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  1. #1
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Preparing For The Inevitable; Living Car Free (or Lite) Will Be A Beacon For All


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=40qQAx0SAGE

    http://thewellrundry.blogspot.com/20...-find-two.html

    Eventually the automobile culture way of life will become unattainable for most except for a few wealthy. When that will happen is anyone's guess (although I personally see it coming suddenly-but that is just my opinion). When it does occur, no matter the way it does, the people here on this forum will be prepared. Those of you new to this forum (and some old timers that might want some encouragement and new ideas) can read and watch for themselves.

  2. #2
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    It's not just the automobile. Our entire lifestyles are becoming unaffordable and the gap between the rich and the poor is widening drastically and fast while the middle class is sliding gradually towards poverty as well. This will not end up pretty. I hope I'll be dead by then.

    The car versus bike issue is irrelevant here, it's just one of many symptoms, our problems are much bigger than that.

    And, as many on this forum have pointed out, many people would give up lots of other stuff before giving up their car. People would like to pretend they have higher status than they really have, and would refuse to admit that they can no longer afford the various status
    symbols.

    On the other hand, most of the modern society is too brain-washed by the media and kept stupid by the govt (that serves the rich) so no one will take action against the economic inequality and we'll just slide into chaos or become a police state. The minority will be silenced and the majority will live in slums.

    Read "Snow Crash". That's the future of our planet.
    Last edited by AdamDZ; 05-28-12 at 07:06 AM.

  3. #3
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    "Sudden" changes only happen to the unprepared. All change is gradual, especially cultural change.

    The reality is that more and more people will find it unaffordable to drive their cars. The number of cars will not decline over-night, but they will be used less and less. Families with multiple cars will probably downsize to one fuel efficient vehicle. The auto-makers will offer practical, fuel-efficient cars/CUVs. A larger percentage of the population will telecommute, take the bus, carpool, or ride.

    Now, if you could explain why you think the change will be "sudden"...?

  4. #4
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    A honest-to-God real live Depression, my dear-far worse than your Granddaddy's 30's one. That is what I see coming (or it came already & the illusion of having it is artificially being propped up by everything from easy credit to poorly thought out governmental policies for the last, say, 40 years or so). The critical difference from both Depressions is that the country was somewhat unified then with strong families & charitable ties directed to even strangers. Now what is there? Flaky Hipsters that cannot even tie their own shoe laces without parental intervention & F**k you to everyone else.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    Yes, cars are expensive to buy and operate. That's the case whether buying and driving a new car or something old and cheap. The price of the car, the insurance, upkeep and fuel all add up. Drive less and pay less. For those who live in areas with transportation alternatives, going car-free or car-light is one of the easiest ways to trim the budget.

    However, even with the switch to car-free living, the escalating cost of housing seems to be the biggest obstacle, especially for those who are starting out now.
    Life is good.

  6. #6
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Yes, the housing costs! It's ridiculous. We could have two or three nice cars for what we're paying monthly for an apartment and I have a "good deal". We've been looking to move and it occured to me we can't really afford two bedrooms any more in NY area in a quiet and safe neighborhood. Owning a house is pure fiction for us over here.

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Believe me, the automobile will be with us for a long time, as oil becomes expensive, other forms of energy will come into play, already I'm starting to hear more about natural gas conversion kits where one can fill their car at home.

  8. #8
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Believe me, the automobile will be with us for a long time, as oil becomes expensive, other forms of energy will come into play, already I'm starting to hear more about natural gas conversion kits where one can fill their car at home.
    And you know what? I don't think it's a bad thing. Moderation is what's needed, not complete removal of car from our culture.

    CNG is big in Eastern Europe. My brother has been converting his cars for a decade. Almost all gas stations carry CNG as well. But it takes up a lot of space since your gas system remains in place as backup.

    Many MTA buses in NYC run on CNG, by the way.
    Last edited by AdamDZ; 05-28-12 at 05:59 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
    A honest-to-God real live Depression, my dear-far worse than your Granddaddy's 30's one. That is what I see coming (or it came already & the illusion of having it is artificially being propped up by everything from easy credit to poorly thought out governmental policies for the last, say, 40 years or so). The critical difference from both Depressions is that the country was somewhat unified then with strong families & charitable ties directed to even strangers. Now what is there? Flaky Hipsters that cannot even tie their own shoe laces without parental intervention & F**k you to everyone else.

    I think you get what I'm saying.
    If a depression is already happening, where are these "sudden" changes?
    If a depression is going to happen, where are the signs?
    Worst case scenario, the currency gets devalued and we all lose about 40% of our net worth. The majority of people will survive, just like they did/do in Argentina, Greece, Spain, etc. In such a climate, the use of bikes will actually decline, seeing how it will become much more dangerous to be out and about.

    Regarding society, people pull together in times of need very quickly. It's genetic. We are born to live in communities, and no man is an island. Even hipsters.

  10. #10
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doc0c View Post
    I think you get what I'm saying.
    If a depression is already happening, where are these "sudden" changes?
    If a depression is going to happen, where are the signs?
    Worst case scenario, the currency gets devalued and we all lose about 40% of our net worth. The majority of people will survive, just like they did/do in Argentina, Greece, Spain, etc. In such a climate, the use of bikes will actually decline, seeing how it will become much more dangerous to be out and about.

    Regarding society, people pull together in times of need very quickly. It's genetic. We are born to live in communities, and no man is an island. Even hipsters.
    Hipsters will probably die out in the times of serious crisis. They already look like they're hardly eating. Or... hmmm... maybe they'll be the only ones to survive because they can live on noodles and cheap beer.

  11. #11
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    All this talk of carmagedon, mass die offs only bring back memories of the hyped up hysteria of years ago, when these signs were a common sight.

    Fall out sign.jpg

  12. #12
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Believe me, the automobile will be with us for a long time, as oil becomes expensive, other forms of energy will come into play, already I'm starting to hear more about natural gas conversion kits where one can fill their car at home.
    Natural gas or propane conversion isn't cheap. Even though the fuel is a lot cheaper than gasoline, the cost of the conversion must also be factored in. It makes sense for someone who has a newer vehicle with a lot of life left in it, but not for someone with a 10-year-old car.

    Before we see a lot of conversions to natural gas or propane, two other changes will happen.

    First, expect see larger trucks and SUVs for sale at reduced prices. The large vehicles will not sell quickly. At the same time, there will be an increased demand for smaller vehicles and as a result, anyone selling a used small car will get a decent price. This happened a few years ago during a summer with higher than normal gas prices. It will happen again.

    Second, it is likely more drivers will plan their trips a little more carefully. Instead of coming home from work and then going out on a grocery run, it will make more sense to make a few stops on the way home from work. Even the Mom's Taxi service of driving the kids to their activities will probably change as parents will try to arrange schedules to have fewer trips. It's not a car-free or car-light solution, but it's responsible car use for those who drive a lot. And it saves some money.
    Life is good.

  13. #13
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
    Natural gas or propane conversion isn't cheap. Even though the fuel is a lot cheaper than gasoline, the cost of the conversion must also be factored in. It makes sense for someone who has a newer vehicle with a lot of life left in it, but not for someone with a 10-year-old car.

    Before we see a lot of conversions to natural gas or propane, two other changes will happen.

    First, expect see larger trucks and SUVs for sale at reduced prices. The large vehicles will not sell quickly. At the same time, there will be an increased demand for smaller vehicles and as a result, anyone selling a used small car will get a decent price. This happened a few years ago during a summer with higher than normal gas prices. It will happen again.

    Second, it is likely more drivers will plan their trips a little more carefully. Instead of coming home from work and then going out on a grocery run, it will make more sense to make a few stops on the way home from work. Even the Mom's Taxi service of driving the kids to their activities will probably change as parents will try to arrange schedules to have fewer trips. It's not a car-free or car-light solution, but it's responsible car use for those who drive a lot. And it saves some money.
    My comment about CNG was just a suggestion on what other types of fuels or energy sources will come when oil becomes much more expensive. The sell off of large vehicles and the run on smaller vehicles will only play out in the short term, with vehicles being able to run on various types of fuels/energy sources becoming more popular and affordable. If there's a demand, and people have the money to spend, leave it to someone to find a way to get it to market.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    when we have lived long enough we can remember when we have heard these same words of gloom and doom. In the 70s we had the gas crisis??? We heard the stories of the day of the big v-8 being over and the coming of the fuel efficient economy car were here. Big cars were even legislated against through CAFE. And at first the public seemed to respond as predicted, Honda, VW, Toyota, Nissan and even Ford, and GM started building small cars and a small motorcycle boom followed. Most of us remember the early Civics and even the little Accord that got close to 40 MPG. Hollywood even got into the act with movies like Mad Max and others preaching gloom and doom.

    At first it seemed like the public accepted the small car replacement for their big detroit mastodons but something happened that showed resistace, the Van craze. Many of us remember the day of the cruise vans and shag wagons. People wanted more room and they wanted to pull their boats and haul their dirt bikes. Famlies got in the act with the factory family vans that seated six or seven people. The small car people didn't stay small either they started getting bigger and got bigger engines, look at todays Accord. The next craze was the Minivan, less truck more like a car but with the room of a large sedan. The compact car people jumped into the market to meet the demand and soon everyone made a Minivan and small car market became the mid sized market and sub compacts took a back seat.

    The people were voting with their wallet and while large sedans were a thing of the past the next craze proved their off spring were going to be an even bigger force in the market, the SUV. from the Mid 80s to the early 2000s the SUV and light truck market represented almost 50 percent of the new car market, feel free to look it up. And even though it was almost only sold in the US the best selling new Vehicle in the world was the F series Ford Truck.

    The car culture in the US a strange creature. Much like a big bush there are times it looks a bit peaked due to lack of water but after the next rain fall it gets bigger. Mass transit however is more like a house plant, take a vacation from it and when you get home it take a lot of time and effort to keep it alive. Bicycles are more like a volunteer plant, it grows were you least expect it but doesn't thrive in all areas. Lets face it, most people can't look at the contention the the world as we know it is about to end and they should start building bikes like the ones pictured to survive seriously. It is simply too depressing. I would expect to see more people jumping out of windows like in 1929.

    Each of us can do what we can to make our own life easier and more affordable but it is very unlikely that people will look at the car free life style with a lot of desire or as a beacon of the furture.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  15. #15
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    as oil becomes expensive, other forms of energy will come into play
    Only because oil came up to their price, not because they necessarily came down, so it's not like they will suddenly become as cheap as oil used to be.

  16. #16
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    All this talk of carmagedon, mass die offs only bring back memories of the hyped up hysteria of years ago, when these signs were a common sight.

    Fall out sign.jpg
    The threat of nuclear war hasn't passed.

  17. #17
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    The threat of nuclear war hasn't passed.

    .....but the general hysteria that was associated with it has.

  18. #18
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    as has the daft notion that significant numbers would survive and society would return to normal when we emerged from our local shelter.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    At first it seemed like the public accepted the small car replacement for their big detroit mastodons but something happened that showed resistace, the Van craze. Many of us remember the day of the cruise vans and shag wagons. People wanted more room and they wanted to pull their boats and haul their dirt bikes. Famlies got in the act with the factory family vans that seated six or seven people. The small car people didn't stay small either they started getting bigger and got bigger engines, look at todays Accord. The next craze was the Minivan, less truck more like a car but with the room of a large sedan. The compact car people jumped into the market to meet the demand and soon everyone made a Minivan and small car market became the mid sized market and sub compacts took a back seat.
    True, but one must also remember other factors that came into play.

    The oil crisis of the early 1970s was based on politics, not crude oil supply, but it resulted in higher prices and limited supply at the pumps. Some will remember the line-ups and limits for buying fuel. A high price and uncertain availability made customers apprehensive. Small, fuel-efficient vehicles made a lot of sense. Transit made sense. Bicycles made a lot of sense.

    Fast-forward a few years. The oil-producing nations were hard at work. The line-ups at the pumps were gone and the price came down from the peak of the 1970s crisis. The pain at the pumps was not too severe any longer. And more importantly, it was possible to get fuel whenever a pump was available. Stations no longer had to close temporarily because they were out of gas. With a readily available supply of cheap fuel, the incentive to go with a small, fuel-efficient car was gone. As for those who had taken up cycling to save money, some found the comfort and convenience of a car was a powerful draw.

    But that was the world of the late 1980s and the 1990s. We're now undergoing another shift. We are coping with an economic slump which is affecting a lot of people. When times are tough, it only makes sense to evaluate all expenses. Right now, it seems some are trying to ride out the recession, even if it means accumulating more debt to maintain their pre-recession lifestyle. But the longer it drags on the more sense it will make to cut expenses wherever possible. For those who drive, there is the question of whether it is financially wiser to keep the existing car which isn't all that good on gas or to pay more for a vehicle which uses less fuel.

    Car-free living or even car-light living is seldom the first step. More often, I see people who want to find more economical ways to continue driving. But they will drive less or quit driving entirely if the annoyances outweigh the benefits.

    My guess — and this is only a guess — is that we will see a lot more minor annoyances for motorists over the next number of years. These could be issues with the price of fuel, the availability of fuel, the price of the vehicle or gridlock in cities which cannot afford to do major road network upgrades. Eventually there's a breaking point, even for the most dedicated drivers. When that happens, our motoring friends, neighbours and coworkers will seek us out to learn how we handle everyday life with little or no car use.
    Life is good.

  20. #20
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    Take these first two YouTube videos and call me in the morning:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sMF1n9EgzU

    Watch the last 10-15 min. of this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7h4V...ure=plpp_video

    Read this article: http://www.consumerenergyreport.com/...n-seven-years/

    Here's the same topic by a Stanford University Professor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTsYj...eature=related

    There's many more but the above should open anyone's eyes regarding what's on the horizon as far as our current and future energy usage.

    Except for a trip to fill my gas tank because it's recommend you keep a full tank of gas if you don't plan on driving your vehicle; I've been car free for over a week. I don't miss my car at all. I even picked up my groceries using my bicycle. I commute 120 miles a week.
    Last edited by EBikeFL; 05-29-12 at 05:32 PM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    The 70's "oil emergency" was political, today's isn't.
    Our dollars are worth less today than then.
    Unemployment is an issue Underemployment is even worse and not really tracked by the government.
    We are no longer a producing nation we are consumers...
    I have hedged my bets.

    Aaron
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    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    Yes, the housing costs! It's ridiculous. We could have two or three nice cars for what we're paying monthly for an apartment and I have a "good deal". We've been looking to move and it occured to me we can't really afford two bedrooms any more in NY area in a quiet and safe neighborhood. Owning a house is pure fiction for us over here.
    Two bedrooms in Queens!

    Wow. I feel for you because the rent is about what I'm paying for a mortgage. The problem is saving for a downpayment because home prices are at their lowest and may even drop further but you can't save because the rent takes almost all your income. I had to save for ten years to get the money for my downpayment and live in a studio for 5 years!

  23. #23
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    We are no longer a producing nation we are consumers...
    Aaron
    Don't count us out completely, just a couple of years ago, it was difficult to walk into a store and find items that were made in the USA, but today, I'm finding it easier all the time. It may not be on the level as years ago, but it's making a comeback.

  24. #24
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Don't count us out completely, just a couple of years ago, it was difficult to walk into a store and find items that were made in the USA, but today, I'm finding it easier all the time. It may not be on the level as years ago, but it's making a comeback.
    We are producing but mainly big ticket items, it may be too little too late. And based on the current political rhetoric I don't think anybody in charge has a clue, they are off in their own little world.

    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.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  25. #25
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    We are producing but mainly big ticket items, it may be too little too late.
    Not hardly, I went to the local hardware store to pickup some electrical outlets and covers, both made in the USA. as well as my replacement hickory sledge hammer handle.

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