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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 07-12-08, 08:29 PM   #51
Roody
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This thread made me smile almost as much as a good bike ride.

This is going to sound shallow compared to the other posts. But one new reason I like riding is all the positive comments I've been getting since gas prices went up so high. Even strangers at work have come up to me and said things like, "I hear you really rock on a bike. Is it true you even ride to work in the winter? I've been thinking about doing something like that. Can you give me some pointers?"

Like I said, it's shallow, but it feels good. For years, a lot of co-workers thought I was nuts for riding my bike.
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Old 07-12-08, 11:09 PM   #52
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Nothing shallow about that reason. You're spreading the message. You're helping introduce people to cycling. That's quite important and worthwhile.
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Old 07-14-08, 04:23 PM   #53
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$3,400 in my wallet.
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Old 07-14-08, 04:49 PM   #54
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I ride a bike because it's practical: fast enough to be convenient, simple enough for me to work on by myself (usually), exercise when I want and relaxing when I don't, stress relief, cheap way to go on vacation, no charge for parking or looking for spots, etc.

The final reasoni gave up my car was I absolutely hated paying car insurance. Good reasons had been nagging at me to go car free... mostly environmental concerns, but once I realized I could get rid of my $150+/month "don't give me a ticket" charge, I was all for it.
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Old 07-14-08, 04:56 PM   #55
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$3,400 in my wallet.
...... .........

Is it still there? WTH? Go buy some bike swag, you tightwad..

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Old 07-16-08, 06:19 PM   #56
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Is it still there? WTH? Go buy some bike swag, you tightwad..
After my weekend spending spree on freezer food it's down to $3,200. Seriously I do have a big cash payment to make but the fact is I don't have much in the way of expenses. I just made enough of my saag curry mix to last another month of dinners and I have a better provisioned kitchen than I ever have in my life. I spend nothing on fuel or auto insurance, and believe me after awhile that adds up. Plus I live close to work and save money on housing. Instead of a $1,700 a month mortgage in the suburbs I have a $700 a month apartment downtown.
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Old 07-12-14, 07:36 PM   #57
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Lots of Reasons but I'll just name three ...

1. Fun. I enjoy being out in the middle of nowhere with fields and forests and lakes and the ocean and nature all around. I enjoy watching the animals and listening to the birds sing.

2. Fitness. The more I cycle, the more in-shape I get.

3. Adventure. There's something about cycling to places I've never been before that gives me a bigger sense of adventure than driving there. And many times I'll come back to work on a Monday and talk about visiting an interesting place maybe 50 km away ... but no one else has been there. They didn't know it existed, or thought it was too far to drive.
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Old 07-12-14, 10:44 PM   #58
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Lots of Reasons but I'll just name three ...

1. Fun. I enjoy being out in the middle of nowhere with fields and forests and lakes and the ocean and nature all around. I enjoy watching the animals and listening to the birds sing.

2. Fitness. The more I cycle, the more in-shape I get.

3. Adventure. There's something about cycling to places I've never been before that gives me a bigger sense of adventure than driving there. And many times I'll come back to work on a Monday and talk about visiting an interesting place maybe 50 km away ... but no one else has been there. They didn't know it existed, or thought it was too far to drive.
That must be especially fun since you're an immigrant, yet you know more about the area than some of the natives.

Exploration has always been a big part of my enjoyment of bikes. Cycling has always ties in very nicely with my love of history and geography, and helps me to explore some of the places mentioned in history books.

For example, I once spent a weekend riding to places mentioned in books by and about Malcolm X, who grew up here in Lansing.

Another time I explored along the routes where the trolleys and interurban trains used to run. This was a fascinating era when carfree living was at its height. It was interesting to see how the houses near former streetcar stops were older than other houses in the area, because the first development in suburbs was near streetcar stops.

It might seem strange to say this on a carfree forum, but I also enjoyed riding my bike to locations that were important in the early days of automobile manufacturing. Car manufacturing was pioneered seaprately, but at the same time, by Henry Ford and R. E. Olds. Weirdly, I have lived within a few blocks of their first factories, Ford's plant in Highland Park (Detroit) and Olds's first two plants in Lansing. There is well over 100 years of automotive history here in Michigan, obviously with tremendous impact (good and bad) on the entire world.
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Old 07-13-14, 01:18 AM   #59
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That must be especially fun since you're an immigrant, yet you know more about the area than some of the natives.
I found out more about my home city when I returned as a person free or car ownership. I combined that exploration by bike with building a micro-business in bicycle tours of the city's historic precincts. Unfortunately, in the 15 or so years since then, I have forgotten a lot of what was my interpretative commentary, although I still have the script prompts on my computer and refer to them from time to time.

I've said this before, but it stands reinforcing... being free of car ownership, at least initially, makes a person think a lot more about the options available to them. Things such as better and more amenable cycling routes; loading a bike with groceries, or even getting trailer; calculating appropriate travel times; organising social activities; appropriate clothing; even the best bike set-up for the prevailing conditions such as hills or winter. A bicycle rider also is more inclined to stop and look at interpretation boards which seem to be omnipresent, at least throughout Australia.

As to your last paragraph, it isn't really that strange. Where we are today, irrespective of what part of the world, is due to history. It contains success and mistakes. It's a matter of whether history repeats itself that can make interesting viewing.
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Old 07-13-14, 01:24 AM   #60
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Another time I explored along the routes where the trolleys and interurban trains used to run. This was a fascinating era when carfree living was at its height. It was interesting to see how the houses near former streetcar stops were older than other houses in the area, because the first development in suburbs was near streetcar stops.
A fortnight ago, the trains that used to run into and out of Hobart for well over a century stopped running. A new freight terminal has been built about 25km from the city centre. Passenger services ceased around 30 years ago, so it was only a freight line.

Quite a while ago, the relevant councils negotiated for part of the railway easement to become the Intercity Cycleway. We rode along it today... it's one of the better examples of a MUP.

Luckily, there is a steam appreciation society that has preserved some of the steam and diesel locomotives and other rolling stock, but the track now stands a good chance of falling into disrepair because of a lack of commitment from business and government to come up with an adequate plan to continue using it.
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Old 07-14-14, 08:55 PM   #61
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To haul several people with luggage long distances at high speeds over routes not served by other means of transportation, cars are appropriate technology. To haul myself six miles to work, they are overkill.
[/QUOTE]

^^This is my main reason for riding, too! :0)
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Old 07-15-14, 01:41 AM   #62
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WHY WOULD'NT SOMEONE RIDE A BIKE? Automobiles are loud, take up space, expensive, pollute the air, make you fat, and contribute to tens-of-thousands of deaths per year.

I suppose you could say I'm kinda "anti-car". I've seen so many automobiles from so close up(they pass too close pretty often) to where they're just not even appealing to me anymore. I just see each one as a 4000lb weapon/killing machine.

Riding a bike is FREEDOM. God gave me two strong legs for a reason.
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Old 07-15-14, 06:33 AM   #63
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1. Riding a bicycle is the definition of freedom. Freedom from the oil companies. Freedom from monthly car payments. Freedom from expensive car maintenance. Freedom from monthly insurance payments. Freedom from obesity and all of its associated health risks. Freedom from bus schedules. Freedom to stop and admire the view any time you want. Freedom to choose your own route. Freedom to go at your own pace. Freedom to be yourself.
Reminds me of that trainspotting movie....

Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a ****ing big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of ****ing fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the **** you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing ****ing junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, ****ed up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin' else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you've got a bike?
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Old 07-15-14, 07:10 AM   #64
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When people ask me why I ride to work, I always ask them, "If you could fish/golf/play poker/insert-hobby-here to work, wouldn't you?"
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Old 07-15-14, 07:21 AM   #65
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When people ask me why I ride to work, I always ask them, "If you could fish/golf/play poker/insert-hobby-here to work, wouldn't you?"
Good answer!
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Old 07-17-14, 12:11 AM   #66
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I ride for health, yes my bike saved my life.I ride for transportation as well.
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Old 07-17-14, 05:23 AM   #67
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Good answer!


I of course have lots of other reasons, most of which have been said by other people - feeling more connected to the change of seasons, exercise, reducing my impact on the Earth, etc. But that one really cuts right to the heart of the matter.
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Old 07-17-14, 05:43 AM   #68
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I of course have lots of other reasons, most of which have been said by other people - feeling more connected to the change of seasons, exercise, reducing my impact on the Earth, etc. But that one really cuts right to the heart of the matter.

It does. I have had people being a bit critical about the amount I spend on cycling and the amount of time I spend cycling ... so I turn the question around. One coworker was going on about all that, and I said to him, "How much did you spend on the boat you just bought? How much time do you spend on the lake?" He thought about it a moment and then said he had never really thought of it that way. He said, "You're doing what you love, and I'm doing what I love." Absolutely! It's all good. And I bet if he could have commuted to work in his boat, he would have.
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Old 07-17-14, 06:37 AM   #69
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One of the doctors I work with sometimes commutes in on his boat- one of the hospitals he works at is downstream from his house.
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Old 07-17-14, 06:42 AM   #70
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Because it makes me smile.

Because bicycles are one of the best inventions in history.

Because if you ride in a convertible, only your head and shoulders are in the breeze.

Because exercise is optional for young people, and necessary for old folks.

Because you always have your own bags at the market.

During the winter you never have to scape your windshield or wait forever for the heater to warm up (about a block and I'm warmed up inside my wind shell).
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Old 07-17-14, 08:35 AM   #71
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There must be at least 368 reasons to ride a bicycle. Let's hear yours. These could be personal, social, spiritual, environmental, political, economic, health-related or anything else.
In my professional parlance, TNTC (too numerous to count), and too long to describe adequately; nonetheless it is a defining lifestyle for me.

I did however post specifically about my most “extreme” cycling, winter commuting:

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Why would you bike commute in the winter?

I only have the time and inclination to obtain my excercise on my daily bike commute since it fits so well into my day, and I enjoy cycling. More specifically for winter commuting:
  1. Maintain a base level of fitness over the winter
  2. Meet the challenges of winter cycling, in particular acquiring and/or innovating my winter equipment, and seeing how well it prepares me to take on further challenges
  3. Increase my tolerance for the cold weather
  4. Answer that perennial question, “You didn’t ride your bike today, did you?.”
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Old 07-17-14, 11:31 AM   #72
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I love to ride a bicycle. I have a stressful work life and a very busy schedule. But I never worry while I'm riding the bicycle. I learned a long time ago that if you hurry on a bicycle, it won't make hardly any difference in the time it takes to get there. And it might make you slower. So I enjoy the ride, where ever I'm going. The time to worry about what I'm going to accomplish, how I'm going to handle challenges, etc. is not while I'm on the bicycle. I shut all that out quite well.

I've had some people kind of challenge my lifestyle choices (mostly my own family) and suggest that my life would be easier with a car because it would not take me "so long" to commute, shop, etc. I accept that this might accelerate certain days in an important way. But fitness is important to me and I won't push that aside for long. If you take that into account, the bicycle is not adding much to my schedule. I'm really killing two birds with one stone. I'm doing the commute on my bicycle, which gets the commuting and fitness activity done at the same time. If I did them separately it would take longer​.

And besides, the world is in too big a hurry to do everything. Why always be efficient with your time?
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Old 07-17-14, 11:35 AM   #73
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Even strangers at work have come up to me and said things like, "I hear you really rock on a bike. Is it true you even ride to work in the winter? I've been thinking about doing something like that. Can you give me some pointers?"
Maybe it's a cultural thing. I can't IMAGINE somebody at my office saying that. I would probably respond "huh?"
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Old 07-17-14, 12:18 PM   #74
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Maybe it's a cultural thing. I can't IMAGINE somebody at my office saying that. I would probably respond "huh?"
I wouldn't be surprised if such events are frequent for someone with a very lively imagination.
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Old 07-17-14, 01:13 PM   #75
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I wouldn't be surprised if such events are frequent for someone with a very lively imagination.
Or someone who isn't grumpy all the time. You'd probably be surprised to learn that many people will speak with you if you're not always sarcastic and negative. (Assuming your real life demeanor is like your online personality.)
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