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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 07-19-05, 07:45 AM   #26
mmerner
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nice addition, but I think Car Free would be a better sub forum of commuting. I started commuting to work and now am trying for car free. plus I don't like having to go through the "angry" forum to get here.
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Old 07-21-05, 07:44 AM   #27
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nice addition, but I think Car Free would be a better sub forum of commuting. I started commuting to work and now am trying for car free. plus I don't like having to go through the "angry" forum to get here.
What I did was subscribe to all the relevent forums (including this one), and use "User Control Panel" to access them. This lets me skip the intermediate forums, and go directly to the interesting stuff.
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Old 07-26-05, 11:55 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by landstander
What I did was subscribe to all the relevent forums (including this one), and use "User Control Panel" to access them. This lets me skip the intermediate forums, and go directly to the interesting stuff.
That's a good point. I for one will be sure to do that. It seems that the bike advocacy forum is constantly combative and the commuting forum thinks you're a weenie if you're not on a purpose-built, thousand dollar whip and riding superfast . This forum is more my speed, that is the "lowball hybrid, riding to the post office in sandals" kind of speed.
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Old 07-27-05, 09:19 AM   #29
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===> Working on getting it moved.

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Old 07-27-05, 09:42 AM   #30
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===> Working on getting it moved.

Koffee

And I, for one, appreciate it. I sometimes make the mistake of reading, and then posting, in the "angry" forum (I llke that name for it). If I can avoid it, all the better. I try not to read an angry thread again after I have posted in it. Some people thrive on that stuff, I don't, and I don't want another heart surgery before I manage to hit 40.
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Old 07-27-05, 01:50 PM   #31
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I also must say that I'm glad this forum has been started!!!

I've been car-free now(100%) for 3 years. The 3 years prior to that I had a car but it was broken down about 80% of the time.

So.....what are we going to discuss here? Other than the fact that we are happy this forum exist.

peace,

Gabe
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Old 07-27-05, 02:36 PM   #32
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....what are we going to discuss here? Other than the fact that we are happy this forum exist...
One's transportation choices seem to have major lifestyle implications, and that's a fascinating subject. Tips and tricks are also interesting. Living well without owning a car requires skills and know-how that take a while to develop.
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Old 08-01-05, 05:29 AM   #33
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I lost my car over fifteen years ago and have been cycling everywhere ever since. I go grocery shopping, to the bank, work, everywhere. A lot of people have given me crap for not having a car, but lately with the price of gas they are starting to point to me saying, "Now that's the way to do it."

My current bike is a Giant Sedona. I've had her now for just over two years and I love her (yes I refer to my Sedona as a "she"). I bought some saddle bags a while back for carrying groceries and etc. I keep a bike kit under the seat with tools, spare repair kit, etc. I don't really have any tricks to share accept that I take my bike into the bike shop here (its called Rock 'n' Road) to get her overhauled twice a year - once in the spring and once more in the fall. In between I will stop in there to get the chain, gears, cables, and tires checked. Regular maintenance has kept me on the road cycling happy.

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Old 08-01-05, 07:49 AM   #34
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Thank you Koffee for moving this into it's own section. Much appreciated.
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Old 08-01-05, 11:18 AM   #35
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I live in the Southern California area. I have been car free by both choice and necessary (financial) reasons since I learned to drive (I hope just having a driver's license does not disqualify me from this forum). I am happy to not participate in and contribute to the mad rush that defines Los Angeles' world famous car dependance and even addiction.

Lately I have been pressured into car ownership by a force not apparent for a reason for car ownership. My father is more ill now and appears at first to need a car to get around. He cannot fit on a bike for obvious reasons and I almost caved in. I discovered that there are programs even in L.A. that supports alternatives to car ownership (like taxicab vouchers) which makes my chosen lifestyle practical. It takes a little more time to find ways around car ownership but the rewards are there in means that I have least expected.

Good luck in development of this forum. I look foward in contributing to it whenever I can and have something interesting to write about.
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Old 08-01-05, 01:29 PM   #36
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Thank you Koffee for moving this into it's own section. Much appreciated.
Thank me for nagging the other admins...

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Old 08-01-05, 01:51 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by chocula
Thinking seriously about the Xtracycle.

The Xtracycle is absolutely the greatest & worth every cent. I was skeptical when my fiance suggested it (we already had 2 trailers & panniers), but it outperformed all of them. It was our getaway vehicle for our wedding, carries all sorts of funky-sized cargo and is just plain fun.

I would seriously consider building up a touring bike w/an extracycle for long trips.

Oh, only one caveat --you need to be a social person for the Xtracycle...everybody wants to talk w/ya about it.
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Old 08-07-05, 04:50 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
...since this forum is not about car bashing...

Koffee
Can we bash Hummers?

Seriously though, I only found this forum when it got its own home. As a non-car owner for almost a decade, I love the idea. I rent cars, I get rides with friends, and visitors always have a space to park.
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Old 08-07-05, 08:36 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harlemgirl
The Xtracycle is absolutely the greatest & worth every cent. I was skeptical when my fiance suggested it (we already had 2 trailers & panniers), but it outperformed all of them. It was our getaway vehicle for our wedding, carries all sorts of funky-sized cargo and is just plain fun.

I would seriously consider building up a touring bike w/an extracycle for long trips.

Oh, only one caveat --you need to be a social person for the Xtracycle...everybody wants to talk w/ya about it.
I bought one of those Xtracycles (the free radical attachment) a couple of years ago but found that I didn't need that kind of carrying capacity all the time. One pannier usually does it for me and I have a BOB if the load demands it. I don't regret the purchase at all because it's not like it's rotting in my closet and I like to support innovative ideas. One day I might find a frame for cheap and I'll put it to use. I kind of picture a "parade bike" that is FUN FUN FUN....

I learned about the Xtracycle from BikeForums; I have hopes that this new forum will be a good one.

Chuckie
(car-free for two and half years and counting)
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Old 08-07-05, 08:44 PM   #40
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I bought one of those Xtracycles (the free radical attachment) a couple of years ago but found that I didn't need that kind of carrying capacity all the time. One pannier usually does it for me and I have a BOB if the load demands it. I don't regret the purchase at all because it's not like it's rotting in my closet and I like to support innovative ideas. One day I might find a frame for cheap and I'll put it to use. I kind of picture a "parade bike" that is FUN FUN FUN....

I learned about the Xtracycle from BikeForums; I have hopes that this new forum will be a good one.

Chuckie
(car-free for two and half years and counting)

Well, if this forum turns to crap, let me know so we can make some changes for ya.

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Old 08-18-05, 08:16 PM   #41
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So does anyone here have a dress code at work? Mine is pretty flexible, though they
say they expect business casual. Do you take extra clothes in a back-pack (those of
you with similar dress expectations at work)? ....and shoes too?
What about snowy conditions. I recently moved up north and have not had to deal with
snowy conditions. For that matter, rainy conditions....do you have a rain suit? Any
recommendations?
I'm not bike free, but would like to get at least 50% of the way there.
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Old 08-18-05, 10:13 PM   #42
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I've been car free by necessity for the past four years. I was in the middle of a career change and without a job, there was no way I could keep a used vehicle that was breaking down every three to four months. In fact, I was close to bankruptcy and buying groceries with credit cards using one to pay for the other. That car drained all my savings and had me living paycheck to paycheck. I had no idea the power of commuter tains or lightrail and like many really believed you could only travel via motor transport. When the car was taken away, it was the saddest day of my life. The car was given to me by my father and it was his only possession of value. I really believed that I was doomed to spend the rest of my life using buses and no longer being able to visit the burbs or go anywhere interesting. I was stuck living in a five mile radius of my home.

Once employed, I decided to move where a lightrail was running every 15 minutes. I just can't believe how this system changed my life. Seriously. It's become a toy that I use two or three times a day for work, mall shopping and bike rides during the weekends. I like the system so much, I even stopped bike commuting to work five miles each day because the train is safer, much more comfortable since it rides on smooth rails and totally stress free. I estimate the system carries me over 420 miles each month for only $53.00 dollars. An incredible bargain.

My advice is simple. Locate a city or town that has lightrail service. New lines are opening all the time and word is spreading that lightrail brings economic prosperity where ever they are constructed. I've seen this in my town as homes along the lightrail line went up in value over 30% once the station opened. In Houston, a lightrail was constructed in this car town not long ago and it became the most successful in all the nation. I've seen a lightrail constructed in the middle of nowhere in South Jersey and now it's attracting tens of millions in new development in a neighborhood that's practically a slum! Go to the web site (www.lightrailnow.com) and see how this new method of transportation can make you car free and maybe even bike free!!! ;-)

Speaking of bicycles, I have to thank Paul Dorn and Mike Hessey (folding society) for educating me about the power and enjoyment of human transporation machines.

These are the steps I used to become car free.

1. Locate lightrail.
2. Find new job at the end of line
3. Move to the other end of the line where it's less expensive
4. Sell car and give the buyer your condolences. ;-)
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Old 08-25-05, 11:28 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
Here is the new forum for car free living. Feel free to discuss your car free concerns here... but keep in mind, this is NOT the forum for discussion about multi-use paths, arguing about your problems with cars, SUV's etc. or to flame people who drive. It's the spot for people to discuss getting around without cars, utility trailers, living without the car, etc. Any topics that deviate beyond the spirit of the forum will be moved out into their proper forums.

Enjoy.

Koffee Brown
here is a car free issue, i think. something to look out for.
recently my primary care clinic outsourced its lab and x-ray work. typically i don't need these things, but this week i stepped on a nail. i called and asked exactly how far away is the clinic that does the x-ray to make sure all the nail was out. they said only a few minutes don't worry. i said "i am on a bike so i need it to be with in five miles not only because my foot hurts to bike, but time". so, i get the refereal and it is in Edina. a suburb onf MPLS. about 20 miles away. not far when you are not ill'in.
So, i have now found a clinic that has all the essentials, a full lab, x-ray, and a few specialty doctors. I guess I had never thought about a primary care clinic not being able to draw blood for a simple blood test or an x-ray. but being car free this is now something for me to think about. and maybe others in choosing a clinic or watching how their clinic maybe changing. i made at least 15 phone calls before i found a clinic that had what i needed.
have others run into this?
i have been reading in different publications related to HR that talk about clinics outsourcing those services. I don't think they realize how that can affect someone without a car.
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Old 09-06-05, 05:12 PM   #44
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Hello-
I am new to these forums, and I'm hoping I've picked the right place to post this...
I have lived car free for going on 23 years. Yes. A miracle...or an empty wallet.
Either way, I live in a major metro area, and it's not so bad- I really enjoy biking, even on
my $100 clunker.
But my commutes are getting wider and the buses are becoming...irregular.
So I want to go faster, of course...but about 50% of the time I lug my 41" tall 3 1/2 year old
behind me- so no scooters in my future.
I am thinking about getting a basic commuting bike (no trail riding here) and adding a pedal assist kit.
Anyone with any ideas for lightweight bikes under $300?

Thanks!
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Old 09-06-05, 08:05 PM   #45
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Rachunaj -- Welcome! It'll be good to have a mmber with so much experience.

Cheap bikes? Check out some of the threads here, or start a new thread. I would consider used, especially if you know enough about bikes to spot a good deal.
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Old 09-10-05, 03:32 PM   #46
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I have been posting mostly in the "Commuting" forum...

But I realize I should be visiting here as well...
You see, I have not even started either of my 2 vehicles since June of this year. Which is pretty tough, one is a 2004 FatBoy Harley Davidson. I gave up driving when the price of gas was 2.00 per Gallon... now it is over 3.00.

It is tough some days to go shopping and such, but I manage. I keep a bungie cord in my pannier at all times. Oh bet you guessed I ride with a pannier too... at least the left side one... when I need more supplies I put on both.

My bike is a 1994 Trek 7000 MTB, I put Conti Town & Country Tires on it (1.9 width). thing flys down the road. I have been seriously thinking what it would be like on one of those very light road bikes.

I will always ride this ole' trek...
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Old 09-18-05, 12:47 AM   #47
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Well if you really want to impress the right kind of woman, add an Xtracycle to your mountain bike, put Footsies on it and a tandem stoker handlebar on your seatpost and pedal her to dinner and movies. (Providing she weighs less than the Xtracycle's 200 lb. limit).

And if you have to go very far or up steep hills, add a Stokemonkey from www.cleverchimp.com.

Heck I've even seen a photo online of a bride sitting side-saddle on an Xtracycle with the groom pedalling away from the church, tin cans and all.

WAY more exclusive than a Porshche! She WILL remember you.
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Old 09-29-05, 03:14 AM   #48
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Hey everyone! Thanks Koffee for putting this thread together! I want to bounce a question off of Y'all... I have a recumbent, and a trailer for most of my riding and errands, but I'm thinking of getting a mountain bike for the versatility, Riding in grass, over curbs, ETC... The question is this: What's the best all around car-free set up? Thanks for sharing. Peace, Ritz.

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Old 09-29-05, 12:07 PM   #49
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Hey everyone! Thanks Koffee for putting this thread together! I want to bounce a question off of Y'all... I have a recumbent, and a trailer for most of my riding and errands, but I'm thinking of getting a mountain bike for the versatility, Riding in grass, over curbs, ETC... The question is this: What's the best all around car-free set up? Thanks for sharing. Peace, Ritz.
My ideal set up for total freedom of movement without a car is this:

- A $50 old Walmart-style beater with lots of rack space and bags to get the groceries and go to work
- A Brompton for any cycling that involves taking the train or flying
- A bent for long-distance touring
- A cross-country mountain bike for heavy off-road and mixed on- and off-road touring

The absolute necessity for me is the former 2 (the beater and the Brompton): I just couldn't live without them. The latter 2 (bent and MTB) are for fun, and I could do without the MTB easily, but I'd be very sad without my bent for sure. 4 bikes aren't cheap (apart the beater) but I recouped the cost quickly and easily with what I saved on gas, insurance, parking, etc...
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Old 09-29-05, 05:07 PM   #50
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Cool, it seems I'm on the right track. With a $99.00 Wal*Mart "Mountain Bike" (That's my beater) already in my arsenal, and a Sun Recumbent as my daily ride, I think I'm headed in the right direction. I also have the Child / Cargo trailer (Good for a hundred pounds of stuff). Now, a folder and a decent MTB, and I'll be set! Thank You! Peace, Ritz.

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