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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 04-17-08, 03:18 PM   #1
tsl
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Anniversary

Aw crap. Forgot about this on Tuesday.

Tuesday April 15 was the ninth anniversary of my becoming car-free.

I did it by bus and on foot for the first seven years. I replaced the bus with a bike two years and two weeks ago.

Resume party...
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Old 04-17-08, 03:28 PM   #2
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Here's to you.
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Old 04-17-08, 03:46 PM   #3
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So in those nine years you have never even ridden in a car, even as a passenger, since that IS how you define being car-free??
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Old 04-17-08, 03:52 PM   #4
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So in those nine years you have never even ridden in a car, even as a passenger, since that IS how you define being car-free??
Should we then also ask if he has milked his own cows, raised chickens for eggs, put in a garden and made his own clothing?

Congrats, that is awesome. Another great example that a car is not the end all, be all to transportation.
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Old 04-17-08, 04:03 PM   #5
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So in those nine years you have never even ridden in a car, even as a passenger, since that IS how you define being car-free??
Who said that's the definition of car-free, and when?
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Old 04-17-08, 04:31 PM   #6
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Well done May you have many more car free years.
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Old 04-17-08, 04:31 PM   #7
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Who said that's the definition of car-free, and when?
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...t=#post6320833

Originally posted by tsl:

" I thought car-lite was about how and how often you use the car, not the type of car it is.

Just as I wouldn't classify as car-free anyone who rides around in other people's cars. For example, children and teens who don't own cars but are chauffeured everywhere by car aren't car-free by virtue of their non-ownership alone. It's usage (or more accurately, non-usage) that defines car-free-ness.

So, sure, I'd call the Smart a lite car, and applaud anyone who replaced an SUV with it. But owning one doesn't make you car-lite. That depends on how often you travel without the damned car."
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Old 04-17-08, 04:55 PM   #8
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I'll have to let TSL speak for himself, but I do believe thats stretching it a bit of context.

Everyone's definition of car free and car lite is their own. The only truly car free are the Amish. Give the man props for living 9 years in a car culture without one.
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Old 04-17-08, 06:05 PM   #9
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I'll have to let TSL speak for himself, but I do believe thats stretching it a bit of context.

Everyone's definition of car free and car lite is their own. The only truly car free are the Amish. Give the man props for living 9 years in a car culture without one.
Heh, i know, but i like to be a b@stard sometimes.
TSL gets props from me.....but if he did spend nine years without even riding in a car then i would give major props.
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Old 04-17-08, 06:25 PM   #10
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Yeah, you just like to stir the pot

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Heh, i know, but i like to be a b@stard sometimes.
TSL gets props from me.....but if he did spend nine years without even riding in a car then i would give major props.
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Old 04-17-08, 06:37 PM   #11
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Heh, i know, but i like to be a b@stard sometimes.
And you succeeded marvelously! Must be all the practice you get.

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TSL gets props from me.....but if he did spend nine years without even riding in a car then i would give major props.
Thanks.

I think the quote above stands alone fine. But I will address my vehicle usage.

This year I rode in my dad's Buick to and from Easter dinner. He wanted to talk to me away from my mom and the family. That trip cost me a whole week's ranking on the Car-Free Week Challenge over on BikeJournal. But I did it for the old man.

Last September I rode a bus to the LBS to pick up my new bike, (the Portland).

Last July I rode in Dad's Buick 250 miles to my parent's summer place in Canada, with my bikes on a borrowed rack on the trunk. (I've since purchased my own Saris Bones 3 for just this sort of trip. Seems weird to own a bike rack for a car without owning a car.) I rode three metric centuries in the week, and did a lot of fireroading on my other bike. Took my bike into town one night for ice cream, and went shopping with it one day.

Last June I carpooled to the Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour.

I can't remember any others before that, and I didn't know I'd have to keep records. Sorry.

This summer I'm also carpooling to the GFLBT, and returning to my parent's summer place for a week. Although this year I'm taking only the Portland and my second wheelset with cyclocross tires for the fireroading bit.

I'm also taking the train out to Denver to meet up and ride with some folks in Loveland. I'll have to take a taxi from my place to the train station since the bike has to be boxed on the train. Not yet sure how I'll get from Denver to Loveland. Don't need to make that choice yet.
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Old 04-17-08, 07:55 PM   #12
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tsl, you are a role model. Congratulations.
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Old 04-17-08, 08:07 PM   #13
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Congrats! Here's to another Nine years! Thanks for the inspiration!

Best wishes!
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Old 04-18-08, 11:07 AM   #14
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I'll have to take a taxi from my place to the train station since the bike has to be boxed on the train.
Last time I boxed the bike for the train I brought tools and sat on the floor in the cargo area boxing the bike in the cardboard bike box they supplied. I needed to remove the pedals and twist the handlebars. I carried the panniers as luggage. I'm just posting this comment to let people know that they can probably bike to the station and box the bike up at the station. I've taken the taxi to the station too when I didn't feel like riding and the train left outside of Subway hours.
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Old 04-18-08, 12:48 PM   #15
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Last time I boxed the bike for the train I brought tools and sat on the floor in the cargo area boxing the bike in the cardboard bike box they supplied.
I thought about that, but decided that with changing trains in Chicago, I'd rather have it in a case. The bike club has cases that members can borrow for free, so there's not that expense. I does, however, create the issue of where to store the darned thing, but I have a couple of avenues to explore with that.
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Old 04-18-08, 03:18 PM   #16
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tsl - fyi Shamrock Shuttle will take you from DIA to Loveland for something around $20

ps: Ritchey Breakaway (or S&S one of your current frames). When I used to go to Boxborough Mass on business trips, I would put my stuff in a messenger bag and pack the Breakaway. Walk to MUNI (SF's underground rail) and transfer to BART (Bay Area "subway") which takes me to SF Airport. Get out at Logan, get the Breakaway (checked for free - they didn't even know it was a bike). Take the T (Boston Subway) to North Station and get on Commuter Rail to South Acton. The train ride was like 40 minutes during which time I would build the bike in the train car, much to the amusement of the passengers and conductor. I scored a bike locker at South Acton for $10/month where I stored the breakaway case, and rode from the station to the hotel, work, etc.. until it was time to fly home. The Breakaway - in the case - was only slightly heavier than my messenger bag with a couple changes of clothes and a laptop. Amusingly I could not fit my helmet in the bag so I wore it while I was walking around

I have a friend who uses similar tactics with a bike friday for his Austin trips, but he has been converted to the breakaway.
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Old 04-18-08, 05:47 PM   #17
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tsl - fyi Shamrock Shuttle will take you from DIA to Loveland for something around $20
Shamrock is one of the choices I'm exploring. They'll take a bike only in a case, and I was planning on spending a couple of days in Denver riding around before the Loveland ride. I understand that if there's room you can put an assembled bike into the belly of a Greyhound. I could (gasp!) bum a ride with someone, or (double gasp!) rent a car.

Or I could just ride the darned bike. The ride I'm joining in Loveland is a century and there's less distance than that between Denver and Loveland.

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ps: Ritchey Breakaway (or S&S one of your current frames).
That's a little premature. I'm not sure how often I'll travel like this. But the Breakaway and Traveler's Check are options.
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Old 04-18-08, 09:26 PM   #18
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And you succeeded marvelously! Must be all the practice you get.



Thanks.

I think the quote above stands alone fine. But I will address my vehicle usage.

This year I rode in my dad's Buick to and from Easter dinner. He wanted to talk to me away from my mom and the family. That trip cost me a whole week's ranking on the Car-Free Week Challenge over on BikeJournal. But I did it for the old man.

Last September I rode a bus to the LBS to pick up my new bike, (the Portland).

Last July I rode in Dad's Buick 250 miles to my parent's summer place in Canada, with my bikes on a borrowed rack on the trunk. (I've since purchased my own Saris Bones 3 for just this sort of trip. Seems weird to own a bike rack for a car without owning a car.) I rode three metric centuries in the week, and did a lot of fireroading on my other bike. Took my bike into town one night for ice cream, and went shopping with it one day.

Last June I carpooled to the Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour.

I can't remember any others before that, and I didn't know I'd have to keep records. Sorry.

This summer I'm also carpooling to the GFLBT, and returning to my parent's summer place for a week. Although this year I'm taking only the Portland and my second wheelset with cyclocross tires for the fireroading bit.

I'm also taking the train out to Denver to meet up and ride with some folks in Loveland. I'll have to take a taxi from my place to the train station since the bike has to be boxed on the train. Not yet sure how I'll get from Denver to Loveland. Don't need to make that choice yet.
Your car-free status, I think all would agree, is pretty much unassailable. I'm reasonably certain that very few people in industrial societies get into cars less often than you. You're a role model.
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Old 04-19-08, 07:37 AM   #19
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Aw crap. Forgot about this on Tuesday.

Tuesday April 15 was the ninth anniversary of my becoming car-free.

I did it by bus and on foot for the first seven years. I replaced the bus with a bike two years and two weeks ago.

Resume party...
I became car free thanks to the bus. However, the bus is what forced me into biking because I hated weekend limited schedules. I also noticed there certain parts of town I rarely visited because there was poor access.

I suspect that 99% of the population that is car free is bus dependant and would never consider a bicycle. Quite sad.
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Old 04-19-08, 05:18 PM   #20
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I suspect that 99% of the population that is car free is bus dependent and would never consider a bicycle. Quite sad.
I was one of them. I associated cycling with being sore, tired, sweaty and stinky. Who wants that? And transporting goods? Well the only role models around here were the homeless guys with Hefty bags full of bottles and cans. Again, not very appealing.

Thank heavens the transit company effectively doubled fares for city dwellers by eliminating transfers. (This was so that we could subsidize the fare reduction for the suburban Park-and-Ride routes.) That just pissed me off.

Given that motivation, I looked into it and discovered things like grocery panniers and bikes light enough I could carry one up the fire escape to my apartment.

I planned on maybe 20 or 25 miles a week. (I rode twice that every day this week, taking the long loop to work and back.) Who knew I'd discover freedom, extended range, greater load-carrying capacity, and joy. It's a real treat every time I ride.

Yeah, that first month I was sore and tired a lot. I had to stop and rest halfway home from the LBS on my first ride. The LBS is 0.67 miles from my building. It was a month before I could ride two miles to work without stopping to rest. My first five-mile ride resulted in a three-hour nap and two days of hobbling around.

And I found the sweaty and stinky part was a non-issue. Easily overcome.

Cycling is much more expensive than the bus--at least the way I'm doing it. I could have purchased eight years worth of unlimited ride passes for what I spent on my Trek Portland and its accessories. (Hell, I could have bought a car, but who wants one of those?) But I won't go back until I can't pedal any more. I'm having too much fun!
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Old 04-19-08, 05:28 PM   #21
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Mega congratulations to you on the occasion of your car free anniversary, tsl!
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Old 04-19-08, 08:11 PM   #22
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Congrats, tsl!

I'm another one who became carfree long before I started riding, but now the bike is at least 85 % of my transit, and walking is another 10 %. Once in a great while I'll hop on a bus or ride in a friend's car. I even drive a bit to take my elderly father to appointments (in his car).

Zoltani-- how about you?
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