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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 03-03-14, 05:09 PM   #51
Roody
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Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
You're not. It's:
  • 20% Actually ride in the rain and enjoy it
  • 0% Ride in the rain and do not enjoy it (which is against the laws of physics, hence the zero.)
  • 20% never ride in the rain and admit it
  • 80% never ride in the rain but claim they do on internet forums
I actually fit in the first 20%. Or the 80%, who knows?
It's ridiculous to say that number is zero, or some kind of joke that went right over my head. If I want to get home at the end of a shift, and it's raining, I'm going to get wet. I won't enjoy it, but I'm a big boy and I will do it without whining...much.
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Old 03-03-14, 07:10 PM   #52
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It's ridiculous to say that number is zero, or some kind of joke that went right over my head. If I want to get home at the end of a shift, and it's raining, I'm going to get wet. I won't enjoy it, but I'm a big boy and I will do it without whining...much.
+1 And there is a world of difference between summer rain and winter rain. Summer rain I don't mind much, but do people really enjoy riding in freezing rain?
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Old 03-03-14, 07:34 PM   #53
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I am not a fan of riding in the rain, not so much because of the rain, but because people around here can barely drive when it is dry, add wet roads into the mix and they get totally stupid. The rain itself doesn't bother me.

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Old 03-03-14, 07:48 PM   #54
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It's hard to believe that a regular, carfree rider doesn't ride in the rain. If you do any amount of riding you'll be into it. That's why most of us pay careful attention to the weather forecast. I often delay leaving work because of a passing storm, but generally I'll ride in a shower of rain, freezing or otherwise.

What I'm not a fan of is sleet, which tends to hurt when it slaps you in the face.
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Old 03-03-14, 09:31 PM   #55
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+1 And there is a world of difference between summer rain and winter rain. Summer rain I don't mind much, but do people really enjoy riding in freezing rain?
I hate cold rain. But nothing feels better than getting home, putting the soggy clothes in the washing machine and myself in a hot shower, followed by a warm beverage.
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Old 03-03-14, 11:58 PM   #56
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It's ridiculous to say that number is zero, or some kind of joke that went right over my head. If I want to get home at the end of a shift, and it's raining, I'm going to get wet. I won't enjoy it, but I'm a big boy and I will do it without whining...much.
Well, I actually do enjoy riding in the rain. In my town (El Paso) rain is rare, but when it does rain it is a pleasant ride. The only time it gets difficult is when it's a big thunderstorm and the winds are whipping everything around. My post was a try at humor which apparently did not work . . .
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Old 03-04-14, 02:09 AM   #57
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Well, I actually do enjoy riding in the rain. In my town (El Paso) rain is rare, but when it does rain it is a pleasant ride. The only time it gets difficult is when it's a big thunderstorm and the winds are whipping everything around. My post was a try at humor which apparently did not work . . .
I went to UTEP back in the late '80s. I lived a frugal, student's life in cheap digs in El Paso and Juárez. At first I was car-light and later became car-free. It wasn't a difficult area to live in without a car. As I recall, we college students rode the buses for free in El Paso. On the Mexican side of the border, buses were cheap and took you anywhere you wanted to go.

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Old 03-04-14, 04:04 AM   #58
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I am not a fan of riding in the rain, not so much because of the rain, but because people around here can barely drive when it is dry, add wet roads into the mix and they get totally stupid. The rain itself doesn't bother me.

Aaron
+1. It's even worse with snow, which I genuinely favor riding in (it's quieter and comfier to me), but cars go painfully slow
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Old 03-04-14, 06:59 AM   #59
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I went to UTEP back in the late '80s. I lived a frugal, student's life in cheap digs in El Paso and Juárez. At first I was car-light and later became car-free. It wasn't a difficult area to live in without a car. As I recall, we college students rode the buses for free in El Paso. On the Mexican side of the border, buses were cheap and took you anywhere you wanted to go.
Wow! It's changed a lot in the UTEP area since you were here. I agree, it is very easy in ELP to be car-light.
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Old 03-04-14, 02:23 PM   #60
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I should see if a hypnotist could convince me to like riding (and running or hiking) in the rain. I hate rain. I just have to keep telling myself that it's better than jogging on a treadmill or using one of those bike trainers.
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Old 03-04-14, 05:28 PM   #61
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I should see if a hypnotist could convince me to like riding (and running or hiking) in the rain. I hate rain. I just have to keep telling myself that it's better than jogging on a treadmill or using one of those bike trainers.
Or convince yourself that its better to be riding in the rain than driving a stinkin' car.
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Old 03-05-14, 11:53 PM   #62
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+1 And there is a world of difference between summer rain and winter rain. Summer rain I don't mind much, but do people really enjoy riding in freezing rain?
I used to hate the rain. It was a big factor in my choice to relocate to Denver over Seattle. But then...

I discovered that I LOATHE heat and humidity. Rain in the south in the summer was good: it meant that I probably wouldn't run out of sweat and die on my commute home. I also discovered that cold rain has a distinct advantage over hot rain: you can wear waterproof gear without overheating.

I'm still not a huge fan of rain, but I've come to appreciate even the freezing kind. I much prefer being wet and cold to being hot, and most places that aren't very hot will cause you to be wet and cold at some point.
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Old 03-06-14, 04:51 AM   #63
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I used to hate the rain. It was a big factor in my choice to relocate to Denver over Seattle. But then...

I discovered that I LOATHE heat and humidity. Rain in the south in the summer was good: it meant that I probably wouldn't run out of sweat and die on my commute home. I also discovered that cold rain has a distinct advantage over hot rain: you can wear waterproof gear without overheating.

I'm still not a huge fan of rain, but I've come to appreciate even the freezing kind. I much prefer being wet and cold to being hot, and most places that aren't very hot will cause you to be wet and cold at some point.
And I can't stand being cold... heat and humidity don't really bother me much. But I have lived in the deep south for over 40 years, lived in the upper Midwest too, and still work there on occasion so I know what cold is.

Aaron
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Old 03-06-14, 09:38 PM   #64
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I know we're supposed to give one piece of advice, but what the hell.

Start planning for some vacations because you'll actually have money now that you're not sinking every paycheck into car expenses.


Rejoice in never having your livelihood at the mercy of some moron at the DMV.


Cars suck, yes, I'm bitter
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Old 03-08-14, 03:51 PM   #65
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There is a fine line between an ordeal and an adventure. You'll fail or succeed, suffer or enjoy, based on your attitude.
I could not agree more.
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Old 03-08-14, 03:54 PM   #66
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Make sure your tires have thorn-resistant tubes with sealer. That way, if you happen to ride over glass, you will still have a working bike.
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Old 03-08-14, 04:13 PM   #67
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One piece of advice I don't think anybody has even mentioned:

Learn how to fix your bike, at least the basic things. Especially, you should know how to handle basic mechanical issues that sometimes arise when you're out riding. Like
  • fixing a flat,
  • putting the chain back on,
  • finding and tightening loose fittings,
  • adjusting saddle fit,
  • adjusting brakes and gears, and
  • lubing the chain and other moving parts.
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Old 03-09-14, 11:32 AM   #68
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Start planning for some vacations because you'll actually have money now that you're not sinking every paycheck into car expenses.
This is a great Rx for the bitterness you mention.
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Old 03-09-14, 01:04 PM   #69
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One piece of advice I don't think anybody has even mentioned:

Learn how to fix your bike, at least the basic things. Especially, you should know how to handle basic mechanical issues that sometimes arise when you're out riding. Like
  • fixing a flat,
  • putting the chain back on,
  • finding and tightening loose fittings,
  • adjusting saddle fit,
  • adjusting brakes and gears, and
  • lubing the chain and other moving parts.
Also: pick up a few tools that will allow you to do these things: a bike tool (or small screwdrivers and set of metric allen wrenches), chain tool, tire irons, set of metric wrenches (or even a good adjustable wrench), bottle of decent bike grease, spare tubes.

I assume most people on this forum know that already but doing your own repairs can save a ton of money and prevent you from getting stranded or without transportation.
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Old 03-12-14, 12:58 PM   #70
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My one piece of advice would be to be honest with yourself about what your true obstacles - psychological and emotional, as well as logistical - are and then, after researching options, choose the solutions that work for who you are right now (instead of who you think you should be or would like to be). If, for example, walking for transportation feels to you like doing penance (as it does to me), it would not be a good idea to make walking the primary basis of your car-free lifestyle - although it might come in handy as an emergency backup plan. Start off with what you know you can do with the personality, preferences, and inclinations that you have now and refine as you gain experience and information.
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Old 04-05-14, 11:00 AM   #71
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Merino wool. Synthetics and bike specific clothing works fine for recreational rides, where you can wash it after every ride, but if you're riding every day, you need something that won't stink up.

It is very expensive new, but I picked up 4 or 5 really nice merino wool sweaters at a thrift store, max price $10. They really work when they're wetl, which makes riding in 36° F rain do-able.
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Old 04-05-14, 01:10 PM   #72
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Merino wool. Synthetics and bike specific clothing works fine for recreational rides, where you can wash it after every ride, but if you're riding every day, you need something that won't stink up.

It is very expensive new, but I picked up 4 or 5 really nice merino wool sweaters at a thrift store, max price $10. They really work when they're wetl, which makes riding in 36° F rain do-able.
Good advice. Cashmere sweaters work well also. A good one is soft enough to wear as a base layer. For years I rode every cool or cold day wearing a Brooks Bros. cashmere sweater that I bought for $4 at a thrift store. I often wore it right next to my skin, but it never got stinky.
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Old 04-05-14, 01:27 PM   #73
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Good advice. Cashmere sweaters work well also. A good one is soft enough to wear as a base layer. For years I rode every cool or cold day wearing a Brooks Bros. cashmere sweater that I bought for $4 at a thrift store. I often wore it right next to my skin, but it never got stinky.
Now I have to start looking for cashmere! Thanks for the tip.
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Old 04-05-14, 01:42 PM   #74
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Yes, the wool sweater from a thrift shop works well. I have not used them in warmer weather, instead relying on thin synthetic shirts that can be rinsed and dry quickly.

If you do use wool, one way to make it last longer is to wash it by hand. It does get dirty, so once a week or so I will wash it. instead of soap try hair conditioner, I use the cheap stuff myself. wash/slosh it around in conditioner, rinse, and lay it out. It gets most of the dirt/sweat out, and the conditioner makes the wool, well, conditioned. I throw mine in the washer every once in a while in a delicates bag as well.
Another thing that conditioner helps with is if someone throws your sweater in the dryer, soak it in conditioner and then dry it by blocking out. It may never get all the way back to its original size, but I have restored a few.
My grandmother taught me about this. It has worked for me.
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Old 04-05-14, 05:13 PM   #75
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My grandmother taught me about this. It has worked for me.
I smiled at this. I wonder who is going to teach grandkids these little tricks. The concept of cooking with a stove is one that is going by the wayside pretty rapidly. Even the concept of cooking at all!

At least I suppose that the concept of walking will remain one that will continue to be passed on down from generation to generation...

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