them away. At least that way you know 100% of the money went to something you know does good.
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Old 04-16-08, 09:01 PM   #12
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New old stock of the often-recommended Jamis Coda Sport can be had for $500 http://bicyclebananas.com/mm5/mercha...amis_CodaSport
I'm not in the market for a bike, but if I had a $600 budget, I'd seriously consider it, and use the other $100 for accessories. Realistically, though, most people who need that money are probably going to spend it on rent, bills, and groceries.
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Old 04-17-08, 03:00 AM   #13
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New old stock of the often-recommended Jamis Coda Sport can be had for $500 http://bicyclebananas.com/mm5/mercha...amis_CodaSport
I'm not in the market for a bike, but if I had a $600 budget, I'd seriously consider it, and use the other $100 for accessories. Realistically, though, most people who need that money are probably going to spend it on rent, bills, and groceries.
And I am sure gasoline...That check would only cover a month's worth of fuel for my truck.

Saw an interesting joke the other day about the stimulus checks. They pointed out that if you spent them on most consumer goods you would be supporting China, if you spent them on gasoline supporting the Middle East, spent it on produce supporting Mexico/Central America. If you really wanted to support America with your spending to go enjoy a lady of the night and have an Budweiser...only a couple of the things still truly made in a America

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Old 04-17-08, 07:41 AM   #14
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Saw an interesting joke the other day about the stimulus checks. They pointed out that if you spent them on most consumer goods you would be supporting China, if you spent them on gasoline supporting the Middle East, spent it on produce supporting Mexico/Central America. If you really wanted to support America with your spending to go enjoy a lady of the night and have an Budweiser...only a couple of the things still truly made in a America

Aaron
The hookers in DC aren't all made in America either. We got Asians, Europeans, South Americans. They don't all send money home to their families so I guess it would stimulate the local economy.
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Old 04-17-08, 10:29 AM   #15
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I have been trying to find out how to opt out of this charade, so far without luck. Apparently I will have to go into an IRS local office, since there are no ways to do it over the web or by phone. Finding the time to get there is the hard part.
Well, I finally got to the IRS office. They said to VOID the check and send it back to the office that sent it to you with a note saying that you want it credited back to your account.
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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.
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Old 04-17-08, 10:38 AM   #16
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If you don't accept it the government will spend it on something else.
You realize that it's not a gift from the government. It's a rebate on your next year's taxes. The money you get comes out of your own pocket next year. Think of it as money traveling back in time, taken out of your pocket in 2009, put back in in 2008.

It's really a very cynical joke played on us by the Government. It may be a bump now, but it will be a trough next year.
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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.
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Old 04-17-08, 11:34 AM   #17
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If SS or fixie commuting is what you do, a Windsor The Hour/Messenger or Mercier KiloTT would run $300-350, allowing plenty for necessary extras like fenders, rack, lights, etc. $300 would also buy a decent 80s CL 10 or 12 sp or 90s hybrid with money left over for accessories as well.

I think we'll probably buy either guns or a chimney for a woodstove with our share.
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Old 04-17-08, 12:03 PM   #18
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You realize that it's not a gift from the government. It's a rebate on your next year's taxes. The money you get comes out of your own pocket next year. Think of it as money traveling back in time, taken out of your pocket in 2009, put back in in 2008.

It's really a very cynical joke played on us by the Government. It may be a bump now, but it will be a trough next year.
Incorrect. It is indeed a "gift".

From the link below: "It's an economic stimulus payment that more than 130 million households will receive starting in May. It's not taxable, and it won't reduce your 2007 or 2008 refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2008 return."

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/...179211,00.html
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Old 04-17-08, 12:37 PM   #19
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consumerism is a problem not a solution.....and, i really dont need anything right now, mostly just "fuel" for the bike.
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Old 04-17-08, 12:44 PM   #20
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Incorrect. It is indeed a "gift".

From the link below: "It's an economic stimulus payment that more than 130 million households will receive starting in May. It's not taxable, and it won't reduce your 2007 or 2008 refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2008 return."

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/...179211,00.html
Actually, you're correct. If you "voided" it, it would be credited as a $600 prepayment towards your 2008 taxes, and you would get just that much of a larger refund next year. I don't agree with Bushnomics, either, (issue huge amounts of debt bought by China, in order to fund silly crusading adventures in the middle east in order to gain control of more oil)

If you really wanted to hedge your bets, buy silver!!
http://www.silver-investor.com/
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Old 04-17-08, 12:59 PM   #21
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Incorrect. It is indeed a "gift".

From the link below: "It's an economic stimulus payment that more than 130 million households will receive starting in May. It's not taxable, and it won't reduce your 2007 or 2008 refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2008 return."

http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/...179211,00.html

Well, I went looking through documents, including the original bill. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/...0facz3D:e1754: You are right that it comes from 2007, not 2008 as earlier reported on CNN.
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Old 04-17-08, 01:13 PM   #22
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Actually, you're correct. If you "voided" it, it would be credited as a $600 prepayment towards your 2008 taxes, and you would get just that much of a larger refund next year.
yup. $600 (or whatever) free money this year, or if you refuse to accept it, $600 (or whatever) next year.

why are people still confused by the basic tenets of the plan?
if you are confused, the faq page off the irs' webpage that i linked to above should explain most.
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Old 04-17-08, 02:20 PM   #23
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If I was going to spend my $600 on a bike, I would go for a 2006 Breezer Villager at my LBS that they want $559 for.
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Old 04-17-08, 04:01 PM   #24
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If I was going to spend my $600 on a bike, I would go for a 2006 Breezer Villager at my LBS that they want $559 for.
I wanted to look at a Breezer, but the closest store that had ANY in stock was in Memphis, TN....12 hours away. There are 3-4 dealers a lot closer but they don't have them in stock.
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Old 04-17-08, 06:58 PM   #25
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yup. $600 (or whatever) free money this year, or if you refuse to accept it, $600 (or whatever) next year.

why are people still confused by the basic tenets of the plan?
if you are confused, the faq page off the irs' webpage that i linked to above should explain most.
Because the government can't just create money without it causing an equal opposing reaction somewhere else in this global economy. We aren't getting this money because the government some how managed to become very efficient. This will likely cause the dollar to weaken further as we issue more debt and inflation increases.

If you want a great example of the effects of issuing more currency as a solution look at South Africa and Mugabe's economic policies.
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