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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 08-18-04, 11:52 PM   #1
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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.

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Old 06-11-05, 11:20 AM   #2
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My wife and I were car-free for the first 3+ years of our marriage. We bought our first car, a year-old Ford Pinto station wagon, in late 1976, about the time we bought our first house. I continued to commute to work on foot, by bicycle, and via public transportation, and we did not buy a second car until 1980, when I took a job considerably farther from home and joined a 2-man carpool. We are currently effectively back to one car, since my commute once again comprises various combinations of cycling, jogging, riding the bus, and riding with friends. Some of my coworkers offer me rides home, because they can save time in the carpool lane.

The most difficult aspects of being carless are: 1) grocery shopping; 2) attending late-evening cultural events; 3) visiting places far from home and not served by transit. We resolved the first with large framed backpacks and the latter two by getting rides from friends and reciprocating with gifts, gas money, or perhaps dinner before or after a concert or play.

The key to going carless is the availability of good public transit and your own willingness to cycle in at night and under various weather conditions. If I lived near downtown San Francisco or Boston, I doubt I would even WANT a car. You can also do a quick economic study to decide whether occasionally renting a car is cheaper for you than owning one.
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Old 06-11-05, 11:36 AM   #3
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Woohoo! Great forum idea.

I've been car-free all my life. Our household (3 adults, 2 cats, 1 gecko, 1 mystery rodent) manages just fine without a car. I occasionally use a car for work (less then once a month), but don't drive it: that's part of what I pay my assistant for.

To me, there are two key parts of being able to live without a personal car (I'm not assuming everyone can also live without a business car). The first is location, the second is selective shopping. Both require planning.

Its always been obvious to me (though apparently not to many others) that choosing a home is all about location: how close to transit, stores, work, etc. Car-free or not, I do not understand why anyone would chose to have a long commute. And while you can't always control your job location, you can certainly chose to live near grocery stores and other necessities.

Selective shopping also requires planning. First eliminate the junk, and buy wholesome foods. Fresh fruits, veggies, and meats need a lot less packaging - and therefore are easier to carry - than pre-packaged foods. Find stores that will deliver: in addition to small trips for perishables, we do a huge grocery every two weeks and have it delivered: costs us $5.00CAD. If you plan ahead, paying the occasional small delivery fee is still much cheaper than paying for gas.

Finally don't under-estimate what you can carry home on a bike. 20lbs of cat litter in a backpack or pannier is not that hard (consider using Swheat Scoop- works better, environmentally friendly, and much lighter too). Need new blinds? I carried 5 foot blinds strapped to my top tube. Get a good rack and a selection of bungee cords, and you're set. The people who stare at you and think you're nuts are just an added bonus.
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Old 06-11-05, 12:54 PM   #4
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Finally don't under-estimate what you can carry home on a bike. 20lbs of cat litter in a backpack or pannier is not that hard)
I'll be doing that later today
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Old 06-11-05, 02:19 PM   #5
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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
i've been away from my computer for awhile. this is a great surprise. I'M SUPER JAZZED!!! although i would like to be able to bash cars, thats part of my car free lifestyle
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Old 06-11-05, 08:33 PM   #6
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Two words: I wish.
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Old 06-12-05, 02:40 PM   #7
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This is fantastic. Maybe the only place where I don't feel like I'm in the lunatic fringe!
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Old 06-12-05, 10:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SecretSatellite
i've been away from my computer for awhile. this is a great surprise. I'M SUPER JAZZED!!! although i would like to be able to bash cars, thats part of my car free lifestyle
Yes, but you know that since this forum is not about car bashing, you won't do it here, will ya?

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Old 06-13-05, 12:30 AM   #9
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Wow, I guess Secret and I got our wish!!

You have to agree that coffee is good, coffee is great, etc to post here though hehe., and probably like pie.

Yes, this is NOT about bashing cars and their drivers, people can get that a bunch of places. This is about the practical HOW TO of living car free. After all the jokes and yuks and vitriol is done, what people mainly want to know is how to get 2 bags of groceries home on a bike etc.
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Old 06-13-05, 01:01 PM   #10
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I haven't posted in awhile but this forum looks interesting and appears to match my cycling style which I would define as for transportation or going places. I have been car-free for a number of years now,long enough that cars or driver's attitudes don't really bother me anymore (as long as I don't have to drive or ride in one lol)even though I often cycle in congested areas of SoFl .I usually walk for transportation if the distance is 5-8 miles or less and bike for longer distances as when I get on a bike I have a hard time riding just 5-8 miles and stopping lol.When necessary I have developed the ability to walk 30+ miles or bike 130+ miles.
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Old 06-13-05, 08:27 PM   #11
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Great idea for a forum. Gave up my car years ago, and I have no regrets, except........
1] I miss cruising on garbage pickup night.
2] Shopping can be a drag, although I have adjusted.
3] It makes dating tricky, as I live in the suburbs.
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Old 06-14-05, 09:42 AM   #12
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Just discovered this sub-forum. Awesome idea!!!

My goal is to live car-free. Although I'm not there yet, I'm moving closer to that goal everyday.

My wife, who doesn't drive (she was raised in NYC) is a waitress and just got an awesome new job ten miles away where it's a straight shot on the bus. She walks one block to catch the bus and takes the same bus right to the doorstep of the place, not having to change busses downtown. It takes her half the time to get there, although the actual distance is a little longer than her previous job. The bus going home stops only five houses away from ours. Yea!

Our only car was wrecked three months ago. It's still driveable but that's another incentive not to drive it unless I absolutely have to. I bicycle seven miles to work and run errands by bike. I rode 425 miles in May just commuting and running errands, not including "fun" rides (although they're all fun!).
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Old 06-15-05, 03:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by smurfy

My goal is to live car-free. Although I'm not there yet, I'm moving closer to that goal everyday.
Me, too. I'm unable to commute to work by bike more than a couple of times a month. All the logistics (baby wipes, getting up early, bringing extra clothes to work, etc.) are just too daunting for me at this point.

For now, I'm aiming to use the bike for all my local errands after work and on weekends. In other words, I'm using the car only for getting to work and back. Bike for everything else. I'm looking forward to learning tips and tricks from all of you. Grocery store, drugstore, library: All easy enough by bike. I want to set up a bike that will transport the cat and dog to the vet and bring the lumber home from the Home Despot. Thinking seriously about the Xtracycle.

Anyway, glad this forum is here.
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Old 06-15-05, 08:04 PM   #14
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This is exactly the forum I have been waiting for. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I believe most of us that live car free are probably the extreme minority in our respective localities. It will be nice having a forum to speak with others of similar lifestyle/disposition and share hints and suggestions.
No car bashing.....now that's going to be a toughie, but I'll give it a shot.
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Old 06-16-05, 12:05 AM   #15
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No car bashing.....now that's going to be a toughie, but I'll give it a shot.
Don't worry. We're here to set you straight just in case....

Glad you can enjoy the forums a little bit more now.

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Old 06-22-05, 02:22 PM   #16
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I have one question, why is this in Advocacy & Safety?

Living car free means you commute everywhere you go. This should be in commuting, I cant think of anything that would make it fit in Advocacy & Safety
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Old 06-22-05, 02:57 PM   #17
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cause living without a car is more than just "commuting". commuting denotes that you use your bike to get to and from work. car free means you use your car to get to work, the store, the movies, the doctors office etc.. i think this section is in advocay because living car free goes farther than just commuting.
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Old 06-25-05, 08:42 PM   #18
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ok, so i was the first to request a board of this kind. i was super excited to have a place to discuss car free issues in a dedicated space. but now i'm peeved. koffee is cool but has been way too psuedo authoritarian about this whole deal. "that kind of discussion is for advocacy" bla bla bla. thats why i wanted to post here in the first place-so i could talk about stuff like my dislike of car culture without the input of drivers defending their lifestyle. so now, i think thsi board os a farce. if we cant talk about more than the nuts and bolts then thats shennanigans. how do i delete my account from bikeforums
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Old 06-26-05, 01:10 AM   #19
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how do i delete my account from bikeforums
i think you're being childish, secret. thermodynamics will take care of car culture, probably within our lifetimes. meanwhile, >99% of adult north american bicyclists also drive. yes i think that's sad, but you're really not helping anything by venting your hatred of them or by being petulant.
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Old 07-03-05, 09:14 PM   #20
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Awesome forum!

I've been car-free for almost two years, but it's been easy because I'm in downtown LA so virtually everything I need is close and convenient.

The one big problem that I haven't solved is dating. Are there any other car-free singles in this forum? How do you get from the "I'll meet you there" phase to "I'll pick you up?" I've arranged some fun, romantic picnics and rides, which go over well once in a while, but at some point a car seems like a prerequisite for a relationship, especially if you're a guy.
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Old 07-03-05, 09:33 PM   #21
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I really like being car free and I walk alot more and drive my bike and myself further have a love/ hate relationship with snow ,got three bikes and a bike trailer and getting a singel speed too but I notice how serious the problem with cell phones and cagers is getting ,,They HAVE to do something it has to stop and major fines handed to peeps that drive cars whilst yaking on their cells...........
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Old 07-03-05, 09:34 PM   #22
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Hi Jacobino! I don't have good news for you. If you don't have a car, most ladies will think you're a bum. So either we concentrate on the exceptional women, or us single carless guys need to set up a special Porsche sharing program.

Or even better, we set up a Ferrari sharing program. Then we can all just imply it's in the shop all the time.

Last edited by Platy; 07-03-05 at 09:40 PM. Reason: New idea
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Old 07-03-05, 09:39 PM   #23
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Hi Jacobino! I don't have good news for you. If you don't have a car, most ladies will think you're a bum. So either we concentrate on the exceptional women, or us single carless guys need to set up a special Porsche sharing program.
There are plenty PLENTY of awesome ladies that drive bikes out there that don't think a guy is a bum cause he don't have a four wheel destroy the planet cage
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Old 07-10-05, 10:16 AM   #24
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There are plenty PLENTY of awesome ladies that drive bikes out there that don't think a guy is a bum cause he don't have a four wheel destroy the planet cage
Yeah I'm just cruising this forum to pick up guys. I think car-free is hot!
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Old 07-10-05, 02:10 PM   #25
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Hi Jacobino! I don't have good news for you. If you don't have a car, most ladies will think you're a bum. So either we concentrate on the exceptional women, or us single carless guys need to set up a special Porsche sharing program.

Or even better, we set up a Ferrari sharing program. Then we can all just imply it's in the shop all the time.
Shoot. I don't drive. How can I expect some man to drive if I don't either? That would be bogus.

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