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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 03-04-12, 10:51 AM   #1
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Social butterfly or homebody?

As I've changed my transportation habits over the years, I'm noticing that I actually need to make very few bicycle trips to maintain a household. A couple of trips to the grocery per week. Trip to the health food store once a month or so. Trips to the library. Volunteer on Saturday at the bike co-op (which allows me to stop at a clothing store or a bank if I need).

But thinking about this, I realize this works so smoothly because I'm a homebody. I never go to a movie, unless someone drags me out. Parties are rare. A good book is great entertainment. A Netflix subscription is pretty good too.

So are you a social butterfly or a homebody? If the former, how do you manage all the transportation? If the latter, isn't it likely to grow old?

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Old 03-04-12, 11:53 AM   #2
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Well, I prefer a more social life, in fact I've decided that a limited social life is hurting me right now. I need more human contact. But being out of work and extremely busy with projects designed to remedy that, I'm lucky if I talk to the convenience store clerk, and I end up burning too much time on places like bikeforums.

I've never liked parties really, especially if you add alcohol. The roar increases audibly as people get buzzed and the variety of personalities decreases they all become just alcohol talking.

But in the next phase of job hunting I need to increase my networking. Happily, winter is fading so I won't have that as a problem for a while. You are very right, that essentially, one of the biggest reasons for the car is not transporting food, tools ect, but it is for getting ourselves to social gatherings in a fresh and presentable way and making the return trip easily.
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Old 03-04-12, 12:24 PM   #3
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I like smaller quiet social gatherings, don't do loud crowd party stuff. I have very poor hearing and any substantial background noise renders me effectively deaf. I don't mind going places and seeing things, but I am glad to get home. I have to travel for living which probably plays a part in that too.

In many cases when working out of town I was able to set myself up nearly car free, which meant exploring the local town by bike, shopping and generally getting to know the area much better than I would have if I had just driven around.

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Old 03-04-12, 12:37 PM   #4
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Interesting question, and I have been noticing that I'm becoming more and more of a homebody.

One big factor has been beyond my control: over the past several years a lot of the people that my wife and I socialized with have died or moved away.

But at the same time, as cycling has become a bigger deal for me, I've noticed that places that we used to go to regularly but need the car to get to (restaurants etc) now seem like too much bother. With just a few exceptions, I've pretty much decided that when I eat out I want it to be someplace I can walk or bike to, and fortunately there are enough good places within walking distance that we don't feel deprived. On the contrary, we enjoy the walks, and it feels good to not have to bother with car-related PITA factors like traffic, parking etc.

I suppose that it could get old eventually, but at this point I find myself becoming more of a homebody rather than less. When I want to get out of the house I just get on my bike or take a walk.

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Old 03-04-12, 01:59 PM   #5
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I mostly socialize with my immediate family. Now that they're living with me, I don't get out as much. I used to make bi-monthly trips to my parent's house in Traverse City, but since they died this (carfree) trip has become much less frequent. But I'm definitely not a homebody. My main "hobby" is either walking, busing, or most frequently riding my bike around my local region.
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Old 03-05-12, 07:19 AM   #6
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I am a mix of both. I am forced to be social person nearly all the time due to my job (living in a construction camp), having several roomates at home and having plenty of friends and family. Biking riding is my anti social hobby and an escape from my regular life
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Old 03-05-12, 01:00 PM   #7
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I'm social. I couldn't manage to keep my kids locked up inside all the time. We practice martial arts, so we're out a few nights a week. We have a few friends who live in the neighbourhood, short walks. We go out to badminton or ice skating during the winter a couple of times a month. Volunteer work. On date nights, we'll go clubbing with friends or to a movie. I definitely need my quiet time, but I don't do well spending too much time at home. I don't mind being alone, but I hate feeling trapped in my house. I need to be out. I need to be doing something. I'm relatively young at 31, but if I'm like my parents and grandparents it's personality less than age. Most of my family keep busy. It gets pretty cold before I want to stay inside and read a book.
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Old 03-05-12, 01:19 PM   #8
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I got it all out of my system when I was 20-30....when I healed faster.

I don't sit at home and watch movies,I like to make things.Built a house,all of the funiture,build cars and bikes(both kinds) just started sewing a couple years ago.

If it was up to me,I'd throw the TV in the trash,along with all of the other electronic crap.I do enjoy the computer....most of the time.It's the best reference tool ever.
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Old 03-05-12, 09:15 PM   #9
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I'm social. I couldn't manage to keep my kids locked up inside all the time. We practice martial arts, so we're out a few nights a week. We have a few friends who live in the neighbourhood, short walks. We go out to badminton or ice skating during the winter a couple of times a month. Volunteer work. On date nights, we'll go clubbing with friends or to a movie. I definitely need my quiet time, but I don't do well spending too much time at home. I don't mind being alone, but I hate feeling trapped in my house. I need to be out. I need to be doing something. I'm relatively young at 31, but if I'm like my parents and grandparents it's personality less than age. Most of my family keep busy. It gets pretty cold before I want to stay inside and read a book.
That sounds pretty busy to me. You handle all this on a bicycle?

I use a mix of bicycle and bus. Mostly bicycle. But sometimes I get ride on a Saturday from a fairly social and very busy volunteering gig and don't feel like moving. I kind of dread being asked out somewhere... cause I'm... pooped.

Don't you get tired?
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Old 03-06-12, 07:01 AM   #10
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It's not like I get to rest when I'm at home with 3 kids getting into things. Whether we go out or stay home, I'm on call 24/7 with kids either way. Aren't all parents?
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Old 03-06-12, 08:55 AM   #11
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I've always been a homebody. However, I'm now dating a social butterfly. I'm amazed at the number of people she knows. So, I've been getting out more... Enough so that sometimes I just need a break and stay home alone.

Getting into bicycling actually improved my social life because I met other cyclists who I ride with from time to time.
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Old 03-06-12, 09:44 AM   #12
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Definitely homebody. Work nights. Class one night a week and various church related activities. Thats it.
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Old 03-07-12, 10:35 PM   #13
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I've always been a homebody. However, I'm now dating a social butterfly. I'm amazed at the number of people she knows. So, I've been getting out more... Enough so that sometimes I just need a break and stay home alone.

Getting into bicycling actually improved my social life because I met other cyclists who I ride with from time to time.
Great to see someone evolving into a social butterfly because of their carfree lifestyle. There are many similar activities in Des Moines. For example, there's a Steak Night Ride, which would be about 22 miles RT from my house. Bunch of cyclists devoted to beer and steak.

However, I'm trying to cut back on my steak intake. Not to mention beer.
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Old 03-08-12, 09:43 AM   #14
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Great to see someone evolving into a social butterfly because of their carfree lifestyle. There are many similar activities in Des Moines. For example, there's a Steak Night Ride, which would be about 22 miles RT from my house. Bunch of cyclists devoted to beer and steak.

However, I'm trying to cut back on my steak intake. Not to mention beer.
With a 22-mile RT, you can afford a beer.
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Old 03-08-12, 11:02 AM   #15
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With a 22-mile RT, you can afford a beer.
Maybe he's talking about reducing the toxins that are alcohol, not calories.
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Old 03-08-12, 08:26 PM   #16
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Maybe he's talking about reducing the toxins that are alcohol, not calories.
I try to avoid alcohol and riding. Even one beer doesn't sit too well. I think the beer inhibits that thing they call "runner's high" ... those lovely natural endorphins.
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Old 03-09-12, 12:16 AM   #17
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Homebody. Always have been. Hate crowds and noisy settings. But my kids- especially my daughter- are very social. The fact that we are now Car Light has robbed her of some of the extracuricular activites should like to have pursued. The wife works second shift and has the Jeep; making two roundtrips a day so that I could have the Jeep is too costly of an option.
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Old 03-09-12, 08:04 AM   #18
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I try to avoid alcohol and riding. Even one beer doesn't sit too well. I think the beer inhibits that thing they call "runner's high" ... those lovely natural endorphins.
It's funny how the less alcohol you have overall, the more you notice the bad effects. Last alcohol I had was two years ago. It was a beer with dinner as a part of an Alliance for Biking and Walking training session. Riding home, I couldn't keep up with a retired grandmother (literally), and I felt rotten. It had probably been a year since the last alcohol before that, I can't remember. I guess you build up a tolerance when you drink frequently, or I'm getting less tolerant as I grow older.
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Old 03-09-12, 09:34 AM   #19
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Homebody. Always have been. Hate crowds and noisy settings. But my kids- especially my daughter- are very social. The fact that we are now Car Light has robbed her of some of the extracuricular activites should like to have pursued. The wife works second shift and has the Jeep; making two roundtrips a day so that I could have the Jeep is too costly of an option.
That's a shame. Any families in your neighbourhood that she can play with? I've used a meet up website to meet more families in my own community before. It could help.
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Old 03-09-12, 02:36 PM   #20
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Homebody. I'm an introvert who works in customer service, so when I get home, I stay there.

If I would plan on staying here any longer, I would start doing activities with others and get out more, but that's not what the plan is.

I've also experienced the fact that I cannot trust others anymore. Every time I answer questions about what I do etc., it always comes back to haunt me, so I try not to answer any more of them, and getting more closed. It's fine with me though.
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Old 03-09-12, 03:30 PM   #21
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That's a shame. Any families in your neighbourhood that she can play with? I've used a meet up website to meet more families in my own community before. It could help.
Oh, don't get me wrong, our neighborhood and even our block is rife with young families with children that matches our kids' age. It's justshe wants to try out for cheerleading and/or basketball, my son wants football, baseball, or martial arts, and they both want to do soccer. It's just that not only is transportation an issue, but so would the time and financial investments as well.
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Old 03-09-12, 06:28 PM   #22
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I heard the BEST definitions of introvert and extrovert a couple years ago:

An INTROVERT is "re-charged" by solitude; it TAKES energy to be in a social situation.
An EXTROVERT is "re-charged" by social situations; it TAKES energy to be alone.

I am DEFINITELY the former. Most of my social time is with my kids, mainly because they deserve all the positive attention I can give them. Quality time = quality kids. I'm glad they're more socially wired than I am, though.

My last bar visit was 2002, Valentine's Day, a small outing with my (now ex) wife, her brother, and his GF. A quiet night of social drinks and pool. Bro-in-law was impressed with my billiard skills, such as they had been reduced to by then.

I can count on my fingers the number of parties I've attended in the last 20 years, and still not use my thumbs.
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Old 03-09-12, 06:29 PM   #23
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Ahhh, I see. We limited the kids way back. I wasn't interested in having our lives taken over by their interests. 1 activity at a time. If they overlap, can't do. The youngest has kindergym and the older go to martial arts, same place I go to. We figured out places that were a short distance and were during times that we could commit to. Took some research, but I wouldn't want them to have no activities.
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Old 03-09-12, 07:21 PM   #24
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Ahhh, I see. We limited the kids way back. I wasn't interested in having our lives taken over by their interests. 1 activity at a time. If they overlap, can't do. The youngest has kindergym and the older go to martial arts, same place I go to. We figured out places that were a short distance and were during times that we could commit to. Took some research, but I wouldn't want them to have no activities.
BINGO!

We did not let our children rule the roost. They were allowed two extracurricular activities and they had to be approved by mom and dad. Over the years we did soccer, swim team, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, band, orchestra and I am sure there were more. Some were easier for car light/car free than others. Swim team was not, too many out of town meets. Soccer was good until they built a huge soccer complex at the extreme north end of town ~18 miles away, it was fine when they used the local school fields. The only challenge with orchestra was my son played double bass... and at the time we lived in an area that was and still is not cyclist friendly.

Aaron
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Old 03-09-12, 08:05 PM   #25
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Actually, other than the lack of infrastructure and the attitudes of the motorists, the town I'm in isn't that bad to be car free. Most everything of importance is maybe 5 miles away, stretch it to 8 to include the bowling alley, movie theater, and skating rink.

Though we are living car light, I'm the only one interested in going car free. Of course, the wife needs the Jeep for transportation to work, but I'd just as soon not drive anymore. Going to be difficult to find a job that made as much as my last one in this town, but we figure I could work just a little over minimum wage (assuming 40 hours- which is hard these days) and still make ends meet, since I will be spending little to nothing on transportation costs.
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