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  1. #1
    cycleobsidian
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    Why do you read and/or post on LCF?

    For myself, I'm not a fan of cars. For too long, I lived in a rural area and had to drive myself, my kids, and my aging parents everywhere. I think I got sick of it.

    I also loved the bicycle and ran errands on it whenever I could, despite the distance.

    Fast forward to 4 years ago when my husband and I moved to a small city. We live near all the amenities we need. I can bike to the store, to medical services, to work, the park, etc. I'm even close to the Farmer's Market where I do my weekly shopping with a wheeled cart. In the winter I can take the less enjoyable, but always available, public transit system. I am so happy that I rarely need to drive anywhere.

    I don't know too many people like myself who are thrilled about not having to drive. (I have to be the only one I know who willingly takes public transit.) In fact, I suspect my friends think I'm a bit odd. This forum reminds me that there are people out there like me who enjoy not relying in a car, and who find creative ways to move around without one.

    How about you? Why do you read and/or post on LCF?

  2. #2
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I was active on Bikeforums even before LCF was started. Back then I mainly wanted to learn about bikes and associate with other cylclists. At this point, I'm not saying I know a lot about bikes, but I know enough about bikes for my own purposes, mostle. So the information aspect isn't as impoertant as it used to be. The social aspect is still important to me however. This is a stimulating community, with fine people and a wide range of ideas and interests.

    Carfree is important to me, but not because I think we're doing any eal lasting "good" by being carfree. There just aren't enough carfree people to make a real difference in the environment or the society, IMO. And I doubt if there ever will be.

    But still I think carfree people are important. We challenge people's assumption that a car is "needed" to do every little task. Maybe people think about more appropriate uses of technology when they see us riding with a full load on a bad weather day--with smiles on our faces. Above all, carfree issues tie together in a practical way some of the issues that I think are most important: Mainly, finding new and old ways people to live together in a safe, simple, fun and sustainable manner.

    By dinking around on bikes, we learn that simple and clean can be the most enjoyable way to go.

    Building better communities in this ****ed up world is a major interest of mine. I really like this little community we have here. It's nice to have the support of a lot of people who share my interests,of course. But I've even grown fond of a couple of the people I spar with here on a regular basis. (I won't embarrass them by mentioning their names, but their initials are ILTB and Robert F. ) They make me stretch my mind as I try to convince them that I'm always right and they are always wrong.
    Last edited by Roody; 08-31-11 at 05:40 PM.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  3. #3
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    I started 'wallowing' in LCF because I considered myself to be at least CLOSE to that status; so, if there were/are others, we may have some commonality that would give us a little 'connection'.

    NO ONE else in my town seems to embrace this; at least, I haven't met them. Some who seem to fit the 'profile' are all younger BMX pilots.

    I'm looked upon by my peers, and a large part of my family, as 'odd', because I'm so bike-obsessed. It does tend, once in a while, to dampen the ability to have a pleasant moment with another person. (But that's a lifelong experience for me -- I AM odd! It's why I spend so much time alone, or with just one or two others who 'get it'.)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cyclepup's Avatar
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    I drop in because, even though my DH and I are not car free yet, we are striving to be as car lite as possible until we can make that final transition. It helps to read some of the postings in here for ideas and, sometimes, as a reality check for me.

    I don't necessarily have a problem with cars but I do think that we, as a society, have become entirely too dependent on that very sedentary mode of transportation. It's nice to come in here and see that some folks get it - there ARE other ways to get around!

  5. #5
    Beer junkyardking's Avatar
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    I'm relatively new to BF, but I try to post in (or at least read and check on) the forums that pertain to me as a cyclist. I'm a self defined roadie, a commuter, I enjoy small tours (longer ones to follow) and I follow pro racing. I'm also doing my first cyclocross race a week from Sunday, and I intend to get into track racing as soon as I can get to the velodrome at 8am for the practice clinics. I love bikes, and everything to do with them. Its the perfect invention. And I love being a cyclist. It's enough of a part of who I am that I'd say it's turned into a definite lifestyle (a lot of people will argue about whether or not being a cyclist is a lifestyle, but it is for me.) So in addition to bikes being a part of my life in the ways listed above (and many more not listed) I also lived car free for over six years, and will be car-free again in about a month when I move. Short story long: I read and post here because its something related to cycling that also relates to me.

    But why do I think the LCF forum is important? Because living car free is important, and Roody did a great job of outlining those reasons above. It's a way of life that's just as important as veganism, for example. I'm not vegan, but the fact that vegans exist has motivated me to change my eating habits for the better. Yeah, I still eat meat and cheese, but I try to make sure I know where it comes from, and I understand that humans don't need to eat that much meat, so I've been able to cut my consumption down (which I did more for health reasons). I don't expect the entire world to ditch their automobiles and start cycling, but if people can just see folks like me happily surviving w/o, then maybe they can just cut back on their driving, like I cut back on meat. The fact that we have a place where like(ish) minds can talk about issues at their leisure is really nice. CF noobs can come here and not get hassled with their questions, folks can discuss gear, share stories, news articles, etc. It also can start some pretty good debates. Some of them are just bad arguments, and can get pretty childish, but when a really good conversation gets started, it's immensely entertaining and enlightening.

  6. #6
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    I read and post on LCF because I believe there's a compelling story to be told about people who reduce their car dependence.

    So besides all the wonderful content on BF about cycling and bicycles, LCF talks about the way we live in a car-oriented society. It delves into how cars affect our cities, our politics, our personal lives. For example a 50 sq ft automobile times the number of automobiles in a city adds up to a considerable acreage. If 10% of the population gave up car ownership, the effect on a city would very noticeable and probably a pleasant surprise.

    Beyond that, LCF encompasses a thought I have had for a while. There's an effect called the "100th monkey" modeled on this premise : "The hundredth monkey effect is a supposed phenomenon in which a learned behavior spreads instantaneously from one group of monkeys to all related monkeys once a critical number is reached."

    Of course, cyclists aren't monkeys, but there is a phenomenon where once a way of thinking/acting reaches a percentage of the population, it suddenly goes 'viral'... which is my hope for carfree living.

  7. #7
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    I like to argue.

  8. #8
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    I first met a willingly-car-free person in the early 90s. He got around in South Bend IN without a car. I was a pizza delivery driver. I kept asking him WHY he didn't want a car. I didn't get it until a couple of years ago.

    Once I started biking to work, I realized how much danger one little flick of the hand on the steering wheel can cause. I've hated driving ever since. I don't want to endanger anyone's life.

    Because the car-free lifestyle, and even idea, is so rare, it's nice to have a forum to discuss the different ways we handle it. Louisville has a small but vocal car-free community, and we get together monthly for food and beer, but the issues are rarely talked about. It's mostly cheerleading and fraternizing (which is okay too).
    Car-Free IT Geek
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    I don't care for driving so I want to find ways to avoid it if possible. I love walking and riding my bike, so I want to incorporate those methods of transportation into my routines.

    This forum is at its best when it addresses the practical side car-free and car-light living. It's great when we can discuss challenges and obstacles we face and find workable solutions. It's great when we can celebrate our victories and the steps we have taken. It's a good place when we can find better methods of getting around.

    We lose something when this forum becomes a journey into the politics of car-free and car-light living, or when we get lost in the semantics.

    No two of us have the exact same set of circumstances, so no two of us will be able to use identical solutions. Together, we can learn from each other.
    Life is good.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ro-monster's Avatar
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    I dislike driving cars, I always have. Although I was coerced into taking driver ed in high school, I didn't bother to get a license until I was 24. And even then I had a motorcycle license for a year before getting a car license. I have owned two cars, and I put a lot of miles on them, but the only time I really enjoyed driving was on deserted rural roads. When my second car died in 1999 I never bothered to replace it, and for many years my only transportation was motorcycles. From there I moved to bicycles, in part because I had increasingly come to see the world and its inhabitants as single intertwined entity and felt that it was wrong to be using such a disproportionate share of its wealth, and in part just for the exercise and enjoyment.

    I post in LCF because it's a place where people explore creative ways of getting around without depending on cars, where the accepted norms get challenged, and where we can rethink social and political ideals. And I post here because I'm often appalled at how addicted to cars our culture has become. When people see nothing odd about driving to a destination 3 or 4 blocks away, something is wrong.

  11. #11
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    In my neighborhood I'm viewed as an oddball because of my bicycling. My neighbors don't understand me. None of my neighbors are interested in bicycling.

    When it is raining out and I am rolling up the street on my bicycle, my neighbors look at me like I am from outer space. When I arrive at work soaking wet, my coworkers look at me like there is there something wrong with me.

    I post in here, and in all of the forums in here, because I want to belong to a community of people who get it. The people whom I personally encounter on a daily basis don't get it. And I don't think they ever will.

  12. #12
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    I post here purely to infuriate my arch nemesis, ILTB. All other reasons, such as a love for riding my bicycle, are secondary.

  13. #13
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    <------- This winky face is to let him know that the previous post was made in jest. He doesn't have much of a sense of humor so jokes often need to be pointed out to him. <-------

  14. #14
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I lived car free for several years in the early 80's and in many ways regret having given that up. Unfortunately my job requires massive amounts of driving, hopefully one day that will change and I can go back to car light.

    Very interesting cross section of people frequent this forum and the various views can be educating as well as entertaining.

    I believe that the car is a tool, but it is being grossly misused. Kind of like trying to hang a picture nail with a sledge hammer, yes you can do it, but there are better choices.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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  15. #15
    Heretic Caretaker's Avatar
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    Like many people have posted already I never liked driving. I can remember when I was 18/19 believing that cars were evil because they upset the natural balance of human rights as pedestrians were more vulnerable than drivers. I was going through that teen idealistic phase at the time.

    Unlike many here, growing up and living in Ireland, the pressure to drive wasn't as intense as in the U.S. Neither of my late parents ever learned to drive and I didn't until I was 33. My wife doesn't know how to drive and my current car use is mainly to service her 'car-free' status.

    If some of you think Ireland is something like Borats' Kasakhstan, well think again. Since the 60s Ireland has tried to emulate some of the worst lifestyle excesses of the USA and especially so just prior to the 2007 banking/property collapse.

    With the new realism many are taking to the bike again and realising we are "closer to Berlin than Boston" to miss-quote an Irish politician who had it the wrong way round.

    It's interesting reading the posts here as they remind me what we have to gain from resisting the rise and rise of the motorcar.
    History is the future

  16. #16
    Senior Member Cheshire's Avatar
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    For me, car-free is something I've wanted to do for several years. I'm here for the like-mindedness and to find solutions to the obstacles that are currently making letting go of the car difficult.
    If I sold the car tomorrow, I'd be in shock: would feel like I was stranded at home out in the boonies. This forum gives me a place to bounce ideas around (currently have answered most of my questions via archives) so when I do sell the car I'll at least have ideas on how to keep my pace without the reliance.
    Zombie biker!!! O_o
    Eyes open, watch your six, enjoy the ride: motorcycles, scooters, bicycles all.

  17. #17
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
    If some of you think Ireland is something like Borats' Kasakhstan, well think again. Since the 60s Ireland has tried to emulate some of the worst lifestyle excesses of the USA and especially so just prior to the 2007 banking/property collapse.
    I'm glad you see the car-centric lifestyle as an American export... although I think there is a lot of European influence.

    Wouldn't it be great if we could start to export a different lifetstyle? US cinema is a great way to influence people. What if suddenly there was a spate of movies about people getting around on bikes?

    I suspect though that the US will be the last to export any new lifestyle change. I think Bogota, Colombia is a lot more advanced on that score.

  18. #18
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
    I don't care for driving so I want to find ways to avoid it if possible. I love walking and riding my bike, so I want to incorporate those methods of transportation into my routines.

    This forum is at its best when it addresses the practical side car-free and car-light living. It's great when we can discuss challenges and obstacles we face and find workable solutions. It's great when we can celebrate our victories and the steps we have taken. It's a good place when we can find better methods of getting around.

    We lose something when this forum becomes a journey into the politics of car-free and car-light living, or when we get lost in the semantics.

    No two of us have the exact same set of circumstances, so no two of us will be able to use identical solutions. Together, we can learn from each other.
    I could not put it any better.
    Campione Del Mondo Immaginario

  19. #19
    Human most of the time
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    I like the idea of car-free living, less headaches and cheaper. I also read LCF because of the simple lifestyles that some here live. I'm slowing learning the old saying, " Its not the destination but the journey ". I come from a manufacturing background and apply the KISS factor, Keep It Simple Stupid.

  20. #20
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    I got here because of a more or less convoluted journey. I came from a long line of gear heads and like Wahoonc I simply see cars as a tool, nothing more and nothing less. It was a tool that allowed me to take promotions in my field of labor and put my son through school and pay for my home and even buy a home in a resort community. When the economy turned south I decided to sell the house that still had payments and move to the one that was paid for. I don’t have car payments because I believe in paying cash whenever possible. The same reason I don’t use credit cards. I have toyed with a car light several times in my life and this is just the latest attempt to drive less and find another way when I can. After dropping in there seemed to be several that had more or less the same goal if not the same lifestyle so I figured we had something in common. I do some utility cycling and shopping. I do some MT biking. I do some light touring and road riding.

    I was surprised by how political the forum was and at first taken aback by the infighting. But I soon realized that for the most part the disagreements may be extreme but civil. In this case I may be on the outside of the fire circle but then, I never knew the words to Kumbaya even if I grew up with Peter, Paul and Mary and even Joan Baez. But I do see a need for change even if I believe human powered vehicles will never be more than a miniscule part of that change.

    And yes there are several here I could sit down to lunch with even if we disagree on the menu.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    I started reading this forum when I realized that I rode my bike more than I drove a car, and began to wonder if I could get by without the car at all. I read to get ideas of how people handle the things which I couldn't imagine doing without a car. It is now 2 years since I sold my car, things are working out great in a car-lite lifestyle (my wife still owns a car, which she uses to commute to her work.)

    I continue to hang out here to get inspiration from others who are living the good life, and to offer advice to those who want to improve their own car light lifestyles.

  22. #22
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    I post here for two reasons: information and encouragement. I'm not car-free any more, but am still extremely car-lite; I can go 3-4 months without a visit to the gas station. I use cars less than any other human being I know personally, and, as others have mentioned, that makes me a bit of an eccentric in many people's eyes. This forum allows me to learn from others' experiences and to validate my observation that cars are a lot less necessary than most people realize.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  23. #23
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Another thing I realized while reading this great thread was how intelligent and well rounded the people here are. Most of the people I know talk about family, work, sports and celebrities--and that's about it. People here can go much further in conversations about many topics. It reminds me of some of the talks we used to have in college.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  24. #24
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Why do you read and/or post on LCF?

    I read LCF about once a week (vs daily for other Forums) and rarely post. I grew up in Detroit in the 50's and 60's, then for four years in the college town of Ann Arbor, which was so amenable to a car-free lifestyle. That's where I adopted cycling for touring, and commuting. When I returned to Detroit in the 1970's, with the attendant gas crisis and ascendancy of foreign cars, it became distressing to see the decline of this beloved city and seemingly unrepentant dependence on the automobile, into which I became entrapped. But that was a characteristic of many sprawling cities of the Midwest and beyond, but epitomized in the Motor City.

    We moved to Boston in 1977 and were carfree until children, and even now we're pretty car-light as a year-round cycle commuter. In fact almost all my yearly driving is on trips back to Michigan. So I'm very much interested in and supportive of the car free lifestyle. I particularly find interesting the historical period in the late 19th to early 20th century as the world transitioned to the automobile, and how analogous it is to the Information Technology Revolution of today.

    I posted about my formative experiences in my Introduction to Bike Forums:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    … Back in the 60’s in the Motor City, I had an “English Racer,’ and longed to tour at about age 14, but then joined the car culture. In Ann Arbor MI in the 70’s I really realized the utility of bicycles for commuting, and began touring on a five-speed Schwinn Suburban, but soon bought a Mercier as did my girlfriend, later my wife. We toured in Michigan and Ontario.

    In 1977 we moved to Boston on our bikes, as a bicycling honeymoon from Los Angeles to Washington, DC and then took the train up to Boston…
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 09-02-11 at 12:00 PM.

  25. #25
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    I particularly find interesting the historical period in the late 19th to early 20th century as the world transitioned to the automobile, and how analogous it is to the Information Technology Revolution of today.
    Jim, you mean the fact that just about everyone below the age of 35 has their face glued to a smartphone or has buds jammed in their ears is a sign of an IT revolution. Personally, I think it's a sign that the end is near.

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