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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 01-03-11, 03:36 PM   #1
dcrowell
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Car Lite and a New Goal

I have a truck, but I seldom drive. I even moved into town so that I can do almost everything by bicycle.

My wife doesn't ride, but she spends about 50% her time out of town for work, so both my truck and her car sit idle most of the time.

Since it's a new year, I decided it's a good time to start tracking every mile I drive. I already track bike miles. My goal for this year is to ride more miles than I drive.

The hard part of this is that I'll be using the truck for longer trips that aren't practical for biking. I won't fly anymore, and I have to attend a conference in Orlando this summer.

Some of my co-workers complained about the recent increase in gas prices. I HAD noticed, as I had just filled the tank on my truck, but that was after two months of not buying gas.
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Old 01-03-11, 03:55 PM   #2
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Welcome to the club!
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Old 01-03-11, 04:02 PM   #3
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Along with tracking mileage, it might be helpful to track expenses on the 2nd car. I know it always seems like it isn't much, but it does add up... usually to an amount that you'd prefer to have in the bank.

You might also think about what your plan B would be if you wife suddenly had to use her car and you need to be somewhere, but, for whatever reason, can't use you bike. Do you have a bus? Can you carpool? Do you have a backup bike?
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Old 01-03-11, 08:47 PM   #4
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Along with tracking mileage, it might be helpful to track expenses on the 2nd car. I know it always seems like it isn't much, but it does add up... usually to an amount that you'd prefer to have in the bank.

You might also think about what your plan B would be if you wife suddenly had to use her car and you need to be somewhere, but, for whatever reason, can't use you bike. Do you have a bus? Can you carpool? Do you have a backup bike?
I already track too much. Tracking expenses is a bit much. My wife and I have separate finances, further complicating that. The plan is to sell her car. I still owe money on my truck.

As far as a backup plan, I'm pretty well covered. Louisville has a bus service. I have four bikes. My commute is only 3.5 miles one way, I could walk it if I had to. There's a grocery store less than a mile away. I actually live in a great part of town to live car-free. Even my wife works within four miles, but I can't get her on a bike.
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Old 01-03-11, 09:10 PM   #5
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As far as a backup plan, I'm pretty well covered. Louisville has a bus service. I have four bikes. My commute is only 3.5 miles one way, I could walk it if I had to. There's a grocery store less than a mile away. I actually live in a great part of town to live car-free. Even my wife works within four miles, but I can't get her on a bike.
Sheesh... you could walk that distance if you had to. Sounds like you have a near-ideal situation.
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Old 01-03-11, 09:56 PM   #6
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Why not take a bus to Orlando?
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Old 01-03-11, 11:11 PM   #7
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I keep a gas log in the car. When I fill up, I'm recording the date, the odometer reading, the price and the number of litres. That information does two things. First, it shows me how much it's costing me to keep the car in fuel. Second, it helps me calculate my fuel economy.

In 2010, my distance in the car and my distance on the bike were around the same.
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Old 01-04-11, 12:22 AM   #8
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I have a truck, but I seldom drive. I even moved into town so that I can do almost everything by bicycle.

My wife doesn't ride, but she spends about 50% her time out of town for work, so both my truck and her car sit idle most of the time.

Since it's a new year, I decided it's a good time to start tracking every mile I drive. I already track bike miles. My goal for this year is to ride more miles than I drive.

The hard part of this is that I'll be using the truck for longer trips that aren't practical for biking. I won't fly anymore, and I have to attend a conference in Orlando this summer.

Some of my co-workers complained about the recent increase in gas prices. I HAD noticed, as I had just filled the tank on my truck, but that was after two months of not buying gas.
I wouldn't get too focused on this. Just use your car when you absolutely have to, and ride the rest of the time. I went from car-free to car-lite about a year ago, and honestly, I can't really tell the difference (I put 4000 miles on the bike and about 600 miles on the car.)

I do agree with gerv, though, that getting down to one car rather than two might be a good idea. I can fully understand that many people need a car sometimes; I can't imagine too many situations when anyone would actually need two, though.
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Old 01-04-11, 07:05 PM   #9
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Why not take a bus to Orlando?
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Old 01-04-11, 07:38 PM   #10
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I wouldn't get too focused on this. Just use your car when you absolutely have to, and ride the rest of the time.
I agree. The correct course of action will eventually make itself known to you.

But if you start seeing a bunch of weeds growing from under the tires, get rid of it.
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Old 01-04-11, 08:13 PM   #11
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I agree. The correct course of action will eventually make itself known to you.

But if you start seeing a bunch of weeds growing from under the tires, get rid of it.
Ha! The wife's car hasn't been started in months. I hope it will start.
My goal is to get rid of it. The good woman drives my truck, so it should be an easy sell.
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