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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 07-15-08, 02:59 PM   #26
EliteTempleton
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Yeah--I'd love to ride across the Straits from St. Ignace to the island, following the path of Christmas trees they put on the ice so they won't get lost in the snow.
That would be pretty neat, would you be considered car free or snowmobile free if you did that?
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Old 07-15-08, 06:01 PM   #27
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I've sometimes described my part of the world as the last stop before heaven. Seems like others would agree.
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My cycling heaven:
1. real bike paths that go somewhere — We have those here. We also have bike-friendly roads.
2. bike racks at every store, office, park, etc. — Not yet, but it's getting a lot better.
3. free air at the gas stations, coffee houses, etc. — Air is free as gas stations. If you ask nicely, I'll lend you my pump.
4. No cars or trucks — Not yet.
5. people who are nice to their fellow cyclists and neighbor — That describes most of the people here.
6. roads that heat up in the winter — No, the roads here heat up in summer.
7. no flats — Haven't figured how to solve that problem yet.
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Old 07-15-08, 07:35 PM   #28
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I've sometimes described my part of the world as the last stop before heaven. Seems like others would agree.

6. roads that heat up in the winter — No, the roads here heat up in summer.


Sounds like the perfect climate here in Michigan--never too cold in the summer or too hot in the winter.
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Old 07-15-08, 07:48 PM   #29
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I did a bike tour last year on the UP, and that Summer tour was the coldest June I've ever experienced. Man, that wind off Lake Superior is COLD!
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Old 07-24-08, 09:57 AM   #30
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It's called Portland, OR and it is indeed heavenly. Just got back from a week's stay there, bikes lanes galore, bike racks everywhere, tons of bike shops, EVERYONe has a bike. There are cars too, but you can exist pretty easily car free from what I could gather.
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Old 07-28-08, 03:44 PM   #31
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I've sometimes described my part of the world as the last stop before heaven. Seems like others would agree.

7. no flats — Haven't figured how to solve that problem yet.
http://www.nu-teck.com/

See: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...80#post7141780 for commenting.

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I did a bike tour last year on the UP, and that Summer tour was the coldest June I've ever experienced. Man, that wind off Lake Superior is COLD!
I knew there was a reason I had more pants then shorts... My favorite pair are the ones I found last winter, they are jeans that are fleece lined, now those keep me warm!
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Old 07-28-08, 07:53 PM   #32
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I literally just got the chills from reading some of these. I live far too much of my life with my head in the clouds... but i keeps me sane!
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Old 07-28-08, 09:26 PM   #33
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1/3 wide(40 feet), flat, straight lanes with sprint lines every 500m for commuting races.
1/3 twisty, smooth 3000 foot descents.
1/3 twisty, canopied,3000 foot 5-10% grades uphill.
75 degrees F 50% humidity year round, near the beach.
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Old 08-17-14, 06:03 PM   #34
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A cyclist's paradise would be a small town, where everybody knows everybody else and all the shops are small family owned businesses. All the roads would be wide and with clean paved shoulders. All roads should interconnect and there shall be no dead ends. The whole town should be built on a rolling hills area.

To the left of town, a great valley flat as a pancake, 200mi big, with a few neighboring cities. Wide roads with clean shoulders for intercity traveling. Distances no smaller than 20mi between cities. The cities should also have wide roads with clean shoulders and bike lanes through their downtowns. There should be an abundance of bike rack equipped coffee shops selling bagels and gatorade.

To the right of town, a great mountain range, with peaks up to 4k feet high and steep hills of all grades. Again, wide lanes and clean paved shoulders on all mountain roads. A few taverns in the mountains, selling food, gatorade and beer.

You're pretty much describing where we used to live in Victoria, Australia.


It was a small town, where everybody knows everybody else, and all/most of the shops are small family owned businesses. If you lived in town, as we did, everything was within easy walking distance. The roads were wide and and clean ... ample room for both vehicles and bicycles to co-exist peacefully. The town was built in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range.

But despite being in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, there were 3 or 4 relatively flat roads which was just beautiful for evening cycling, or shorter weekend rides. And a little further away, out of the foothills, was a large flat area that went on for kilometers, perfect for longer weekend rides.

There were cities within 100 km, and small towns no further apart than 13 km (apparently the distance a horse could run in a day, I was told). The roads between were good, and often had shoulders (there could have been more shoulders). And within most of the towns and cities, the roads were wide and clean with ample room for both vehicles and bicycles to co-exist peacefully. And there were, of course, lots of bakeries, take-aways, and pubs.

Because our town was in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, there were also mountains and steep hills nearby.

And the climate was pretty good ... still rideable, but a little chilly and foggy in the winter ... and really quite nice for 2/3 of the year.

It was lovely there, and I often miss it.

Last edited by Machka; 08-20-14 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 08-17-14, 07:25 PM   #35
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There were cities within 100 km, and small towns no further apart than 13 km (apparently the distance a horse could run in a day, I was told)
It was the distance a horse could cover in an hour or a person on foot in half a day (out and back in the same day). Horses walk at around 4 mph, trot at 8 mph, cantor at 12 mph and gallop at close to 20 mph, but typically only for a mile or two.

Humans travel around 3 mph when on foot. The small towns around my part of the world are ~7-10 miles apart, sometimes as much as 12.

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Old 08-17-14, 08:05 PM   #36
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It was the distance a horse could cover in an hour or a person on foot in half a day (out and back in the same day). Horses walk at around 4 mph, trot at 8 mph, cantor at 12 mph and gallop at close to 20 mph, but typically only for a mile or two.

Humans travel around 3 mph when on foot. The small towns around my part of the world are ~7-10 miles apart, sometimes as much as 12.

Aaron
Ah, that's what it is ... thanks for that!


And now, it makes for good cycling because you're never very far away from a place to restock food and water if necessary.
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Old 08-17-14, 10:20 PM   #37
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All of these sound incredible.

I'll add one. Similar to some paved/shared bike trails in Toronto, very few, have these that interconnect across the city... the whole city, except wider and for cyclists only. The paved ground will sense when a bike is approaching the road crossing ahead and will automatically signal the light to begin changing so that the cyclist does not have to stop when they arrive at the crossing.
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Old 08-17-14, 11:46 PM   #38
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In the six years since this post debuted, there have been several changes around here that make cycling a lot more pleasant:
  • A lot more bike lanes
  • City bike trails have gone from 11 miles to 18 miles of totally carfree travel
  • Separated bike trails are now plowed right after snowfalls--often before the streets are cleared
  • Businesses are now required to install bike racks
  • Complete Street laws at the city, county, and state levels of government that will gradually result in better infrastructure
  • Lots more butts on bikes!

It isn't heaven yet--but we're making progress!
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Old 08-19-14, 06:04 PM   #39
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Quote:
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A cyclist's paradise would be a small town, where everybody knows everybody else and all the shops are small family owned businesses. All the roads would be wide and with clean paved shoulders. All roads should interconnect and there shall be no dead ends. The whole town should be built on a rolling hills area.

To the left of town, a great valley flat as a pancake, 200mi big, with a few neighboring cities. Wide roads with clean shoulders for intercity traveling. Distances no smaller than 20mi between cities. The cities should also have wide roads with clean shoulders and bike lanes through their downtowns. There should be an abundance of bike rack equipped coffee shops selling bagels and gatorade.

To the right of town, a great mountain range, with peaks up to 4k feet high and steep hills of all grades. Again, wide lanes and clean paved shoulders on all mountain roads. A few taverns in the mountains, selling food, gatorade and beer.
Actually that sounds a lot like the rural town where I live.
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Old 08-19-14, 06:29 PM   #40
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I think I may be living in as close an approximation as is currently available.

It's a suburb of a moderate sized city, with a local ordnance that requires every new property development to include multi use paths alongside the roadway. Most of the intersections are roundabouts with an outer MUP circle.
There's a major "greenway" MUP that runs basically from my backyard all the way downtown, and links together several other bike trails, parks, and nature areas.
Take the greenway and/or MUPs North or West, and you are soon out in farmland with mostly paved, mostly deserted roads.

Only downside is the weather. We do have significant snow for much of the Winter, and usually not enough warm days to melt it off completely. And, unfortunately, the city does not clear snow from the MUPs, nor scruple to pile vast amounts of snow from the roads in such a way as to block the MUPs at intersections. Other than that, it's a pretty good setup.

If I was going to get really picky, I'd like to add an additional 2 or 3 East-West greenways, and go back and complete the missing sections of MUP on properties that were developed prior to the MUP ordnance.

Last edited by alathIN; 08-19-14 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 08-20-14, 04:58 AM   #41
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Bicycling heaven

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Originally Posted by alathIN View Post
I think I may be living in as close an approximation as is currently available.

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I've sometimes described my part of the world as the last stop before heaven. Seems like others would agree.

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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
Mackinac Island...
Since this thread is divided between pie-in the-sky descriptions of a metaphysical bicycle heaven, and its locations on earth, I would add Metro Boston to the list. There is an active thread devoted to the Riding Experience here. In fact, the purported inventor of the modern bicycle lived here at one time.

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In 1862 while Lallement was employed building baby carriages in Nancy he saw someone riding a dandy horse, a forerunner of the bicycle that required the rider to propel the vehicle by walking. Lallement modified what he had seen by adding a transmission comprising a rotary crank mechanism and pedals attached to the front-wheel hub, thus creating the first true bicycle…He died in obscurity in 1891 in Boston at the age of 47.
An urban Bike path is named in his honor.
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Old 08-20-14, 05:06 AM   #42
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France.

D roads.

Respect.

Patisserie every 5-10 Km.

No pickups or guns to worry about.

Faire le pee pee roadside is de rigueur.
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Old 08-20-14, 08:01 AM   #43
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Mackinac Island without the tourists.
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Old 08-20-14, 12:17 PM   #44
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I've sometimes described my part of the world as the last stop before heaven.
I used to live in an area that some residents called it "god's waiting room". It was pretty nice riding. Fresh asphalt, 8 foot shoulders, mostly flat. Summers were a little hot though.

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Old 08-20-14, 12:56 PM   #45
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Mackinac Island without the tourists.
Do you mean Mackinac Island without all but one tourist?
Same might be said for many parts of Florida, especially if residents were also included.
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Old 08-20-14, 01:12 PM   #46
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Old 08-20-14, 02:51 PM   #47
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France.

D roads.

Respect.

Patisserie every 5-10 Km.

No pickups or guns to worry about.

Faire le pee pee roadside is de rigueur.
Aussi les baguettes délicieuses! Yum!
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Old 08-20-14, 04:25 PM   #48
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Do you mean Mackinac Island without all but one tourist?
Same might be said for many parts of Florida, especially if residents were also included.
I would live there, not be a tourist.
I am not in a quaint or touristy part of Florida.
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Old 08-20-14, 06:04 PM   #49
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Another place that had/has really good cycling ... almost what you might call "bicycling heaven" ... is Alberta.

The roads there are gorgeous! Most have beautiful, smooth, wide shoulders which make cycling a joy.

The drivers are also surprisingly good and courteous. Surprisingly ... because you wouldn't expect drivers in that province to be particularly friendly toward cyclists.

The scenery is varied and beautiful, as is the terrain ... some areas that are flat, lots of rolling hills, Rocky Mountains ...

There are the two big cities, of course, but there is lots of wide open space so a person can breathe and not feel crowded ... but dotted with occasional smaller cities and towns (approx. 25-50 km apart) where a cyclist can get supplies.

There is something of a cycling community ... a little scattered because of the size of the province, but there are some interesting events on offer and the cycletouring clubs in Edmonton and Calgary put on some really impressively well done events.


The one down side of Alberta is the climate. Because of the mountains, Alberta can be wintery 8 months of the year ... cold and like you're living in a black-and-white photograph most of the year (snow on the ground and/or black fields, grey skies, grey/black trees with no leaves). Not every year ... each year is different ... and some years there are several winter chinooks providing cyclists with beautiful cycling weather in December or January. You just never know. But come April, the winters do start to feel like they're going on forever. If you live there, it's a good idea to make travel plans in the early part of a year (i.e. February/March) to a warmer, greener climate ... just for a little break.
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Old 08-21-14, 07:18 AM   #50
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