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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 11-02-13, 09:33 PM   #76
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Re-reading the original post, I don't get the sense that he's expressing fear. Agitation yes, and perhaps a revulsion, or tension, or anger but it's hard to say from just his saying he feels his blood pressure rising, losing his calm and disliking the feeling.

I don't know if that's normal or not, and I don't feel it, but all of those strike me as reasonable reactions to driving in traffic. People could randomly damage your interests, your health and well-being, or worse, and you are relying on their judgement and skills to prevent that. A certain amount of apprehension is more logical than the sanguine confidence we generally have, and speaking personally I've always felt that this was a kind of cultural blind spot that most all of us suffered, including me.

And I do see a lot of drivers who appear to be agitated, judging from their expression and behavior, so I think the OP is more reflective of honesty than of a psychological syndrome.
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Old 11-02-13, 10:04 PM   #77
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Every time I get into a car with a friend or relative, I'm appalled and reminded of the lunacy that is how people drive cars. It's detached, impersonal, pushy, and obnoxious. I do miss driving, but I don't miss it that much.

I'm not quite sure when it was, maybe around 2007 or so, but gas prices in the US had reached a high of around $5/gallon. I was driving a premium guzzling car at the time and couldn't handle it anymore. I sold my Marauder and bought my first import, a FG1 Civic that got an easy 40 mpg on the freeway and roughly 33 mpg around town. At that time, I vividly remember how the car "scene" shifted. When I first got my Civic, I was extra conscious of my driving technique, which consisted of easing up on the lead food syndrome and practicing hypermiling techniques. During this time, gas prices were leveling off and slowly starting to fall. In a direct relationship, I saw the number of SUVs and trucks on the road dramatically fall. In fact, people were no longer tailgating me either. Driving actually got a little more tolerable in my opinion, but that was short-lived. After some months, gas prices continued to drop and then they seemed to equalize around $3/gallon. Sure enough, that was the ticket and out came the heavy hitting clunkers by the dozens. For me, as I still practiced moderate accelerations and other various hypermiling techniques, the change in gas affordability and the car scene spurred the onset of lead foot syndrome and tailgating again.

Even now with gas prices being manageable and affordable, I can't understand the mindset of people in cars. They're always in a rush, inconsiderate and very unforgiving. Of course, this was once me too, but that was me without introspection and growth. Combustion vehicles are one of the quickest ways to get around and yet people still drive like dolts. Poor cagers.

/end rant
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Old 11-02-13, 10:12 PM   #78
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I genuinely can't tell if you're being serious or trolling.
Dollars to donuts it's the second one.
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Old 11-03-13, 01:57 AM   #79
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Hate it. So used to 25-60kmh and having the instant response of a bike now that driving a big heavy unresponsive heap of metal is something you can't pay me to do. I'll ride the scooter if I must but I won't drive ever again if I have the choice.
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Old 11-03-13, 07:45 AM   #80
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I really LOVE anything with wheels-cars 1/2 ton trucks motorcycles mopeds bicycles.
I finally had enough $$ to buy a "good" car in the late 1970's-but by then-2 gas "shortages" put paid to fun cars for about 20 years-1975-1995-
The only "fun cars" in the late 1970's-turbo Porche- and maybe TR8- but I was cheap-so $25000 porche was out-and I had the good sense to pass on a Brit car.
So I bought many many bicycles(6 at one time) and motorcycles(6 at one time)-couple of mopeds-yeah maybe 50 bikes 50 motorcycles over the years-
perhaps 15 cars?? no really cool cars-
Currently 1998 Suburban-used $2950 with 195,000 miles 6 years ago-
2006 Prius-new
The Suburban is cumbersome but it is sorta fun to drive.The Prius -fun to watch the screen showing what the various components-generator regen electric motor battery engine-but it isn't exactly fun to drive.

We do love road trips in the suburban-not the driving-but the stopping at rest stops-walking dog- meeting strangers at rest stops-gas stations- yeah love the USA-E-IN road trip aspect-we sleep in it at rest stops.
Yeah-the USA road trip-alive and well.
Oh ancient Suburban-223,800 miles- gets 21.3 mpg(64 mammal miles per gallon) on 3000 mile road trips -NOLA to Flagstaff-mild hypermiling-highway that means 45psi in tires-set CC to 5mph under speed limit- D/C CC and glide when climbing and when approaching a slow down-

I don't like or dislike the actual driving-but I love road trips-eating out of ice chest- passing time of day with strangers-their pets-smelling the different smells in different places- different light-humidity-wind -weather-even the dry broiling heat in AZ-
Must say-TX- nice roads-nice folks-BUT CRUMMY WEATHER as you cross the panhandle!! Horrendous rain and thunderstorms-end of world type weather!!
But TX has great wind farms-seeing them at night in lightning thunder-those huge blades strobe lighting-just like a Sci-Fi movie(the one near Weatherford)
Yeah-USA road trips
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Old 11-03-13, 08:15 AM   #81
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I genuinely can't tell if you're being serious or trolling.
That is an absurd and mean spirited comment! I am trying to be helpful to the OP. You don't care to be helpful..... don't post.
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Old 11-03-13, 08:20 AM   #82
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Dollars to donuts it's the second one.
Encouraging the meanness? Instead of trying to be helpful? I guess psychologist isn't exactly like a medical professional huh.

Never mind... I give. Let him suffer (or whatever)... sounds (reads) like there is an agenda here.
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Old 11-03-13, 08:27 AM   #83
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sounds (reads) like there is an agenda here.
And what would that be?
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Old 11-03-13, 08:31 AM   #84
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Every time I get into a car with a friend or relative, I'm appalled and reminded of the lunacy that is how people drive cars. It's detached, impersonal, pushy, and obnoxious. I do miss driving, but I don't miss it that much.

I'm not quite sure when it was, maybe around 2007 or so, but gas prices in the US had reached a high of around $5/gallon. I was driving a premium guzzling car at the time and couldn't handle it anymore. I sold my Marauder and bought my first import, a FG1 Civic that got an easy 40 mpg on the freeway and roughly 33 mpg around town. At that time, I vividly remember how the car "scene" shifted. When I first got my Civic, I was extra conscious of my driving technique, which consisted of easing up on the lead food syndrome and practicing hypermiling techniques. During this time, gas prices were leveling off and slowly starting to fall. In a direct relationship, I saw the number of SUVs and trucks on the road dramatically fall. In fact, people were no longer tailgating me either. Driving actually got a little more tolerable in my opinion, but that was short-lived. After some months, gas prices continued to drop and then they seemed to equalize around $3/gallon. Sure enough, that was the ticket and out came the heavy hitting clunkers by the dozens. For me, as I still practiced moderate accelerations and other various hypermiling techniques, the change in gas affordability and the car scene spurred the onset of lead foot syndrome and tailgating again.

Even now with gas prices being manageable and affordable, I can't understand the mindset of people in cars. They're always in a rush, inconsiderate and very unforgiving. Of course, this was once me too, but that was me without introspection and growth. Combustion vehicles are one of the quickest ways to get around and yet people still drive like dolts. Poor cagers.

/end rant
This seems like a good description of why many people became a little unhappy about car driving. I dunno about your experience, but I run into quite a few people who do a lot of car driving but describe the same thing you do.

They just haven't done anything about it yet.
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Old 11-03-13, 03:02 PM   #85
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Encouraging the meanness? Instead of trying to be helpful? I guess psychologist isn't exactly like a medical professional huh.

Never mind... I give. Let him suffer (or whatever)... sounds (reads) like there is an agenda here.
To diagnose a serious mental illness, based on a likely misinterpretation of one sentence in one Internet message, is less than helpful, and more than a little mean.

And I have nothing more to say about this.
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Old 11-03-13, 06:05 PM   #86
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Dave Cutter, I never said I had a fear of driving. I said I dislike driving, and in my posting on page 2 I describe that city traffic is what I really hate the most. As others have said and from my own experiences there seems to plenty of people on the road who get stressed and angry while driving, often to the point of acting out with aggression ranging from cursing, to physical gestures, to road rage.
In the smaller town I've lived in where most folks obeyed most of the rules of the road, driving was not much of a headache other than the fact that it's just a necessary chore in most places in the USA. Living in Houston, and now in a densely populated area of Taiwan, the situation is different.
I think being quick to suggest that someone see a mental health doctor is ill advised.
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Old 11-03-13, 08:45 PM   #87
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This seems like a good description of why many people became a little unhappy about car driving. I dunno about your experience, but I run into quite a few people who do a lot of car driving but describe the same thing you do.

They just haven't done anything about it yet.
Yep. It's too easy to do nothing. Changing requires a good bit of awareness and courage, something that a lot of people lack because they're stuck on autopilot. With the turn of a keystroke, a story of being the victim starts up in their head and it's off to the races.
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Old 12-06-13, 01:44 AM   #88
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I love driving, be it as the actual driver, as a passenger, or even being in a train. I don't mind the parking, nor anything else. When that is said, I also like to ride bicycles and motorcycles. As a family, we do own a car (A VW Lupo 3L, soon to be upgraded to another car). I rarely drive it, and I expect to drive it even less now that I have a cargo bike. We mostly have it because my partner (I hesitate to call her my gf, since we have been together for more than a decade and she is the mother of our child) has to have a car for her work. It comes in handy at other times too.

I don't ride a bike for political reasons at all. It's just a relatively cheap and simple means to an end.
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Old 12-06-13, 03:33 AM   #89
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I love driving, be it as the actual driver, as a passenger, or even being in a train. I don't mind the parking, nor anything else. When that is said, I also like to ride bicycles and motorcycles. As a family, we do own a car (A VW Lupo 3L, soon to be upgraded to another car). I rarely drive it, and I expect to drive it even less now that I have a cargo bike. We mostly have it because my partner (I hesitate to call her my gf, since we have been together for more than a decade and she is the mother of our child) has to have a car for her work. It comes in handy at other times too.

I don't ride a bike for political reasons at all. It's just a relatively cheap and simple means to an end.
In the city where you live, which has a lot of transportation cyclists, how many would you say list political or environmental reasons for riding? I don't mean an exact number, but would you say a lot, some, almost none, or what?
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Old 12-06-13, 03:42 AM   #90
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In the city where you live, which has a lot of transportation cyclists, how many would you say list political or environmental reasons for riding? I don't mean an exact number, but would you say a lot, some, almost none, or what?
Definately "some". I meet one once in a while. They have often chosen to live in a city (I live a bit north of Copenhagen now, to be honest) to make everything easier. Most people (from what I can gather) ride a bike simply because it is easier, some bike because they actually prefer it, and some because they have no other real choice. I also sometimes bump into people who is using political reasons as a sort of after-the-fact rationalisation (i.e. usually young people still at university and no hope in hell to be able to afford a car).

With that said, a lot of people also use public transportation because it is rather good compared to many other places.
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Old 12-06-13, 04:43 PM   #91
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I don't see that liking cycling, or even preferring it to driving needs to imply not liking driving. The two are unrelated, and one may like both or nether, or may prefer one to the other depending on the circumstances.

I made a decision to not drive at all 4 years ago as part of an Independence day celebration. (Independence from OPEC). My initial goal, was one month, extended to all summer, then to Oct 31 (based on weather in NY area), then to as long as possible, and when Spring came and I was still going strong, surrendered my plates and cancelled the insurance.

However I still enjoy driving, and sometimes rent cars for intercity trips, and have delivered cars to other cities for family and friends. I've proven to myself that I don't need a car for daily life, but now it's only about money, and I find occasional renting much less expensive than insurance and maintenance. BUT I still enjoy driving whenever I do.
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Old 12-06-13, 06:45 PM   #92
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I still own my beat up old car, and I've found that I've come to really dislike driving. Maybe it's partly due to the condition of the car, but I think a big part is also that I hate the way I feel when I drive.
I'm exactly the same.
When I was 21, to go next door I would've got in my car and driven. Now, any opportunity to leave it sitting in the garage is taken.
I just don't enjoy it. I rented a nice car for a week of vacation back in October. It didn't change my dissatisfaction with driving.
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Old 12-07-13, 05:48 AM   #93
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I drive when I need to... the car is a tool.
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Old 12-07-13, 06:48 AM   #94
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I drive when I need to... the car is a tool.
This. The key word being need as opposed to want. When I do drive, I employ the hypermiling technique of waiting until there are multiple stops to be driven and planning a route and time that minimizes fuel consumption.
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Old 12-07-13, 07:39 AM   #95
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I don't see that liking cycling, or even preferring it to driving needs to imply not liking driving. The two are unrelated, and one may like both or nether, or may prefer one to the other depending on the circumstances.

I made a decision to not drive at all 4 years ago as part of an Independence day celebration. (Independence from OPEC). My initial goal, was one month, extended to all summer, then to Oct 31 (based on weather in NY area), then to as long as possible, and when Spring came and I was still going strong, surrendered my plates and cancelled the insurance.

However I still enjoy driving, and sometimes rent cars for intercity trips, and have delivered cars to other cities for family and friends. I've proven to myself that I don't need a car for daily life, but now it's only about money, and I find occasional renting much less expensive than insurance and maintenance. BUT I still enjoy driving whenever I do.
I used to be like you--I enjoyed driving on occasion even though I was carfree. But now I don't like it at all, and have avoided it totally for a couple years. I don't know why I quit liking it. Maybe it's because I have a small vision problem, which I only notice when I'm driving.
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Old 12-07-13, 07:51 AM   #96
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I do generally dislike driving. I think this is simply just from riding so much for over 25 years. Sometimes it's a nice change to get in a car and drive, but that "nice" feeling never last too long. And if I drive too long it changes to absolute frustration, primarily due to the acts of other drivers.

When I see a light turning red I take my foot off the gas; apparently one should wait until the last 50 feet before the white line and then come to an abrupt stop. It's incredible how many people pass from behind me, just to hurry up and stop at a light

It's also nice being totally clueless on current gas prices.
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Old 12-07-13, 02:18 PM   #97
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I don't see that liking cycling, or even preferring it to driving needs to imply not liking driving. The two are unrelated, and one may like both or nether, or may prefer one to the other depending on the circumstances.

I made a decision to not drive at all 4 years ago as part of an Independence day celebration. (Independence from OPEC). My initial goal, was one month, extended to all summer, then to Oct 31 (based on weather in NY area), then to as long as possible, and when Spring came and I was still going strong, surrendered my plates and cancelled the insurance.

However I still enjoy driving, and sometimes rent cars for intercity trips, and have delivered cars to other cities for family and friends. I've proven to myself that I don't need a car for daily life, but now it's only about money, and I find occasional renting much less expensive than insurance and maintenance. BUT I still enjoy driving whenever I do.
Still, that's a really good story. Whatever your reasons for driving less, I think it's progress.

I love driving to our country place, because of where I'll end up. I even love driving home from the country, because being there put me in a good mood. Also, the traffic on these commutes is usually low stress, compared with most other drives.
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Old 12-08-13, 01:09 PM   #98
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...

I made a decision to not drive at all 4 years ago as part of an Independence day celebration. (Independence from OPEC). My initial goal, was one month, extended to all summer, then to Oct 31 (based on weather in NY area), then to as long as possible, and when Spring came and I was still going strong, surrendered my plates and cancelled the insurance.
I like this!!

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However I still enjoy driving, and sometimes rent cars for intercity trips, and have delivered cars to other cities for family and friends. I've proven to myself that I don't need a car for daily life, but now it's only about money, and I find occasional renting much less expensive than insurance and maintenance. BUT I still enjoy driving whenever I do.
Renting cars kind of scares me a bit. I can certainly drive, but I'm a bit nervous at first. After the initial period, the only real problem is on longer trips sitting still in one position. My back hurts and it feels like restless leg syndrome coming on.
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Old 12-08-13, 01:42 PM   #99
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I like this!!

Renting cars kind of scares me a bit. I can certainly drive, but I'm a bit nervous at first. After the initial period, the only real problem is on longer trips sitting still in one position. My back hurts and it feels like restless leg syndrome coming on.
My point was that being a cyclist and a motorist aren't mutually exclusive (except you can't do both at the same time). After a year of not driving daily, I decided I wasn't driving enough to justify the $1,000/yr cost of insurance so turned in the plates, and switched to renting whenever I wanted a car. However driving is still part of my life, just not for daily short trips.

There's a belief among some active cyclists that it's somehow morally superior, and/or the belief that we live in a bike vs. car world. I view either as a choice, which we make based on personal considerations. I'm an active daily cyclist, but not anti-car in any way. Get around whatever way makes the most sense for you.
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Old 12-08-13, 01:56 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I'm an active daily cyclist, but not anti-car in any way. Get around whatever way makes the most sense for you.
I'd consider myself somewhat anti-car. At least when I have one attempting a right hook

But a couple of years ago I changed jobs locations and was looking at a longer commute to the outer suburbs. No bus route. And a long tricky bike commute. A car seemed the only solution.

Then, at the last moment, I moved downtown, which has good bus access and only 4.5 miles from my house (if I decide to go straight shot...)

It's really great when you can do a trip by bike!!
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