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  1. #1
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Sports and Hobbies ... and the Car-Free/Light Lifestyle

    What sports and hobbies do you participate in?

    And, of course, how do you manage them while maintaining a car-free/light lifestyle?


    Keep in mind that a thread like this could be beneficial to others who participate in the same sports and hobbies and are wondering what challenges they might face if they adopt a car-free/light lifestyle.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I like being active.

    Cycling is, as I'm sure you can imagine, my favourite sporting event, and so that's a fairly easy one to incorporate into a car-free/light lifestyle ... hop on the bicycle and ride. However, I like to explore further afield ... and that can be a challenge. When I was "car-free", I used to ride really long distances, but I also used to rent a car now and then to get me well and truly out into the country and new scenery.

    Walking is another favourite activity, and again, not too hard to incorporate into a car-free/light lifestyle. But hiking is more challenging. So far we've driven to the starts of most of our hikes, so I suppose a car rental would work, if there were car rental facilities available. And on one particular cycling tour, I did a couple hikes ... one using the public shuttle bus, the other cycling to the start of the climb, then hiding the bicycles.

    Cross-country skiing was a bit more of a challenge. I used to carry my skis on the bus which worked reasonably well. But the busses didn't run everywhere I wanted to go. That was one of the things that helped me make a decision to get snowshoes ... I could carry them on my back, and I could cycle to snowshoeing areas.

    Going to the gym isn't too difficult ... the current gym is within walking or cycling distance, in other cases, I've taken the bus.

    We canoe now ... and so far we have not tried to haul the canoe by bicycle. However, I know of people who have kayak trailers for their bicycles. Right now we're so close to the water where we currently live that we've chatted about building a hand-cart and walking the canoe down to the water.

    Just to name a few.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Blue_Bulldog's Avatar
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    I play golf and keep meaning to take up running. My friends on Facebook make it look like fun. I used to only run when chased, but now that I'm all Fitty McFitterson, I feel like I could give it a go.

    Hobbies, I do love cooking... a lot. I cook for fun, which sounds demented.


    Thanks for making me realize I don't do very much. Work, bike, eat, hang out with my kid. Wow... I should start doing more activities.....

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue_Bulldog View Post
    Hobbies, I do love cooking... a lot. I cook for fun, which sounds demented.
    I enjoy baking, and would like to do a lot more of it ... but then I'd have to cycle a whole lot more than I do!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member JReade's Avatar
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    One of the biggest challenges to car-free would be my sports.. I play ice hockey twice a week at a rink that's 15 miles away. That's 1 large bag + sticks.

    If I bike, I'd need a trailer, and the ride out would take about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on conditions, so for an 830 game, I have to be leaving at 630, which is cutting it really close with my 17 mile bike commute home from work.

    Bus: 2.5 hours on the bus to get out there, so for a 8:30 game I have the leave my house at 4:45. Can't leave work at 3 to make it home in time to catch that bus. The return service is even worse, as the bus stops running on that line, so I'm stuck with waiting till 6 am to catch the next bus home. I played last night at 10 pm, there isn't a bus service home, so I'd have to get a cab home from the rink.

    My other hobby is cycling, so thats a lot easier to do.
    Jesse

  6. #6
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    I like skiing, but I wait until it snows at my house. I live at about 600 feet in the Oregon coast range, and haven't had that much snow for a few years. Snow shoeing, too, but I prefer cross country skiing.

    I love being on the water, canoe/kayak, but I don't do it very often. I can drift some local rivers, but that generally requires two cars and that irritates me. I need to see if my bike will fit in my 13 foot boat, and if so, get a trailer attachment. That would be a pleasant day, drifting a ways, then biking home.

    On the rare occasions I bike for fun rather than for my commute, I just ride up the logging roads past the locked gates, generally on my Rocky Mountain.
    Ed Miller
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  7. #7
    Senior Member GodsBassist's Avatar
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    I used to play soccer, (Football for you ferrners) but quit because of injury. Two years ago I pulled a hamstring and got a concussion in the same season. I stick to cycling now. It's much safer.

    I run from March to June to prepare for my occupational fitness test, but have to limit my riding.

  8. #8
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GodsBassist View Post
    I stick to cycling now. It's much safer.
    I had a very serious bike accident in 2003. I broke ribs and a wrist bone, along with wall to wall hematomas, lacerations, and road rash. I went into shock after I got home and an ambulance was needed. I was off work for five months at the time. Five years later, the wrist fracture morphed into Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and I was back in the hospital for a second operation and five more months off work.

    just saying....cycling is not a risk free sport.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Cycling has always meant transport to me, not sport.

    As a kid, like most American boys, I loved playing baseball, but I switched to swimming in my early adolescence. The four hours a day I spent in the pool strengthened my muscles and cardiovascular system to the point that I'm convinced they eventually saved my life. When I was in my early twenties, as I was walking down the street in Coral Gables, Florida, a couple of thugs in a Caddy pulled up and rolled me. One of the bastards put a .38 calliber bullet through my chest just for the hell of it.
    Gimme that car-free living!

  10. #10
    Senior Member GodsBassist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    just saying....cycling is not a risk free sport.
    Say whaaaaaaaat?

  11. #11
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    I've been a fitness/exercise/nutrition fanatic all my life, everything I do in my spare time is somehow related to fitness, I am a huge big fan of anything that involves using muscles and human power. For example if I was asked to cut down a tree and I had to choose between a chainsaw and an axe, I would choose an axe... Aside from that, I am also interested in things like anthropology, world history and anything that's primal, I enjoy reading books about these subjects...Long time ago I was also heavily involved in wilderness survival/primitive skills.

  12. #12
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    just saying....cycling is not a risk free sport.
    No sport or any other activity is risk free. Some are more risky (less "safe") than others, dependent on how the risk is measured.

  13. #13
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    No sport or any other activity is risk free. Some are more risky (less "safe") than others, dependent on how the risk is measured.
    Yes, and I would guess that cycling as sport is more risky than cycling as transportation. When I had my accident, I was cycling for both sport and transportation. I was commuting home from work, but in a very athletic and playful manner. I came to a street that had just been repaved that day. The smooth surface, along with a slight downhill, had me riding pretty fast. The next thing I knew I was flying through the air at well over 20 mph. Ouch!


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Back to sports and hobbies which enjoy.

    Have any of you tried to haul a kayak or canoe by bicycle? Do you have any tips?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Back to sports and hobbies which enjoy.

    Have any of you tried to haul a kayak or canoe by bicycle? Do you have any tips?
    I just use a 'canoe cart' (sold by LL Bean) intended for walking with the boat and tie the bow of my kayak to the saddle rails of my Bike Friday. The picture below is of my single kayak but I've done the same with my 18' long double as well. The double works ok with my regular 700c bikes, but with the single I need the extra clearance between rear wheel and seat of the Bike Friday.

    Aleut.jpg
    Last edited by prathmann; 01-15-14 at 01:17 AM.

  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    I just use a 'canoe cart' (sold by LL Bean) intended for walking with the boat and tie the bow of my kayak to the saddle rails of my Bike Friday. The picture below is of my single kayak but I've done the same with my 18' long double as well. The double works ok with my regular 700c bikes, but with the single I need the extra clearance between rear wheel and seat of the Bike Friday.

    Aleut.jpg
    Nice!

    Does it handle all right?

  17. #17
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Another sort of hobby of mine is ... further education. I enjoy taking classes. If I ever won the lotto, one of the things I'd probably do is become a perpetual student.

    Meanwhile, however, I take a few classes here and a few classes there.


    Since many of the classes have been at night, it can be a bit challenging getting to the college or uni. I took regular night classes for 4 years while I was car-free, and fortunately there was a bus service, but I did have to bolt out of class the second it was finished in order to catch the last bus running on that route.

    More recently, we were taking French classes in our little town, and fortunately we could walk ... it was a grand total of about 1.5 km round trip.

    I'm reading course schedules again and contemplating taking some more. Several of them are online, which would solve the whole transportation issue. But I've never done an online course, and I wonder if I would miss the classroom setting. Lots to think about.

  18. #18
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    One of my favorite outdoor activity is cross country skiing, and being car free was a problem. I couldn't get to my favorite places without a car. The roads around Boston aren't safe when the snow piles up and the roads narrow.

  19. #19
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    It's my sport/hobbie that make me a big 4X4 diesel truck owner, camping & fishing work for me... I did get rid of my car does that qualify me for truck light? As I use my truck 1/4 as much as I used to use my car and still used my truck for camping & fishing...
    Last edited by 350htrr; 01-15-14 at 05:12 PM. Reason: spelling
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  20. #20
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
    It's my sport/hobbie that make me a big 4X4 diesel truck owner, camping & fishing work for me... I did get rid of my car does that qualify me for truck light? As I use my truck 1/4 as much as I used to use my car, and still used my truck for camping & fishing...
    Do you ever take a mountain bike with you when you go camping? One of my hobbies is mountain biking. I'm very lucky--there's a few good mountain bike trails within 10 miles of my house, so it's easy to ride my mountain bike to the trailhead and ride on the trails for a while.

    Right now its ice biking time. I've been on one of the small lakes inside city limits so far this season. Next week I have an expedition planned to ride to the Grand River near my house. If we get the predicted cold snap, I should be able to ride up the frozen river about 10 miles. It's like being in the wilderness at this time of year, with no people within sight, but some of the larger mammals running around.

    Do you ever do any ice fishing? It seems like a bike would be a good way to get between holes--faster than walking and quieter than a snowmobile.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Do you ever take a mountain bike with you when you go camping? One of my hobbies is mountain biking. I'm very lucky--there's a few good mountain bike trails within 10 miles of my house, so it's easy to ride my mountain bike to the trailhead and ride on the trails for a while.

    Right now its ice biking time. I've been on one of the small lakes inside city limits so far this season. Next week I have an expedition planned to ride to the Grand River near my house. If we get the predicted cold snap, I should be able to ride up the frozen river about 10 miles. It's like being in the wilderness at this time of year, with no people within sight, but some of the larger mammals running around.

    Do you ever do any ice fishing? It seems like a bike would be a good way to get between holes--faster than walking and quieter than a snowmobile.
    Yes I AWAYS take my bike, and once the truck is parked I just ride my bike everywhere even lake to lake in that area...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    [With respect to towing my kayak.]
    Nice!

    Does it handle all right?
    Yes, handling is fine and I'd hardly know the boat is back there except for the extra drag, esp. on uphills. One of the reservoirs that I bike to involves a 1200' elevation gain with a nice winding descent on the other side. Even at speeds over 40 mph the kayak tracks smoothly and steady. As shown in the picture I position the kayak so the cart wheels are significantly behind the center of gravity so there's some positive tongue weight which helps with stability.

  23. #23
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Yes, handling is fine and I'd hardly know the boat is back there except for the extra drag, esp. on uphills. One of the reservoirs that I bike to involves a 1200' elevation gain with a nice winding descent on the other side. Even at speeds over 40 mph the kayak tracks smoothly and steady. As shown in the picture I position the kayak so the cart wheels are significantly behind the center of gravity so there's some positive tongue weight which helps with stability.
    Good to know!! We'll keep it in mind.

  24. #24
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Does anyone here dabble in the hobby of photography? Or maybe it's more than just a hobby?

    I enjoy photography, and almost always carry my P&S, but I do struggle a bit carrying my DSLR. I have loaded it into a pannier for short rides, but I haven't tried doing that for anything more than a few km.

  25. #25
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Does anyone here dabble in the hobby of photography? Or maybe it's more than just a hobby?

    I enjoy photography, and almost always carry my P&S, but I do struggle a bit carrying my DSLR. I have loaded it into a pannier for short rides, but I haven't tried doing that for anything more than a few km.
    I enjoy YOUR photography very much. As for me, I only take a few pictures with my iPad. It's pretty cumbersome, although the image quality is better than most cell phones. I have been thinking about getting a little camera...one of these days.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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