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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 03-10-11, 10:12 PM   #1
Titmawz
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Driving...

Its been a few months since I have driven and I gotta admit that I really dislike it... No wonder people that have to spend time in cages become crazy....
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Old 03-10-11, 10:24 PM   #2
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I manage to drive about 3x/year; the biggest impact it made on my psyche was a couple winters ago, doing holiday shopping. Snow was falling, I had three kids with me, and traffic was moderate/heavy. It took a total of about 7 miles for me to reach the edge of a homicidal rage.

It was time to go home.

Now, I can barely ride as a passenger that far before I'm muttering under my breath about stupid drivers and their unbelievable sense of entitlement.
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Old 03-10-11, 10:42 PM   #3
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Does being in the cage make them crazy, or do only crazy people choose to spend hours per day in a cage?
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Old 03-10-11, 11:19 PM   #4
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I have a car that I used to commute on, and I really hated the drive. It made me stressed out, and my driving deteriorated--I drove faster and more aggressively. I chilled my driving out before I started cycling very much, but now when I find reason to drive, it's a far more pleasant experience. Commuting is soul-sucking, and you really start trying to minimize your travel time. This is fun on a bicycle, not so much in a car. Your travel time in a car is mostly determined by traffic, but on a bike your effort has a substantial effect. Now when I find reason to drive, I am much more relaxed. I get to sit on my ass and listen to some good music. I am aware of the danger of driving, but it's kind of a fun game to read the road ahead so as to avoid collisions and to maximize fuel economy. Cycling helps develop this skill.

I think people's ridiculous commutes really do make them worse drivers. It'd be nice if everyone commuted on bike for some period of time, I think it'd make them better drivers.
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Old 03-11-11, 01:15 AM   #5
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I have a car that I used to commute on, and I really hated the drive. It made me stressed out, and my driving deteriorated--I drove faster and more aggressively. I chilled my driving out before I started cycling very much, but now when I find reason to drive, it's a far more pleasant experience. Commuting is soul-sucking, and you really start trying to minimize your travel time. This is fun on a bicycle, not so much in a car. Your travel time in a car is mostly determined by traffic, but on a bike your effort has a substantial effect. Now when I find reason to drive, I am much more relaxed. I get to sit on my ass and listen to some good music. I am aware of the danger of driving, but it's kind of a fun game to read the road ahead so as to avoid collisions and to maximize fuel economy. Cycling helps develop this skill.

I think people's ridiculous commutes really do make them worse drivers. It'd be nice if everyone commuted on bike for some period of time, I think it'd make them better drivers.
I think you may be on to something here. I almost never drive, but when I do, it's not nearly as bad as it was when I did it every day. It feels like a real luxury to be able to drive to a play downtown once in a great while, and not have to be all wet and/or sweaty upon arrival. But it's not something I'd want to do more than once or twice a month. And, like you, I do have a lot more understanding for others, especially non-drivers, than I did back when I drove regularly. I agree that having to drive all the time, especially when you're in a hurry or stuck in heavy traffic, does not inspire one to be a better human being. Bikes usually bring out a better side of people.
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Old 03-11-11, 08:37 AM   #6
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From "The Quotable Cyclist":

"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart." -- Iris Murdoch, The Red And The Green, a story written in 1965, set in WWI Ireland.

I like this book (TQC)
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Old 03-11-11, 04:42 PM   #7
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Driving isn't all that bad if there is no traffic. I like to drive on highways and country roads on weekends, particularly early in the morning when there is no traffic. I'd enjoy driving even more if I had a silent, electric car with instant torque

However, I drive only for leisure a few times a month, and that's the way it should be.
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Old 03-11-11, 05:35 PM   #8
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I haven't driven since last August, which I think is about the longest I ever went. I wonder if I still know how? You never forget how to ride a bike, but I don't know if it's the same for a car.
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Old 03-11-11, 06:20 PM   #9
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I also forgot to add that when I get to "drive" now I never pass 40 mph =D
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Old 03-11-11, 07:35 PM   #10
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I drove yesterday for the first time since about September and was amazed at how pot-holey and rugged the streets are now. I honestly hadn't noticed, blithely and obliviously puttering along all winter along the edges. It's really quite astounding how much damage cars and winter combine to produce, yet we who "don't pay our way", well, getting off-topic here.
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Old 03-12-11, 12:35 AM   #11
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When I drive, I often realize I'm driving to slow for traffic. I'm apparently not into fast acceleration either... which seems to annoy a lot of tailgaters.

To be honest, I believe I get fewer honks on the bicycle.
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Old 03-12-11, 09:54 AM   #12
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Its interesting how a slow down lifestyle seems to make for less stress and more thoughtfulness.

I gave my car away about 2 months ago. But in the last 2 weeks I have driven 3,574 miles, all in the truck pictured here, with one of my bikes that I commute with.


Sadly it only gets 5-7mpg, so about 595 gals of diesel fuel was used. $2500 in fuel alone, company fuel card.

Someones going to do it, I have no other skills, and they pay REALLY well. I just put the bike in the trailer taking it with me. It may be the opposite of a bike, but you learn patience just the same. Even though it is huge and imposing, its quite a bit slower to get up to speed and I have to brake way sooner then would be needed in a car. You also have to have full spacial awareness, like when on a bike, but your ass is about 55ft behind you and doesn't follow the same line as you do when going around corners and backing up.
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Old 03-12-11, 10:44 AM   #13
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About the only time I use my car anymore is a long road trip to visit family once or twice a year, and I tend to drive like I bike, slow in general and way slower on long hills. On a recent trip I had slowed to about 40 on a 4 mile grade, rural interstate frwy, and although I had crested the hill I had only gotten up to about 52 when a cop in the median pulled out and flagged me down. He said he suspected me of being drunk, apparently driving slowly is suspicious behavior. This was about 9 a.m. He was a good guy and fortunately he believed me, although he clearly thought I was a kook when I told him I got much better mileage driving easy on the pedal. It adds about an hour to an 8 hour trip, but sure is a lot less stressful, John Law notwithstanding.
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Old 03-12-11, 03:17 PM   #14
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Its interesting how a slow down lifestyle seems to make for less stress and more thoughtfulness.

I gave my car away about 2 months ago. But in the last 2 weeks I have driven 3,574 miles, all in the truck pictured here, with one of my bikes that I commute with.


Sadly it only gets 5-7mpg, so about 595 gals of diesel fuel was used. $2500 in fuel alone, company fuel card.

Someones going to do it, I have no other skills, and they pay REALLY well. I just put the bike in the trailer taking it with me. It may be the opposite of a bike, but you learn patience just the same. Even though it is huge and imposing, its quite a bit slower to get up to speed and I have to brake way sooner then would be needed in a car. You also have to have full spacial awareness, like when on a bike, but your ass is about 55ft behind you and doesn't follow the same line as you do when going around corners and backing up.
My spousal unit used to drive trucks. His favorite sighting was rigs that had a bike strapped onto the catwalk. I guess those drivers didn't have any room left in the trailer.

All motorists should have to drive some specified number of miles in a truck and then ride some number of miles on a bike before they get a license. Our roads would be much safer if the everyone knew what others were going through.
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Old 03-12-11, 03:29 PM   #15
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My spousal unit used to drive trucks. His favorite sighting was rigs that had a bike strapped onto the catwalk. I guess those drivers didn't have any room left in the trailer.

All motorists should have to drive some specified number of miles in a truck and then ride some number of miles on a bike before they get a license. Our roads would be much safer if the everyone knew what others were going through.
"Spousal unit"? Haven't heard it put that way before.
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Old 03-12-11, 04:28 PM   #16
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"Spousal unit"? Haven't heard it put that way before.
I like that, my other favorite is from Lovely Bicycle, she calls hers Co-Habitant, I asked and she said Husband made her think too much of farming. LOL

I refer to my wife as BB as in Beautiful Bride, even though we have been married nearly 12 years.

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Old 03-12-11, 06:53 PM   #17
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My spousal unit used to drive trucks. His favorite sighting was rigs that had a bike strapped onto the catwalk. I guess those drivers didn't have any room left in the trailer.

All motorists should have to drive some specified number of miles in a truck and then ride some number of miles on a bike before they get a license. Our roads would be much safer if the everyone knew what others were going through.

How can we make that law!! I have always felt this way. Of course I started driving tractors, bikes and motorcycles since I was 4 (bike) and 7 yrs old (farm use trucks and tractors).

Not many people are smart enough to be safe, and coexist around folks that use different forms of transportation, among other things. All it is, is that you are in the way, nothing else matters. Fully loaded big truck will take up to a minute to get up to speed, or won't at all going up hill. Can't stop quickly going down hill. But the guy that is mad at the truck is on his or her way to buy the products carried in that same trailer. It serves no purpose, but to feel as if you have taught (sp?) someone a 'lesson' (that you have gotten in their way). We are in a big bee hive, work together and we all win. I'm laughing right now because I can sadly reassure you, it ain't gunna happen in my life time, or yours.

Sorry for the digression. Driving still tries to get under my skin when ever I do it. If I can catch myself, and relax, and let it go, I can smile and let the whirling dervish go on its way. I'm at about 95% success rate on that now. The worst so far is a quick flash of the high beams, but that does nothing but give them fuel for their fire.

In short, our species is freakin doomed to in-fighting, till we kill each other off, or the planet does it for us.
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Old 03-12-11, 07:17 PM   #18
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is it bad that I do not like to drive, but I drive a big truck for a living? I personally would not like to see some people behing the wheel of a truck.
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Old 03-13-11, 12:32 AM   #19
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"Spousal unit"? Haven't heard it put that way before.
To those of a certain age, it's a real knee slapper. It's a running joke from the Coneheads skits on Saturday Night Live, late 1970s.

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Old 03-13-11, 09:28 AM   #20
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I did a bit of driving when I went to Phoenix for my nieces wedding. I did find that I had to work at keeping with the flow of traffic. It wasn't timidity, but that rather I was just relaxed and pushing it up to speed seemed aggravating.
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Old 03-13-11, 09:37 AM   #21
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I did a bit of driving when I went to Phoenix for my nieces wedding. I did find that I had to work at keeping with the flow of traffic. It wasn't timidity, but that rather I was just relaxed and pushing it up to speed seemed aggravating.
There was period of time when I liked to drive fast, a couple of years maybe in my mid 30s. But then I came to realize that: A) it doesn't make that much difference in the overall travel time, B) It's aggravating (as you noticed) and causes more fatigue, C) Cruising slower is much more fun and and you arrive at your destination more relaxed. And it's not just the age, I think. I know plenty of people older than me that drive like nuts.
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Old 03-13-11, 10:08 AM   #22
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In the 90s I had to commute seventy miles each way to go to school. It was cheaper than getting an apartment. I realized that if I were driving over the speed limit at perhaps 80 mph I would only get there a few minutes earlier. Just one speeding ticket would cost way too much and wouldn't be worth all the hours I would need to work to pay for it. Just one speeding ticket would eat up all the time I would have saved by speeding. Going to court takes up plenty of time. Driving at the speed limit saved fuel and also prevented me from getting speeding tickets.
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Old 03-13-11, 10:40 AM   #23
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In the 90s I had to commute seventy miles each way to go to school. It was cheaper than getting an apartment. I realized that if I were driving over the speed limit at perhaps 80 mph I would only get there a few minutes earlier. Just one speeding ticket would cost way too much and wouldn't be worth all the hours I would need to work to pay for it. Just one speeding ticket would eat up all the time I would have saved by speeding. Going to court takes up plenty of time. Driving at the speed limit saved fuel and also prevented me from getting speeding tickets.
Yup. I was lucky to never get a speeding ticket, but I realized that one day my luck might run out and $300 is not exactly pocket change to me.
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Old 03-13-11, 04:29 PM   #24
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When I do drive, I always remind the passengers that I'm more accustomed to riding a bike. Then I act like I'm feeling around on the steering wheel, and shout, "Where's the brake levers on this damn thing?! I can't stop!!!" This always gets a big laugh (if only from myself).
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